Jimmy Wayne Almost Misses a Lifelong Dream
Jimmy Wayne calls Alan Jackson the "modern day Hank Williams." So one can only imagine his delight when he was asked to open for Jackson in April, and his dismay at finding that he already had an obligation for one of the nights they wanted him to play.
"They asked me if I could open for Alan on April 16, 17 and 18, and the last day I have a benefit concert that I do every year in my hometown," Wayne explains. "I asked them if I could just open the first two days, and they said no, they needed someone who could do all three nights."
Wayne was determined to have his opening slot with Jackson. After all, it was his hero's song, 'Chasin' that Neon Rainbow' that kept him going when he was working double shifts at the Osage Textile Mill in Bessemer City, North Carolina years ago.
"I was cleaning those filthy weaving machines and blowing that cotton and oil off with an air hose, and it would just go everywhere," Wayne recalls. "The thing that kept me going was singing 'Chasin' that neon rainbow, living that honky tonk dream.' That song was so inspiring to me, because it helped me believe that one day I would walk out of that mill. And I did! What are the chances of that happening? It was just insane."
Wayne decided to write Jackson a letter, explaining the reason he couldn't do the third night was because of his commitment to the benefit show. "I told him in the letter how much the show meant to me and my sister, and how I couldn't let the kids down who were looking forward to coming to the show," he says. "The next day I got a call and Alan's people told me I could open the first two nights and they had another artist who would do the third night."
Now that the reality of opening for Jackson has set in, Wayne says he and the band are pumped about opening for the superstar. "I am a huge Alan Jackson fan, and this is a great milestone. Me and the band are going to be watching Alan's show very closely. We know how blessed we are to be out on the road doing what we do, and we are constantly reminding each other that we are lucky to be on the bus going down the road and making music."
Wayne opens for Jackson in Tupelo, Mississippi on April 16 and Corbin, Kentucky on April 17. His annual CRKA Benefit Show in Boiling Spring, N.C. is on April 18.