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SALEM Problem delays Ponderosa Park concert series



Published: Sun, July 29, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



An agent said the promoter had been given until Friday to make required deposits.

By DEBORA SHAULIS

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

SALEM -- A country music concert series at Ponderosa Park has hit some sour notes.

Angela Shumway, administrative assistant for local promoter Jeff Best, said a concert by Doug Stone, Gene Watson and Don Williams that was planned for this Sunday will be rescheduled. People who bought tickets were to be called about the change, Shumway said Friday evening.

Previously announced concert dates beyond Sept. 2 will also be rescheduled, Shumway said.

The news came hours after a Nashville music agent called The Vindicator to say that six artists he represents won't perform here this year.

David Kiswiney of Buddy Lee Attractions said Best did not finalize contracts with his artists. "He didn't follow through on his promise to do what he said he would do," Kiswiney said.

Buddy Lee Attractions, a booking agency, has offices in Nashville, Kansas City, Mo. and New Waverly, Texas.

Clients: Sammy Kershaw, Lorrie Morgan, Aaron Tippin, Daryle Singletary, Jeff Carson and Rhett Akins are among Kiswiney's clients.

Best previously announced nine of 12 concerts he planned to promote at Ponderosa through early fall. Singletary, Carson and Akins were to play Sept. 9, Morgan and Kershaw were to follow Sept. 16, and Tippin was to end the series Oct. 7.

Buddy Lee Attractions received proposals from Best, Kiswiney said. Best was told that his offers would be given to the artists once he made deposits on each show. The agency didn't receive those deposits, so talks ceased July 5, Kiswiney said.

Concerts publicized: Agency management learned this week that Best has publicized the concerts in the local media. "We thought it would be better to try to make it work," Kiswiney said, so Best was given until 10 a.m. Friday to make the requisite deposits.

When the money wasn't received, Kiswiney called The Vindicator.

"It's no personal attack on anybody ... I just want to make sure the fans are covered," he said.

Best was asked to verify that he hadn't given deposits to the artists.

"That is true," he said Friday.

"I knew I was going to take the bite on these first concerts," Best said. He was waiting to receive advances from record labels and from sales of his own self-produced CD, but the cash didn't arrive as quickly as he had hoped, he said.

He also said he wishes he hadn't spent money on renovations at Ponderosa.

First concert in series: The first concert of this series was last Sunday. The bill included Billy "Crash" Craddock, Eddy Raven, Best and two regional bands, Perfect Stranger and Desperado.

Bryan Michaels, lead guitarist for Desperado, said his band has worked for Best's company in the past, so the musicians left without being paid. Michaels wasn't worried; "They've always paid us before," he said.

Best said he was sure the Billy Ray Cyrus and Bellamy Brothers concert would take place Aug. 26. That performance is listed on Web sites for both acts.

Patrons should call (330) 332-9026 for information about concerts and refunds.

shaulis@vindy.com




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