CLAYTON The second annual Jingle Hop benefit concerts will have a patriotic spin this year when they welcome a country singer known for his chart-topping, flag-waving songs.
Darryl Worley will perform at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Clayton Opera House. He has had three No. 1 country hits, including 2003s Have You Forgotten?, which Mr. Worley said still brings people to their feet.
The song urges Americans not to forget their post-9/11 anger.
Its definitely a mainstay for us, Mr. Worley said in a phone interview from his Memphis home. I think its just one of those songs, especially for New Yorkers who have a major connection to it because of the towers and all that.
But he said he thinks the song goes deeper than that.
Its obviously there to remind us of those who paved the way for us over the years, he said.
When interviewed in mid-November, Mr. Worley was preparing for his approximately 12th trip to Afghanistan in late November to perform for U.S. troops. He said its humbling to discover Have Your Forgotten? is an inspiration for soldiers.
Its a joy to play that song for them, he said. So many of those young people come up to me and say, That song is the reason I enlisted. Thats kind of heavy and bittersweet.
Country music fans from the north country may recall Mr. Worleys 2003 concert in Watertown as part of the summer series sponsored by the Disabled Persons Action Organization. Its a show that Mr. Worley has not forgotten.
I still got videos and stuff on my phone from that trip, he said.
Mr. Worleys other No. 1 hits are I Miss My Friend and Awful, Beautiful Life.
Jingle Hop creator and organizer Bruce T. (Mac) Macfarlane said that Mr. Worley is scheduled to perform the night of Dec. 13 at Fort Drum at an event being hosted by the USO on post.
Hell have a meet-and-greet with soldiers and sing a few songs, Mr. Macfarlane said.
At Mr. Worleys Clayton Jingle Hop concert, in addition to his hits and Christmas songs, he will sing songs from his latest album, One Time Around. Mr. Worley wrote all but two of the songs, working with longtime friends and collaborators like Wynn Varble, Don Poythress, Brett Jones, Steve Leslie and Kevin Grantt.
Mr. Worley said its important for him to support the song-writing community in Nashville whenever possible.
They are so incredibly talented, he said. You always get good stuff if people know who you are.
One Time Around revisits a few songs Mr. Worley felt had been overlooked in previous projects.
We tried to cut this record very organic and make it still earthy and give it a little bit of a classic, old-style twist and let it breathe to have a life of its own, he said.
Joining Mr. Worley on stage for part of the concert will be vocal students from the Thousand Islands Central and Lyme Central school districts. Selections will include Let It Snow and The Christmas Song.
We did some of our own versions of classic songs last year and we sent copies up to those guys ahead of time so they can get familiar with them, Mr. Worley said.
Students to open concerts
Six through 12th grade vocal students from Thousand Islands Central and 9th through 12th graders from Lyme Central will join forces as an opening act at the two concerts.
Thousand Islands Central music director Kathryn M. Ingerson said selections will include Let it Snow, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bell Rock and Silver Bells.
Mrs. Ingerson is co-directing the students with Lyme Central teacher Helen Timerman
The opening act at the Jingle Hop will be Ron and Nancy OneSong. They perform regionally throughout New York and Pennsylvania and have appeared at the Ryman Auditorium and the Bell Buckle Café in Tennessee. They have toured in the U.S., Canada, France and England. The duo recently was nominated to the New York State Country Music Association Hall of Fame.
This years Jingle Hop will benefit four charities: Thousand Islands Youth Hockey, Thousand Islands Youth Choir, Clayton Food Pantry and Ducks Unlimited. Ticket buyers can select the charity they prefer.
The Jingle Hop is a fundraiser organized by Clayton resident Bruce T. (Mac) MacFarlane, who each summer also organizes a benefit Country Jam. Last years Jingle Hop featuring country singer Pam Tillis, sold out.
Code words for benefit
When ordering tickets, if people mention select code words, half of the ticket price will go to one of four charities. For example, if people mention choir, funds will go to Thousand Islands Youth Choir. Other code words are hockey for Thousand Islands Youth Hockey, pantry for the Clayton Food Pantry and ducks for Ducks Unlimited. When ordering online at the Clayton Opera House website, the code words are under apply discount.
A spokeswoman for one of those charities said events like the Jingle Hop are essential for its success.
Its through fundraising events such as Jingle Hop and generous donations from the community that allow Thousand Islands Youth Hockey to support the players on both the boys and girls varsity teams, maintain reasonable registration fees, provide first year skaters an opportunity to try hockey for free, maintain a scholarship fund and an extensive equipment loan program, said Juliane B. Flora, corresponding secretary for the youth hockey group.
The event is sponsored by Staples, Froggy 97 FM and Newzjunky.