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Little Texas to help fulfill Choate's, family's dream

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By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post

Little Texas is a band with a big heart, and they plan to use it to help a grieving Watertown family realize a dream.

The Choate family lost their 13-year-old son, Cody, in an ATV accident two years ago.

Since that time, Cody’s parents and sister, Chloe, as well as the Watertown Elementary faculty, staff and students, have been working to fund athletic facilities at the school in Cody’s honor.

Now platinum-selling, country-rock band Little Texas is coming to Watertown High School, along with The O'Donnell's and Doug Collins on Friday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. to help. The proceeds of the concert will go to Watertown Elementary, to help the school develop a new football field.

While Cody was alive, he championed having a football field at the school for the seventh- and eighth-grade teams.

Little Texas bassist Doug Propes, said he and fellow Little Texas members Porter Howell (lead guitar/lead vocals), Del Gray (drums/backing vocals) and Dwayne O'Brien (rhythm guitar) jumped at the chance to perform the fundraising show.

“This all-ages concert is being held to raise funds for athletic facilities, a field for games and practice for this Wilson County elementary,” explained Propes, who added that he first heard about the need from Wilson County Commissioner Chris Sorey, who is the commissioner for District 2 where Propes lives. “We hope that folks will come out and not only support the current and future students at the school by attending the concert, but also honor Cody’s memory by supporting a cause he rallied,” Propes said.

According to family and friends, during his too-short lifet Cody wanted nothing more than “to put on a purple and white uniform for Watertown Elementary's Purple Tigers football team.”

Instead, his life ended just two weeks before his 13th birthday and his first football game.

In addition to helping honor Cody, Propes said Little Texas accepted the request to help the school raise money because “Watertown is always overlooked when it comes to county money, state money, benefits, and so forth, and it's my home county and someone asked for our help.” During the Friday show, billed as “An Evening With Little Texas,” the band will perform its biggest hits, including “God Blessed Texas,” "Some Guys Have All The Love," "What Might Have Been," "My Love," "Kick a Little," "Amy's Back in Austin" and "Life Goes On," as well as songs from the group’s latest CD, “Missing Years,” on the Montage Music Group label.

“We’ll play whatever anyone requests,” Propes said. “We’ll play as long as people want to hear us, and we’ll be signing autographs after the show.” (Also, the band will have some of its merchandise available for purchase, including its greatest hits and “Missing Years” CDs and T-shirts.)

Admission to the benefit show is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. A limited number of tickets are available to the Feb. 6 benefit performance, so concertgoers are urged to purchase early.

Advance tickets are available at all Wilson Bank & Trust locations, and in Mt Juliet at Moss' Florist & Garden Center and Complete Insurance Service, as well as in Watertown at Barrett’s Barber Shop, on the Public Square, Three Forks Marketplace, Depot Junction Café and Watertown High School.

Little Texas newest CD named ‘Missing Years’

Little Texas known as “the hardest working band in country music,” started out in Nashville in the early 1990s.

It was not uncommon back then for the band to play more than 300 shows a year, without a bus, without a driver, without tour support from a label. They simply made it on their own, and that seasoning shows up even today.

Their first radio release, “Some Guys Have All The Love,” became a top 10 hit, as did their next single, “First Time For Everything.”

The second album, “Big Time,” truly was the big time for Little Texas, as it spawned three number 1 singles with “What Might Have Been,” “God Blessed Texas” and “My Love,” capturing its very first CMT award, a Billboard award, a Radio & Records award and a Grammy nomination, and to date has sold more than 3 million copies.

Their cover of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” in 1994 charted well even without an official release, and with that, Little Texas broke another record in country music history: three different songs on three different charts with three different lead singers, all at the same time; a feat that has never been repeated since by any band. That was also the year they won their ACM Award for “Vocal Group of the Year.”

Next Little Texas released the album “Kick A Little,” and their first headlining arena tour began. After the self-titled album, “Little Texas,” was released, the band decided to take a break. The members went their separate ways, spending time with family and friends and working on individual projects.

Propes said, “At that point it was time for our loved ones to have us back for a while. It all happened for a reason.” But now, Little Texas is back.

In 2007 four of the original members: Porter Howell (lead vocals & lead guitar), Dwayne O'Brien (vocals and rhythm guitars), Duane Propes (bass & vocals) and Del Gray (drums), decided to reunite the band  and release of a brand new album on their new label, Montage Records. They returned to the airwaves with a new album titled “Missing Years.”

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