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Area alumni association to honor musician Kent Wells

Area alumni association to honor musician Kent Wells

August 13th, 2017 by Jim Williamson in Texarkana Region
Kent Wells is a graduate of Ashdown High School and will be honored at the 2017 alumni banquet Sept. 30. He is a member of the Class of 1981 and the son of Coylene Wells Cates and the late Billy Jack Wells. He has toured and recorded with major artists in the music industry, including Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Brooks & Dunn, Travis Tritt, Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Greenwood and Keith Whitley.

Kent Wells is a graduate of Ashdown High...

Photo by Kent Wells Productions

The Ashdown High School Alumni Association will honor musician Kent Wells during the 11th Annual Alumni Banquet Sept. 30 in the high school cafeteria.

Wells was selected by the alumni association for his work as a musician, songwriter, performer and producer, said Susan Setliff Simmons, president of the alumni association. He was a member of the 1981 Ashdown High School graduating class.

He has toured and recorded with major artists in the music industry, including Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Brooks & Dunn, Travis Tritt, Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Greenwood and Keith Whitley.
Tickets for the banquet will be $25 per person. This includes alumni dues of $10.

"You must be an alumnus to buy banquet tickets," said Simmons.

Tickets will go on sale Monday at 1 p.m.. Ticket sales will end Sept. 20 at noon. "By popular request, we will be offering tables of eight, as well as individual tickets," Simmons said.

Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m.

About 400 tickets will be available. When all are sold, sales will be closed.

Individual tickets can be purchased locally at Castle Antiques (120 Rankin St.), Betty Ruth McDowell Kidd (115 Elm St., Ogden, AR 71853, 870-898-8391); Sandra Shackelford Furlow (P. O. Box 158, Ogden, AR 71853, 870-898-6803, sandrabobfurlow@gmail.com) or Susan Setliff Simmons (1021 Rankin St., Ashdown, AR 71822, 870-898-3851, ashdownsusan@sbcglobal.net).

To purchase tables of eight, contact Diane McLarty (870-898-6179, clmclarty1961@att.net). Designate one person to collect the money. The table will be reserved when the money ($200) is received by McLarty. Make checks payable to AHS Alumni Association.

Wells has produced projects for artists including Michael Peterson, Neal McCoy and 4 Runner. He has produced vocal performances by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Allison Krause, Keith Urban and George Jones.

In addition to two Grammy nominations, he has been nominated for an Oscar for his work on the original soundtrack for the major motion picture "Travelin' Through."

"As a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, Wells has performed on numerous Billboard chart certified number one and top 10 hits for various artists and performed on recordings across nearly every genre of commercial music. He has also toured the world as lead guitarist and musical director with several of the biggest names in country music, including record-breaking tours with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire," Simmons said.

He has performed in concert venues and festivals worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, Texas Stadium, Glastonberry Festival, Radio City Music Hall, Houston Rodeo, Woodstock, CMA Fest, and The Grand Ole Opry.

Wells' list of television and radio performances includes Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Today Show on NBC, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, Grand Ole Opry Live, Hee Haw, A&E Live by Request, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, BBC Radio Live, Austin City Limits, A Capitol Fourth and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

His songs have been recorded by artists and performed on American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. He has also written and produced major advertising spots, including spots for Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's, Goodyear and Southeast Grocers.

Wells lives in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife, Donna, and four sons, Jack, Alex, Derek and Austin. He is the owner of Kent Wells Productions studios in nearby Franklin, Tenn.

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