The Letcher County residents Cory Harris and Taylan Combs have reached the “Semifinals Top 40” of the “Country Music Highway Road to Fame” contest sponsored by the state of Kentucky, the Gibson Foundation and several other private and public corporations.
Harris and Combs will be among 10 contestants competing at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. The other 30 semifinalists will compete at three other locations between now and May 18 for the right to appear in the contest finals at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg on June 16.
The “Road to Fame” competition is searching for the next potential star to come from Kentucky’s famed Country Music Highway (U.S. Highway 23 and roads that connect with it), an area with a vast musical heritage and home to many country stars for decades.
Legendary songwriter and eastern Kentucky native, Tom T. Hall, who announced the contest in January with Gov. Steve Beshear, has continued support for the “Road to Fame” competition by announcing the grand prize winner will be invited to write and record an original song in Hall’s private studio on his farm south of Nashville, Tenn.
The grand prize winner will also receive a scholarship to participate in a course of career development and coaching under the direction of PCG Nashville valued at $25,000.
Each runner-up will receive a Gibson acoustic guitar and a certifi cate of achievement.
Letcher County native Gary Stewart is one of 10 top country music legends who has a plaque in his honor along the Country Music Highway.
Other stars honored include Hall, Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakam, Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs, Hylo Brown and The Judds.