Confederate Railroad Issue Statement After Fair Drops Them Over Name
Confederate Railroad have issued a statement after a fair in Illinois dropped the band from an upcoming performance due to concerns over its name.
The country-rock and Southern rock group were booked to perform at the Du Quoin State Fair in Du Quoin, Ill., on Aug. 27, as part of a lineup that included Shenandoah and Restless Heart. The fair's manager, John Gross, says the Illinois Department of Agriculture made the decision to remove Confederate Railroad from the show after Rich Miller, who writes for the Illinois-based political blog Capitol Fax, wrote a piece asking readers whether it was appropriate for the group to perform, according to a report from WSIL-TV
"While every artist has a right to expression, we believe this decision is in the best interest of serving all of the people in our state," Gross says.
Confederate Railroad scored a string of hits in the early-to-mid '90s with songs including "Jesus and Mama," "Queen of Memphis," "Trashy Women," "Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind," "Elvis and Andy" and more. Lead singer Danny Shirley spoke out about the fair's decision in a statement released on Tuesday (July 9), which reads as follows:
As many of you know, we were scheduled to perform at the Illinois State Fair in Du Quoin, Illinois on August 27, along with our friends Restless Heart and Shenandoah. We have since been removed from that show by the Illinois Department of Agriculture because of the name of our band. This was very disappointing as we have played this fair before and enjoyed it very much. The outpouring of support from Confederate Railroad fans, fans of other acts, and the public in general, has been both overwhelming and very much appreciated. I would also like to thank the actors, athletes and fellow country music artists who have spoken out in support. It has been brought to my attention that several people have asked both Restless Heart and Shenandoah to cancel their shows in protest of our cancellation. I have spoken to both acts and encouraged them to perform as scheduled. Live concerts are how we pay our bills and feed our families. I would never want to see another act lose a payday because of this. Please go out to hear these two great bands. As I have said many times onstage, I am by no means a saint but, I am a man of faith and I have faith that God will see us through this as well as whatever comes next! Thank you for your support.
Charlie Daniels and Oak Ridge Boys singer Joe Bonsall are among the country artists who have publicly voiced outrage over the fair's decision.
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