By LARRY VAUGHT
Even though they don’t know exactly who will be the headliner Sept. 18 when they are the opening act at the Lexington Opera House for the “Secret Sessions” country music series sponsored by 98.1 The Bull, sisters Katelyn and Samantha Daugherty of Magnolia Vale know what a special opportunity it is for them.
“Hopefully the right person is there to hear us because this is a great opportunity,” said Katelyn. “Honestly, something like this is exactly what we have been hoping for because this could be a big night. Our family and friends don’t know exactly what to think. We are just so fortunate we got contacted about this. We really didn’t do anything.
That’s because Michael Jordan, regional senior vice president for iHeartMedia who oversees the operation of 98.1 The Bull, had been paying attention to Magnolia Vale’s music and rising popularity.
“I have been seeing then online for quite some time. They got some great coverage with some of their songs with Country Rebel and other sits,” Jordan said. “When we were talking about booking this series we also wanted to highlight some local artists. These young ladies are really good. They have impressed me. We had two spots for local artists, so we reached out to them.”
Jordan notes how 98.1 The Bull has partnered early with John Michael Montgomery, Montgomery Gentry and now Walker Montgomery to help highlight rising artists.
“We played every song Chris Stapleton ever released to radio right from the start,” Jordan said. “Now we are thrilled to feature Magnolia Vale and let them show everybody what they are all about. I think fans who have not seen or heard them are really going to like them.”
Maren Morris headlines the show Sept. 9, Justin Moore is the top act on Sept. 22 and Kane Brown is the big name for the Sept. 26 show.
Who will open the Sept. 18 show? Magnolia Vale does not know. However, it’ going to be a big name since it has been announced the headliner has sold over 30 million albums, had 15 No. 1 country hits and won over 20 CMA and ACM awards.
Hints, however, have been officially dropped concerning who will top the bill on Sept. 18. The headliner has sold over 30 million albums, scored 15 No. 1 country hits and won over 20 Country Music Association (CMA) and Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards.
Even without knowing who the headliner will be on Sept. 18 that Magnolia Vale will be opening for, the show sold out within a day in the 900-seat Opera House (Rupp Arena was not available because of renovations going out there).
Jordan says the top artists enjoy a rare opportunity to play a smaller venue and the “secret” act also enjoys coming on stage without any fans knowing who is coming out to perform.
“They get to hide out all day and then just come out and perform,” Jordan said. “It’s also fun for country music fans because they get surprised by who comes out.”
The Marion County sisters will open the show at 7:30p.m. with about a 20-minute set. Katelyn said a short set like that gives them the advantage of picking “their very best sons” to perform and expects they will sing six or seven songs.
“But we are going to be there the whole time and hopefully get to meet and hang out with the secret act headlining the show,” Katelyn said.
Magnolia Vale got a chance to be part of “The Voice” national competition — but was bitterly disappointed when the acts picked for the show were filled before they got a chance to audition.
“To me, this is bigger than ‘The Voice’ because we really did not get a chance to be seen there,” Katelyn said. “Everything happens for a reason, though. Just when we were thinking nothing was happening for us, this comes up out of nowhere and we are so excited and grateful for the opportunity.”