“A good looking guy in a flannel shirt and tight jeans doesn’t hurt ticket sales.”
Granger Smith, country music star, posted his first music parody video as his alter-ego Earl Dibbles Jr., a self-proclaimed “country boy,” to YouTube seven months ago. Since then, the video has become a success with nearly 1.8 million views. Smith will perform 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Granada Theatre, 807 Commercial St.
“I was so excited when I found out he’s coming to Emporia because you don’t hear of many people coming here,” said Kelsey Carr, freshman nursing major. “They usually play in the bigger surrounding cities. I’ve always been a fan and love his music.”
Bryan Williams, director of the Granada, said part of the reason they decided to bring Smith and his band to Emporia was to attract a younger crowd. He said for “anyone under 80,” Smith is one of the bigger acts they will have had perform.
“Country music isn’t something I know a lot about, but he seems like he’s one of those up and coming guys,” Williams said. “He’s good looking. A good looking guy in a flannel shirt and tight jeans doesn’t hurt ticket sales. And he can sing, which doesn’t hurt, either.”
Williams asked eight local high schools, including Emporia High School, to help draw a younger crowd by selling tickets. Each school will receive a percentage of the profit from the tickets they sell. The school that sells the most tickets will win their own concert by Smith.
“I’ve asked that the money go to the arts,” Williams said. “I want them to buy instruments…not football helmets.”
Smith will release his second album April 16, according to Grangersmith.com. Demonstrated in his Earl Dibbles Jr. videos, “mixed bag has proven more of (Smith’s) style,” as stated on the website.
“I’ve taken a unique path, which has been partly unplanned, but very rewarding,” Smith said in an interview on the website.
Tickets in advance are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Tickets at the door will be $10 for students and $15 for adults. Williams said the Granada has been trying to make it affordable and give college students something they may not have had in the past couple years.
“College is stressful. You’ve got to have something fun to do,” Williams said. “If there’s not a lot of fun stuff to do, (students) are just going to want to get in their car and go home for the weekend.”
The next scheduled event is stand-up comedian James Johann, who will perform at 8 p.m. Jan. 26.