Jamboree induction

Billy Payne of Kincaid has been inducted into the artist roster at the Wheeling Jamboree.

Billy Payne has performed on the Wheeling Jamboree several times in recent years.

But his appearance on Oct. 11 had a little more meaning to the Kincaid resident.

On that evening, Payne was inducted as an artist member of the Wheeling Jamboree, which is the second oldest live broadcast country music stage show in the nation (behind only the Grand Ole Opry).

Payne's induction came about because of the Jamboree's "desire to rebuild the 'family of artists' after the formal process was dropped under previous producers of the show," according to Dave Heath, president and executive producer of the Wheeling Jamboree.

Heath said that October 2013 was the first time since the era of current country music superstar Brad Paisley’s membership on the Jamboree that the process of increasing the family of regular entertainers was resumed.

This past Saturday, the Jamboree inducted five new individual entertainers and one band, and formally welcomed a longtime Jamboree star, Chris Day, whose official induction was passed over when the show changed hands in the mid-1980s, according to Heath.

Among those inducted with Payne Saturday was Elkins' Jim Harris, the bass player in his band, the Gypsy Outlaws.

"Billy Payne represents traditional country music and a style that remains popular among 'true country fans,' ” said Heath.

Heath said Payne has been on the show at least 10 times since it was moved to the casino auditorium in 2012. He was also on the Jamboree for a performance when it was at the Capitol Theatre (Capitol Music Hall) in Wheeling.

"It's a big honor for me to be included in a group (with) country music legends," Payne said.

"I think it (the Jamboree) is a great setting," added Payne, who sang five songs plus a duet on induction night. "The showroom is a great place to play.

"And it's nice to be able to present yourself all over the world."

The Jamboree has been housed for the past two years in the showroom-theatre of the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino. It is aired Saturdays year-round on The Jamboree Radio Network. The home radio network is WWOV 101.1 FM in Wheeling. It can also be viewed on www.wwva.tv.

Payne is slated to perform again on the Jamboree on Dec. 13. He will also play at Tamarack on Dec. 28.

He and his band, the Gypsy Outlaws, have a new album out that is a tribute to the late country superstar Waylon Jennings. At times, they also perform a stage show as a tribute to Jennings.

Payne released a new video in August. He also has plans for some Texas tour dates in the coming months, and he hopes to release a new album in 2015.

"I just want to get out there and play and have a good time," he said.

For more on Payne's career or upcoming projects, visit www.billypaynecountry.com.

For more on the Jamboree, including a detailed history and a list of artist members, visit www.wheelingjamboree.org.

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