Country music star Darryl Worley recently hosted one of his “Hitmakers & Harleys” fund-raising events in Murfreesboro to benefit cancer patients through the Darryl Worley Foundation. Held in the cleared-out motorcycle show floor of Bumpus Harley Davidson dealership on June 16, Worley shared the stage with fellow #1 hit-songwriters Wynn Varble, Jim “Moose” Brown and Walt Aldridge, performing intimate acoustic sets of some of their songs.
It was the second of four events this year raising money for the Darryl Worley Foundation, founded in 2002 to help people in need in Western Tennessee. In just eight years, the foundation has grown to provide assistance to dozens of statewide beneficiaries including hospitals and schools, and projects included adding on a much-needed cancer treatment wing to a hospital. However, the most recent endeavor is building the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center—a $3.5 million project.
Through the charity events this year, Worley said the “main focus is to pay off the cancer treatment center,” currently being built in his hometown of Savannah, Tenn. This will fulfill his vision of providing treatment for local cancer patients so they won’t have to drive the long hours to another facility.
Money was raised through a variety of avenues including ticket sales, donations, T-shirts and a live auction between the music sets. The auction featured autographed guitars, tickets to be Darryl’s guest at the Grand Ole Opry, a framed and signed Harley-Davidson vest and autographed Alan Jackson memorabilia.As the four took turns singing, applause, laughter and good vibes rang throughout the crowd after every tune, but the musical highlight of the evening was when Worley sang his newest single “Keep The Change.” Worley said the single, which is on his new God & Countrysix-pack, was written after a co-writer saw a similarly worded bumper sticker that sparked the idea, leading him to put together the right team and eventually the song was born. Worley said the song isn’t meant to be negative in any way, but to connect with the people who feel the same about what’s going on in our country.
“I want to write songs that are relevant and connect with our listeners, and I think we really hit the nail on the head with this one,” said Worley. “It’s not a red song or a blue song. It’s a red, white and blue song.”
Worley said performing at the fund-raising events is uniquely satisfying. More so than a typical concert, “people see the love . . . it’s intimate” and “they have a chance to meet the songwriters and hear what the song is about.”
Worley also held two more Hitmakers & Harleys events in June in Memphis and Jackson, Tenn. A fourth fund-rasing event will be held in September at the Tennessee River Run, a four-day festival also established by Worley. For more information, visit darrylworley.com and darrylworleyfoundation.org.