Worley, songwriters gather in Tupelo for benefit

TUPELO – Country singer Darryl Worley is making a special stop in Tupelo for a good cause.
“A Night at the Museum: Country & Cars,” is an intimate concert with Worley and his songwriting pals Phil O’Donnell, Walt Aldridge and Brett Jones. The event also features a dinner and silent auction.
“These guys have written for Montgomery Gentry and Reba McEntire and all of the big-name country singers. It’s these guys laughing, telling why they wrote some of these songs, eating and wiping the grease on their blue jeans,” said Drew Robertson, an event chairman. “People can dress up or dress down. We wanted it to have a real Southern feel to it.”
The evening will benefit 1st Lt. Keith Pate, 29, a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard and a veteran of two tours to Iraq. Pate suffered a stroke in December and, after undergoing heart and brain surgery, is in rehabilitation in Atlanta.
Robertson served with Pate in Iraq and said the Darrly Worley Foundation, which serves west Tennessee, north Mississippi and north Alabama, was happy to give a portion of the proceeds to Pate.
“It’s really heart-warming they’re doing it to help someone locally,” he said.
Worley has had a string of hits including “I Miss My Friend,” “I Just Came Back From a War,” “Awful, Beautiful Life” and “Have You Forgotten?”
He started the Darryl Worley Foundation in 2002 to help his hometown of Savannah, Tenn., and the surrounding area. The foundation most recently opened the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center.
Robertson said he and the other event organizers hope they can bring Worley and friends back to Tupelo for an annual benefit.
This year’s event is a must-see, he said.
“After it happens,” he said, “people are going to be like, ‘You gotta be kidding, I missed what?’”

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal