If you have ever doubted that people come into your life at the right place and time, this story will make you a believer. September 12, 2000 was a humid day in Nashville when roughly 10 members of the Trace Adkins fan club arrived at the Nashville SuperSpeedway to see him perform at the Tennessee State Fair. Arriving early to secure great seats, they found themselves behind the judges table for the True Value Country Showdown singing competition that preceded the concert. Being informed they would have to leave during soundcheck, the ladies noticed a 15 year old boy with a guitar to their right and asked him to hold their seats. Answering the ladies with a grin and a “Sure!”, the Atkins fans immediately found something endearing about him and decided to cheer him on during the competition whether he was good or bad. A few acts in he emerged, performing two songs; the ladies whistled and hollered so loudly “it became contagious” says Fay Francisco. “Lots of others in the crowd took up the cheer. He actually took a step back, obviously surprised at the response he got. Huge grin on his cute mug! The judges all turned around and looked behind them at the crowd. We found out later that crowd response was part of the judging.” Not only did they find him sweet but were enamored when he performed, genuinely stunned such a voice and performance would come from a teenager. In part to the ladies enthusiasm, Chris Young was awarded the winner.
After the contest had ended the ladies approached Young’s parents who were sitting where he had been when they asked him to save their seats; asking if he had a fan club, they were presented with a card and contact information and the fan club began shortly thereafter. With experience in other fan clubs, these ladies were willing to help Young in his efforts for a music career. As Lori Branard, a charter member of what would later be dubbed “Young Country” , recalls, “He stayed at our houses and we drove him in our cars to get to venues like ‘Borders’ book stores a couple of times. Even when he was in Texas cutting his teeth on stage we were supporting him. Then there was Nashville Star, and the world got to see him in action.” And the world did take notice.
The televised competition show Nashville Star was a turning point for Young, not only in the fact his victory secured him a record deal with RCA but it brought the attention of a plethora of new fans. Young Country member Kari Kuttler watched Nashville Star every season but “Season 4 was my favorite, due in part to the incredible talent of all of the contestants. However the one who stood out for me was Chris Young. The minute I saw him and heard him, I turned to (her husband) and said, “He is going to win this.” I felt like he was the whole package. His ability to connect with the audience combined with his stage presence along with that incredible voice just pulled me in. I also loved watching his family and their support throughout the show. After watching a few episodes, I wanted to find out more about him. I was hoping that he had his own music that I could possibly buy and listen too. I was able to see he had a Fan Club and I immediately joined. I purchased his 2 Independent CD’s and fell even more in love with his voice.”
Young Country has grown considerable since the Nashville Star victory 8 years ago, with currently over 6,000 strong worldwide. His baritone voice and generally good-hearted yet jovial demeanor generates new fans every day. Go on Facebook and Twitter, type in his name and you will see thousands of posts daily from fans promoting him, sharing concert photos and footage, or just past memories. Members of Young Country will travel from as far as Australia to see Young during his pivotal moments such as an Opry performance, checking an item off his bucket list (most recently his weekend opening for George Strait), and for his annual fan club party, held in Nashville during CMA Fest. This dedication and support does not go unnoticed by Chris and his camp; being fully interactive with the fans, Young’s mother, Becky Harris, and Fan Club President Terri Thompson ask opinions, suggestions, hold contests and give thanks on their personal pages and the Chris Young Vote & Promote page. Even the name “Young Country” was a collaborative effort within the group; asking suggestions, the name stuck when submitted by fan Renee Watts and voted on by other members. The biggest recognition bestowed every year is at the fan club party: the “Dale ‘Spring’ Brazell” award, which began in memory of a treasured fan club member, is awarded through a process of nominations from fan club members, honoring a member because of their kind and dedicated promotion of Chris online and off.
Offering different levels of membership (beginning at $9.99), the Chris Young Fan Club offers exclusive benefits which include:
- A.M. CD, koozie and gift
- Access to online fan club site
- 5 Meet & Greet opportunities – Click here for Meet & Greet Policy
- Emailed fan club newsletter
- Presale ticket opportunities
- Special offers throughout the year
- Invitation to annual fan club party
Young Country is so much more than just the perks listed above: it really is a community of good-hearted, caring people. You don’t just become a member, you become a part of a family – a family that not only promotes and discusses Chris’ success and activities but also embraces each other in the personal journeys of each other’s lives. They are there for each other for the joys of weddings, babies, promotions, and lend a helping hand and comforting shoulder during the hard times life throws everyone’s way. Even members of Chris’ family are interactive with the fan club and chances are you may see them on the road or at an event in Nashville. “The family atmosphere is also what separates this FC from any other one out there” says Kuttler. Everyone is welcomed with open arms and a lot of laughs.
Take a look at the Chris Young Vote & Promote page on Facebook to get a taste of how wonderful this community is, and then head over to become a member of Young Country’s family at www.chrisyoungcountry.com. The memories and lifelong friendships you make far exceed the cost of membership, and they look forward to your arrival.