Archived Story

Women taking center stage

Published 4:50pm Saturday, May 11, 2013

From longtime legends to rising stars, the Historic Paramount Theatre will be home to several country music events you won’t want to miss.

At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, the Paramount Theatre will host a special tribute to the ladies of the Grand Ole Opry. Women of the Grand ol’ Opry will feature the region’s First Lady of country music Millie Kittleson, and renowned fiddle player Billye Jane Kruse.

Tickets are $14 in advance, $16 at the door and can be purchased online at

Then on Saturday, June 22, the Historic Paramount Theatre is partnering with KQAQ 970 AM Classic Country Legends to present the 32nd annual Texaco Country Showdown, America’s largest country music talent show.

It will be one of 500 local competitions. Winners will advance to the state competition to compete for a $1,000 prize, the state title and an opportunity to advance to one of the five regional finals.

Finally, the contestants move onto the prestigious, televised national final. Contestants at the national final will compete for a grand prize of $100,000 and the title of “Best New Act in Country Music.”

Country musicians from throughout the area are invited to participate. They can use their instruments or provide music. Contestants must not have performed on a record charted in the top 100 country or billboard within 18 months preceding the local competition. A $20 entry fee is required. Only 12-15 contestants will be chosen to perform at the Showdown in June at the Paramount.

To be considered, a completed entry form must be submitted along with a demo of at least two songs to the Power 96/KQAQ Studio at 109 E Clark Street, Albert Lea, MN 56007 or Entry forms are available at the KQAQ Studio, the Historic Paramount Theatre, Morris Furniture in Albert Lea, or online at

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