Gene King and the Franklin Opry in Winnsboro

WINNSBORO, La (KNOE) ”Music has always been my life. As it is to most musicians and to still be able to play. I’ve got a lot of years behind me. To still play is an absolute Blessing. I just can’t tell you. I still look forward to it a few days before we make it to the show,” said Gene King, country singer.

“Welcome to the Princess theater tonight. We’ve got the Gene King band here tonight.”

Gene King looks at playing music as most people look at breathing. He just has to do it.

“Music has always been my life. I was a disc jockey when you would play 45 records at KCTO in Columbia. Then I moved to Winnsboro and was a disc jockey there forever, forever and forever.

But before King was at home on a stage, he was on the farm in Wisner. His mother knew he had a passion for music. Before long he was one of the main bands at the once popular, now closed and torn down, an amusement park in Tallulah in the ’70s, called Delta Village.

“I started playing at Delta village and there were huge crowds. I played the country kitchen and Chief Running Wind would dance and Ki Allen would do the horse tricks.”

From there he went to play with Jody Miller, who won a Grammy in 1965 with her song ‘Queen of the House’. He also played with George Lindsey and the Hagar Twins-of Hee Haw fame. He also opened for Country Music Hall of Famer Roy Clark for 8 years.

“It’s the greatest thing in the world to hear Roy Clark say play that lick!”

Now he loves to be home and share the stage with local musicians who still love traditional country music. Sharing a part of who he is and hoping his passion for picking and grinning has helped him gather a few dear friends along the way.

“When you leave your friends are about all you can accumulate. Can’t take wealth with you. Can’t take talent. Can’t take my guitar. But maybe someone will say he’s a pretty good guy and pretty good player too,” said King.

The Franklin Opry is the third Saturday of every month at the Princess Theater in Winnsboro, Louisiana.