By Pfc. Choi Keun-woo (USAG-Yongsan)July 9, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Keeping the Yongsan tradition of country music performances at Independence Day festivals, country star Sherrie Austin brought her greatest hits to the stage July 4th.
Pam Tillis and Chris Cagle performed to packed houses in 2006 and 2007, respectively, and Austin's show was no different, playing songs from her five albums to about 500 spectators inside Collier Field House.
"We would like the U.S. Forces Korea to know that we appreciate what they are doing and I hope (they know) how much they are loved back in the states," she said to the fans. "Everybody wants them to come home as soon as they can, but we understand that they have to be here, and we'd like to thank them for that."
Austin has scored hit singles in the United States and Canada, particularly in the U.S country category. "Streets of Heaven" (2003), her most popular song yet, came in at 18 on the U.S. country charts.
Austin was accompanied by composers Steve Williams and Will Rambeaux. Rambeaux co-wrote some of Austin's songs and co-wrote Faith Hill's "Wild One," which topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs in 1993.
Williams, who played keyboard and guitar during the show, has also composed for many country singers. Among them, Williams composed "Redneck Yacht Club," performed by singer-songwriter Craig Martin, which came in at No. 1 on the country Radio and Records in 2005.
The three artists talked with the audience and shared personal stories to the songs they performed.
One fan, Stephanie Smith, said she grew up listening to country music and was excited about the show. "It's really cool to see her in real life," said the Illinois native, "especially here in Korea, because it's not that place you'd expect to see her."