Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium will open its doors Saturday night and turn the lights down low for Josh Turner.
The country music superstar will perform at 8 p.m. with Canadian newcomer Raquel Cole in the opening spot. Admission is $55 for the first 10 rows and $35 for the remainder of the venue.
Turner performed at Ohio University in 2009, so he will have a repertoire of songs he did not have the first time he performed, said Andrew Holzaepfel, senior associate director for student activities.
“He was really well-received the first time around, and that was obviously before about half a dozen hits,” Holzaepfel said.
Turner is known for his deep, baritone voice, particularly in his single “Your Man.” Turner has topped Billboard’s Hot Country chart four times with “Your Man,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “All Over Me” and “Would You Go With Me.”
“He definitely covers so many types of country, from the gospel all the way to the traditional to some, what I guess, people would consider more poppy,” Holzaepfel said.
Turner’s 2017 album Deep South featured the hit “Hometown Girl.” The musician also released a gospel album last year that featured the songs “I Saw The Light,” “Amazing Grace” and his well-known song “Long Black Train.”
“I tell people all the time, the first country recordings ever made at Bristol, Tennessee, had gospel stuff all over it,” Turner told Rolling Stone when the album was released. “It was part of their life. It’s who they are. They were writing that stuff. They were singing that stuff. It’s always been a part of country music.”
Hayleigh Larmore, a sophomore studying child and family studies, likes country music and considered going to the concert. Larmore said she likes how the tickets at OU are cheaper than other venues and that the Campus Involvement Center brings in big names.
Kendall Miller, a senior studying business analytics and management, likes Turner’s “Your Man.”
“I love listening to his music. I thought it would be really cool to see him live,” Miller said. “I just think he has a really great voice. I’m a sucker for all country music.”
Turner has more than two million monthly listeners on Spotify, with a high concentration of those listeners in Dallas, Chicago and Houston.
Holzaepfel is excited to see Turner performer some of his newer tracks like “Hometown Girl,” and he expects MemAud will be full and like a big party.
“It’s nice to bring back an artist that we had here as he was breaking into the country world and making his first jump in,” Holzaepfel said. “To have a name like that in a smaller venue like MemAud is going to be pretty cool.”