Country music veteran Johnny Lee performs at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral on Saturday, as the Cave Creek bar celebrates “Urban Cowboy Night.” Lee is best known for his hit song Lookin’ for Love, which topped the charts 30 years ago with the release of the Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.
Country legend’s tour stops in Cave Creek
MARC BUCKHOUT ~ MANAGING EDITOR ~ 6/2/2010
Instead of looking for love in all the wrong places Johnny Lee is simply looking for a good crowd in Cave Creek this Saturday.
The country music legend most famous for “Lookin’ For Love”, from the film Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta and Debra Winger, will make his first performance in Arizona in five years.
“I’ll be performing ’til I die,” Lee said. “It’s what I do. It’s too late in life for me to change.”
The 64-year-old, who has been performing for approximately 50 years, acknowledges some things about him have changed over the years.
“I like to think that I’ve seen enough that I’m not only older, but wiser,” he said with a laugh. “Before I really liked to drink Jack Daniels and beer, now I’m more into entertaining the crowd. I’m not sure if I outgrew the drinking thing or if it just wore me down, but I
still love entertaining.”
And one of the fans favorites is the one from the legendary movie made 30 years ago.
“It’s amazing how often they still play that movie,” he said. “I’m on tour in Montana and I’m going to make an appearance at the local movie theater where they’re going to be
showing the movie.”
Lee said the producers of the movie approached him about working on the music for the movie knowing that they wanted “Cherokee Fiddle”, another one of his other songs that would be a top 10 single.
“Beyond that they wanted two others songs,” he said. “They gave me the script and it was totally up to me to decide what I wanted to do.”
With a cassette-filled room of potential material Lee went searching for ideas.
“It wasn’t more than 15 to 20 songs that I listened to before I heard “Looking for Love”. It just blew me away. We changed it up a little bit, but I knew it was going to be a hit as soon
as I heard it.”
“Lookin’ For Love”, would eventually go on to become Lee’s first Gold Record, spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard Country Music Singles Carts and earning No. 2 spot on the Pop Music Singles chart.
His collection of hits also includes Bet Your Heart On Me”, “The Yellow Rose (a duet with Lane Brody)”, and “You Could’ve Heard a Heart Break”. His string of Top 10 hits continued with “Pickin’ Up Strangers,” “Prisoner of Hope,” “Be There for Me Baby,” “Cherokee Fiddle,” “Sounds Like Love,” “Hey Bartender” and “Rollin’ Lonely.”
Lee, an inductee in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, said that while he still has long-time country fans as his base he has also seen an injection of younger faces at his shows.
“We played a college town in Texas and all these college girls are up front watching me sing,” he said. “I know they aren’t looking at me for my good looks. They know my lyrics too. The audiences are younger. That’s what gets promoted. The thought is the young people buy the CDs and go to concerts.”
The veteran performer said he isn’t too concerned about the changing dynamic.
“At times I’ve wondered about my ability to connect with a different generation, but I figure I’ve got to continue being me,” he said. “People, whatever their age, they want to hear my hits. We never have a set list. I’ll throw in some different things from time to keep it fresh. I like meeting people and having fun. We’ll put on a good show.”
Doors open at 8 p.m. for general admission. The indoor concert features Lee and his band from 8:30 - 10 p.m. and local favorite country rock band Daisy Train from 10:30 p.m.
to 1:30 a.m.
Following the theme of the movie, Harold’s will also host a Dolly Parton Look-Alike Contest and a Sexy Mechanical Bull Riding Contest from 11:30 p.m. to midnight, with the Sexy Bull Riding preliminary rounds taking place from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Guests are also encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters from the movie.
Advance general admission standing tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com for $10. Tickets cost $12 at the door. Fans can also purchase VIP tickets for $20 at Harold’s, which includes the concert ticket, table seating, and a “Meet & Greet” with Johnny Lee before the concert. Tickets can be purchased at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral, 6895 E. Cave Creek Road, or by calling 480-488-1906