“This is the kind of place that changes you”: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital honors Brad Paisley

ABC RadioIf you were lucky enough to be at the closing banquet for this year’s Country Cares for St. Jude Seminar Saturday night in Memphis, you got to experience an intimate, once-in-a-lifetime show, as Brad Paisley traded songs and stories with his hero and friend, Alabama’s Randy Owen.

Paisley was honored with the 2018 “Angels Among Us” Award for his work to raise money for the hospital that aims to end childhood cancer.

“This is the kind of place that changes you,” Brad said as he accepted the honor. “It re-focuses what’s important in life immediately, the moment you walk through these doors.”

“And it’s all because of him,” he added, pointing to the Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer, “that all of us, in this line of work, have anything to do with this place.”

The crowd erupted in applause, as the Alabama front-man kicked into the intro to “Tennessee River.”

“I wasn’t done!” Brad grinned, as the audience laughed, and he started playing along.

The West Virginia native later confessed “Mud on the Tires” was just one of his attempts to replicate Alabama’s sound, going so far as to have Randy sing the hook in the final chorus, just to see what it would sound like. Brad did “He Didn’t Have to Be” at the icon’s request, before recounting his thrill at recording “Old Alabama” with the band.

The 68-year-old Owen was in fine voice as he delivered “Feels So Right,” “Dancin’ on the Boulevard,” “Lady Down on Love,” “Mountain Music” and, of course, the night’s theme, “Angels Among Us.”

Since Randy Owen helped launched Country Cares for St. Jude in 1989, the campaign has raised more than $750 million. To find out how you can help, just go to StJude.org.

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