NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Award-winning artist and highly regarded guitarist, Steve Wariner was recently presented with a key to the City of McMinnville.
The ceremony took place at the historic downtown Park Theater and coincided with Wariner’s concert benefitting the 10th Annual Citizens for Progress Scholarship Fundraiser. Several government officials were in attendance for the special occasion including, the Mayor of McMinnville, Jimmy Haley, and Senator Janice Bowling, and the event was emceed by Colonel Thomas B. Vaughn.
The Citizens for Progress was created in 2007 to help fund higher education for the youth of Warren County. Since the beginning, over $700,000 has been raised with over $600,000 awarded in scholarship aid. The focus of CFP is now to help support dual enrollment classes at Warren County High School for both TCAT and Motlow College in McMinnville.
While in the area, Wariner paid a visit to the gravesite of his long-time friend, mentor, fellow Opry member, and recently announced Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Dottie West, who was born near McMinnville and whom Wariner toured with early on.
Wariner credits the legendary Dottie West for having discovered him at just 17 years old as he played a set in an Indiana club. West hired him on the spot to be her bass player, a gig that lasted three years. That opportunity led to Wariner being commissioned by his idol Chet Atkins to play bass in his band. It was Atkins that eventually signed Wariner to his first recording contract at RCA in 1977 and produced Wariner’s first recording session at the historic RCA Studio B. Since that day, Wariner has become a modern-day multi-genre icon earning fourteen #1 hits, over 30 Top 10 hits, three Gold albums, four Grammy Awards, three CMA Awards, one ACM Award, a Christian Country Music Association Award, a TNN/ Music City News Award and 15 BMI Million-Air Awards. Wariner is also a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame and the Music City Walk of Fame. Wariner was one of only five guitar players in the world to be given the "Certified Guitar Player" award by Chet Atkins (six including Atkins himself, the others being: John Knowles (guitarist), Marcel Dadi, Jerry Reed, and Tommy Emmanuel). His most recent project, All Over the Map, is available now at all digital retailers and streaming services. For more information and a list of upcoming shows, visit www.stevewariner.com.