DONNA MEADE - HOSTESS & VOCALIST
Donna Meade is a former Mercury-Polygram recording artist and a member of the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame. Born in Chase City, VA and raised in Richmond, Donna was a cast member of the 1973 revival of the Old Dominion Barn Dance.
In 1989 she met her future husband Jimmy Dean while appearing on TV's Nashville Now Show, where they were introduced by Jimmy's old friend and show host Ralph Emery. For over two decades Jimmy & Donna resided in Richmond, performing and writing songs together, as well as traveling the world promoting Jimmy Dean Sausage. Since Dean's passing in 2010 Donna is enjoying performing again, along with producing the Old Dominion Barn Dance, the annual Jimmy Dean Music Festival, and co-producing & managing country music star Tony Jackson.
These days Donna enjoys staying close to home with her four miniature poodles, Lily, Ruby, Sophie & Lacey, and for the past five years has been married to her childhood sweetheart, Jayson Stevens. As featured vocalist and writer of the show's theme song, Donna feels blessed to be able to share her God given talents with her Barn Dance audiences, and is proud to be serving as hostess!
GENE COX – HOST & EMCEE
A former newscaster with WRIC-TV and a 33-year veteran of WWBT-TV news, Gene Cox has been one of the most recognized faces in TV news for over 40 years. During his career he has reported from foreign lands including Latin America, Russia and Africa, and is the recipient of two Emmy Awards. A familiar face to Richmonders for many years, as well as a popular TV spokesman for Elephant Insurance, Gene has appropriately been dubbed Central Virginia's 'Mr. Television.'
Besides his successful career on TV, Gene's many accomplishments include authoring several books and writing a monthly column for Boomer Magazine. In his semi-retirement he enjoys inventing simple machines and of course good, country music. He's even been known to pick up a guitar and play and sing a tune from time to time.
All of us at the Barn Dance are excited and proud to present this legendary and beloved personality as our new host and emcee. Welcome aboard Gene!
LYNNE CARNES - VOCALIST
Lynne Carnes has thrilled audiences with her beautiful and powerful voice since the 1980s. From her beginnings as a background singer with her brother Bobby, she ultimately became the lead vocalist of her family's band and one of Richmond's most talented and popular country music vocalists.
Lynne continues to perform in private venues in the Richmond, VA area, and the Old Dominion Barn Dance is proud to present her a member of its regular cast.
LEE BLASINGAME -- COMEDIAN, ANNOUNCER & VOCALIST
A native of Hampton, VA, Lee Blasingame is a multi-talented comedian, singer, voice over artist and master of ceremonies. He has been singing as long as he can remember, beginning with gospel groups touring churches in Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As a comedian he was a member of the 1990’s cast of the Old Dominion Opry in Williamsburg, VA, where he portrayed numerous characters while also being a featured vocalist and emcee.
Lee’s professional credits also include performing at Busch Gardens and Nashville’s Opryland, where he appeared in the production of “Music, Music, Music” with country music legend Brenda Lee. As a voice over artist he has given voice to feature-length animated movies for the Christian Broadcast Network, and has appeared on TV’s The New Detectives and The Forensic Files. The Barn Dance is pleased to present such a talented fellow!
CAL NEWMAN - FIDDLER
Multi award winning fiddler and member of the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, Cal Newman remembers growing up listening to the Old Dominion Barn Dance. One of his most vivid memories was hearing the show broadcast on a small radio receiver while serving in our nation’s military. As he cruised out of the Mediterranean Sea towards the states he joyfully admits, “After an extended voyage it was sure good to hear the sounds of home.”
Throughout the years Cal has performed or toured with many of the country greats including The Osborne Brothers and Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, and as a teenager was featured with the cast of the original Barn Dance at the invitation of Sunshine Sue.
Cal continues to amaze audiences with his musical talents on the fiddle and saxophone, and the Old Dominion Barn Dance is proud to have him back as a member of its cast.
DANIEL MENZIES - VOCALIST
As the youngest member of our cast, Daniel Menzies has always had a warm place in his heart for traditional country music. Exposed to it from birth by his dad and the area's popular performing group The Menzies Family, hymns, Bluegrass and country songs have always been his favorites.
The only child of the Barn Burners' featured vocalist Danny Menzies, Daniel made his 1st stage appearance to rousing reviews when he opened for country legend Bill Anderson on the Barn Dance in 2016. He told his Dad he is blessed to sing with him and the Barn Burners and carry on the Menzies tradition, and all of us at the Barn Dance believe we have a rising star on our hands.
THE OLD DOMINION BARN DANCE CLOGGERS
Introducing the Old Dominion Barn Dance Cloggers! An American Folk Dance ensemble gathered specifically for the Old Dominion Barn Dance, whose cloggers have individually danced nationally and internationally. Independently they have achieved many clogging awards, and their combined talent has a reputation for American clog excellence.
The team consists of Leia Dotson , AnnMarie Knight, Liam Riley, Shamus Riley, Gary Sweeny, Jamie Ballance- Robertson and Sarah Wollett-Poole.
The Barn Dance welcomes this new and exciting group of talented dancers!
Presenting our staff band...
DANNY MENZIES & THE BARN BURNERS!
The Barn Burners consist of some of Central Virginia'*s most talented musicians. A former member of Mechanicsville's famed Menzies Family Band, Danny Menzies is featured vocalist and plays rhythm guitar. Richmond's legendary steel guitarist, veteran musician Ryland Tinnell, is band director for the Barn Burners, while multi-talented Mike Toney plays lead guitar and is also featured vocalist.
Adding versatility to our sound is J.W. Belden on keyboards, another multi-talented musician who hails from a Grammy Award winning family.
Talented drummer Quinter Garrison is from the foot-hills of Virginia up near Charlottesville way, and is the newest member of the Barn Burners. And rounding out the sound of the band is the very talented Tod Ellsworth on bass guitar. Tod is a full-time music teacher who brings his expertise not only to the electric bass, but also to the traditional sound of a bass fiddle.
Together these guys are hard-working and dedicated to bringing the best music possible to the Barn Dance, and we're proud to have such an amazing group as our staff band. With so many hot musicians, Danny & the Barn Burners are sure to burn the house down!
DANNY MENZIES - FEATURED VOCALIST & RHYTHM GUITAR
RYLAND TINNELL - STEEL GUITAR & MUSIC DIRECTOR
MIKE TONEY - LEAD GUITAR & FEATURED VOCALIST
J. W. BELDEN - KEYBOARDS
TOD ELLSWORTH - BASS GUITAR
MIKE GALLAGHER - DRUMS (NOT PICTURED)