In celebration of the 40th anniversary of his prolific career in country music, Ronnie McDowell is renovating and reopening Portland’s Strawberry Manor, which was originally constructed by McDowell’s father in 1977. The extravagant building will serve as a museum for McDowell’s memorabilia, a store where fans can purchase McDowell’s music and paintings, and a new entertainment venue that will host some of Nashville’s best-known country artists. McDowell plans to open doors this spring with a homecoming celebration.
The name “Strawberry Manor” can be accredited to a larger-than-life wall painting done by McDowell and his late brother when the building was constructed. The artwork still remains in mint condition, featured prominently when you enter the front door of the manor.
“The Strawberry Manor has meant so much to me since my dad built it 40 years ago. It feels great to go ‘back to my future’ and restore this building, turning it not only into a place that I can enjoy, but a place that the people in my hometown of Portland can enjoy as well,” said McDowell.
McDowell continues to celebrate the milestone anniversary with a 40th anniversary tour, as well as a brand-new album, Songs I Love, available exclusively at live shows and at www.RonnieMcDowellStore.com. McDowell sky-rocketed to fame in 1977 with an ode to Elvis Presley, “The King Is Gone,” and followed that up with decades of Top Ten and No. 1 hits like “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation.”
Readers can find this story in the Sumner A.M. section of the Tennessean on Sunday, March 5 and online here.
ABOUT RONNIE MCDOWELL: Like all great entertainers, Ronnie McDowell has a personality that remains luminous long after the lights go dim. These qualities have inspired a nationwide network of fan-clubs with more than 3,000 members, each one a devoted promoter of everything McDowell does. Following the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, Ronnie McDowell came out of nowhere to dazzle the world with his heartfelt and self-penned tribute song “The King Is Gone” on the independent Scorpion label. The record took off immediately, gaining airplay on country and pop stations across the country and around the world. To date, “The King Is Gone” has sold more than five million copies. McDowell scored a second hit for the Scorpion label titled “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You” before being wooed and signed by CBS Records – Epic label in 1979. He continued to chart a string of hit singles and albums for Epic between 1979 and 1986. Every single release with the exception of just one became a Top 10 Hit including the chart toppers “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation.” Other hits during his Epic years included “Watchin Girls Go By,” “Personally,” “You Made A Wanted Man Of Me,” “All Tied Up” and “In A New York Minute.” He sought the advice of artists such as Conway Twitty who became, in essence, not only his mentor but his friend as well. Twitty helped the young singer with advice about touring, recording and most of all, entertaining fans. Twitty was certainly the master and Ronnie McDowell quickly became his prize pupil. Moving to Curb Records in 1986, his current label to date, McDowell scored a Top 10 hit with “It’s Only Make Believe,” a duet with Conway Twitty on what was Twitty’s breakthrough hit from 1958. Two years later Ronnie teamed up with Jerry Lee Lewis for a rocking duet that McDowell wrote titled,”You’re Never Too Old To Rock N’ Roll.” He also recorded yet another Top 10 hit with his version of the pop standard “Unchained Melody,” which also became a #1 country music video. His entertaining abilities soared and he began to draw larger crowds. He started appearing in larger venues and touring with artists such as Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn before headlining his own shows. McDowell also achieved notoriety when he sang 36 songs on the soundtrack “Elvis,” the Dick Clark-produced television movie that featured Kurt Russell as the performer. He also was the singing voice for the television movie “Elvis And Me”, the ABC television series about the early years of Elvis’ career titled simply “Elvis” as well as, the 1997 Showtime special “Elvis Meets Nixon.” While Elvis Presley has played a big part in Ronnie McDowell’s musical career over the years, Ronnie continues to entertain audiences with his own blend of romantic intimacy and country excitement.https://www.countryschatter.com/2017/03/ronnie-mcdowell-renovating-and-reopening-strawberry-manor-in-portland-tenn/NewsPhoto ReleasePress ReleaseABC,CBS Records,conway twitty,curb records,Elvis and Me,Jerry Lee Lewis,Portland Maine,Ronnie McDowell,Strawbery Manor,You'reGonna Ruin My Bad Reputation