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Zac Brown Band hits a home run

POSTED: April 7, 2009 11:30 p.m.

I don’t know if we should call the Zac Brown Band an overnight success, but I think that’s close.

About a year ago, they were playing the club circuit.

As of Sunday night, they are an award-winning national act.

Their album “The Foundation” was released last November and debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and No. 3 on the Top Country Albums Chart. The first single, “Chicken Fried,” went all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard country chart and stayed there for two weeks.

Then, Sunday night, the Academy of Country Music named them “Best New Duo or Vocal Group.”

One of the band members, John Hopkins, is from Gainesville and his father, Ralph, is a friend.

I don’t know how many times in the past the Hopkins’ household has watched the country awards, but they were watching Sunday night.

Zac Brown is from Dahlonega, so you can bet that TV sets throughout this area were tuned in.

It’s about time that my friend, Mayor Gary McCullough of Dahlonega, puts up some of those city limits signs with “Home of the Zac Brown Band” on them.

I think it is also great that their hit, “Chicken Fried,” is from a group that hails from the center of the poultry universe.

Speaking of the poultry world, the grandson of the poultry czar-emeritus is about to be seen on The Disney Channel.

Chandler Massey, grandson of Abit and Kayanne Massey and son of Lewis and Amy Massey, has landed a part on the Disney hit “iCarly.”

Chandler was scheduled to be filming this week in Hollywood.

Miranda Cosgrove stars as Carly Shay, a 13-year-old who accidentally becomes a rising star by hosting “iCarly,” her own popular online show.

Now, we can only hope that Chandler becomes a rising star on her cable TV show.

I don’t understand all of that, but Abit, who is much more savvy on new media and entertainment, filled me in on all the details. I can only hope I’m half as cool when I grow up.

My friend, Cathy Cox, the president of Young Harris College, is getting ready to host a group of international visitors.

The VIP tour, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, will come calling at the mountain campus next week with a bus load of diplomats.

“We’re very excited about showing off the beautiful campus of Young Harris College to the international diplomats who are based in Georgia,” she told me Tuesday. “Their visit coincidentally falls on the day of our spring symposium, which is a campus-wide focus on art, culture and literature from around the world. We’ll get to show them the finest in liberal arts education, along with Southern hospitality, right in the shadow of Brasstown Bald mountain.”

Young Harris is in the process of becoming a four-year school. It has produced some of our state’s greatest statesmen, including former governor and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, who lives just down the road.

Earlier in the tour, the diplomats are going to stop at Jaemor Farm Market for lunch. I am hoping and praying that we will be showing them the strong surviving peach buds.

Harris Blackwood is community editor of The Times. His columns appear Wednesdays and Sundays. He can be reached at 770-718-3423



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