GRANGER, Texas - Live music performances are returning to music venues that have struggled to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A big show is scheduled for Friday in Granger featuring country music star Neal McCoy. He and several of his fans started the day giving thanks by saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
The patriotic gathering in Granger Friday morning with McCoy had nothing to do with a national holiday. Reciting the pledge for McCoy is a daily observance. "1,905. 19 05, that is five years two months, almost coming up on five years and three months of not missing a day of the Pledge of Allegiance," he said.
McCoy wasn't in Granger to make a political statement, but to play a concert at the Cotton Country Club dance hall. McCoy streamed the pledge live on Facebook from the town's veterans memorial. For him saying the pledge is not a performance, but an acknowledgment of a lesson from his mother, who was born in the Philippines.
"So when she was fortunate enough to marry my dad and come here and had us, kids, she taught us at a young age, y’all be grateful for the things you have because in other countries you just don’t have these freedoms, so as I got older she would always kind of remind me, that and it instilled in me, and thankful the country you were born in and raised in, you got opportunities here," said McCoy.
McCoy’s mother passed away and he dedicates his daily pledge to her as well as to all of those who have served, like the group of veterans who joined him in the town park Friday. Among those, there was Ottis Scott, who spent two decades in the Air Force. "Oh I loved it I loved it everybody and I was going along with him saying the pledge because it means a lot to me, this country does, " said Scott.
McCoy and his pledge are symbolic of another promise kept in Granger. The pandemic shut down the dance hall but the owner Jamie Church made a promise to bring live music back to town.
"Because small businesses struggle all the time anyway but the fact that we fought through the pandemic through a tornado through an ice storm and we’re here to tell the story about it I think it shows that you have to fight, nothing worth it is ever going to come easy," said Church.
On his Facebook page, McCoy noted what venues like this one mean to him. "And we cannot think Jamie and her group for having us back here over and over and over and over it’s just one of the things that kept us alive so we appreciate it," said McCoy on the page.
That feeling of unity a stage performance can bring, in a way, is how McCoy says he feels when he stands with others during the pledge. A shared statement.
"I think it’s a stand, I think it’s a statement, but not as such as an in your face way, it’s not, I’m doing it so people can see who I am, and if they like to show it, they can come out here with me like these people came out here this morning, or on follow me on Facebook, but I’m certainly not dogging the other people who don’t do it," said McCoy.
McCoy’s performance Friday night in Granger starts at 9:30 p.m. There is a cover charge and seating is limited. His daily pledge is live-streamed on Facebook and is typically done around nine in the morning.