PRESTONSBURG – Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry will finish its 2016 summer season over the upcoming Labor Day Weekend with former Opry star Jonathan Estep as a special guest. Estep now fronts The Metro Jethros, a country/rock/Americana four piece band based out of Statesville, North Carolina. The group is a local and regional favorite that also tours throughout the south.
In high school, Estep was quickly recognized by Billie Jean Osborne during performances with the Prestonsburg High School Honor Choir. Estep’s vocals were just fine, but his ability to perform tributes and impressions were what set him apart. In what may be the shortest tour in the Kentucky Opry Jr. Pros history, he performed only one show with them during the Christmas season of 1991, then was moved to the headlining Kentucky Opry in the summer of 1992, while still in high school.
As Estep recalls, “They needed a Michael Jackson impersonator,” he stated with a laugh. “It was a whirlwind, but a lot of fun. Those early days at the Jenny Wiley Ampitheatre were very special.”
Estep was a mainstay with the Kentucky Opry for 10 more years as they transitioned to The Mountain Arts Center. He was a very versatile performer, ranging from country and gospel to rock and roll, and of course his spot on Michael Jackson impressions.
Kentucky Opry emcee Clayton Case remembers well. ”Even before I was a part of the Opry, I always looked forward to what he would do with his ‘Thriller’ performances on those special Halloween shows. And the James Brown medleys he would do were uncanny and so entertaining! We are looking forward to seeing what he pulls out this week.”
This weekend’s show will be Saturday, September 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.
Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry was formed in 1990. It consists of talented vocalists and musicians who call Eastern Kentucky home. For more information and tickets go to www.macarts.com or call 888-MAC-ARTS. Prices range from $10-$13.