New country music variety show tapes TV shows at Dixie Theatre

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thursday night Lewisburg seemed more like a Southern version of Lake Wobegon.

The Dixie Theatre on the square hosted a television taping for the pilot of “The Pointing Dog Social Club,” a 30-minute program under development for broadcast.

Dr. John White, the host of the show, describes the program as a musical variety show combined with an outdoors show, designed to celebrate Southern outdoor life and culture.

Set in the fictional town of Pointing Dog, Tennessee, audience members will play a part in the show as the members of the social club.

White initially developed the idea years ago for Georgia Public Broadcasting, combining musical segments with stories of hunting dogs and outdoor artists, in a combination of public broadcasting mainstays “The Prairie Home Companion” and “Austin City Limits” with some “Tennessee Outdoors” thrown in for good measure.

“It’s funny without us trying real hard to be funny,” he added.

Thursday, the show taped roughly two-and-a-half episodes worth of musical segments.

White pulled six acts to perform from all over the South, including Us Two and Him from here in Lewisburg.

Mississippi sister duo HanaLena, Alabama honky-tonk band B.B. Palmer, Birmingham singer-songwriter Anna Tamburello, and English singer-songwriter Johnny Lucas shared the stage with White’s brother, Jacky Jack White, a performer who has written songs for Ray Stevens and Charlie Pride, among others.

White, who guides bird hunters himself when he isn’t writing for TV and radio, has a long history with Lewisburg. He described it as his “second home town” while growing up in Columbia.

He owned a business here for a couple of years, and two years ago, was at the Dixie Theatre himself staging a reading of “No Kin to Elvis,” a work he was developing as a play.

When considering a revival of the show, White said that the Dixie Theatre was the first place he’d thought of to serve as the home stage.

“We had a big time there and that’s the reason I brought the show (to the Dixie),” he said.

White lauded the local support for the program from other businesses around town.

The Marshall County Co-op not only serves as a sponsor, itself, but introduced White to SportDOG, a specialty training and equipment brand for sporting dogs, who also have sponsored the show.

The Purple Elephant Coffee House on the square served a special menu until as the official restaurant for the show, and Annie Resta of Vintage 615 in Spring Hill did a “great, great” job styling sets for the show, said White.

White said that he feels comfortable that the show will have a home on television, although he can not yet release any details before shooting.

“We’ve got people very interested in the show and in airing it,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, he said, the show, planned for a 13-episode first season, could start airing as early as August.

White said that if the schedule allows he’d like to tape all of the musical segments at the Dixie.

“We want to have a big time but also encourage people to get outdoors and get off their cellphones,” he said.