I've never seen such a meteoric rise to viral superstardom like I have with Virginia singer-songwriter Oliver Anthony.

The Oliver Anthony Phenomenon

When the singer's folk anthem "Rich Men North of Richmond" was released--or maybe just DISCOVERED--a month ago, it was assigned heavy political overtones by legions of instant fans. It's not something Anthony wanted to happen, but it's the likely explanation for the song catapulting to number one on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

At this writing, the video has had more than 63 million views in 36 days. That's 1.75 million a day. The self-effacing musician has become a huge star, seemingly overnight. This has led to quick show bookings--including multiple appearances in eastern Kentucky.

Oliver Anthony Cancels His Knoxville Show Due to High Prices

But if he does make a concert appearance, he wants to make sure the ticket prices are affordable. This is what led Anthony to cancel an appearance at a Knoxville venue called Cotton-Eyed Joe, which was charging $90 for a concert ticket and $200 if patrons wanted to add a meet and greet. On his Instagram page, he made it clear that he doesn't want tickets for his performances to cost more than $40:

My shows should never cost more than $40, ideally no more than $25. Hell, out of the 4 shows we have currently done, 2 of them have been completely free. This will get straightened out tonight. Hold off on buying tickets for now.

As you can imagine, Cotton Eyed Joe was not pleased about that post and offered the following on its Facebook page:

Oliver Anthony Interacts with Fans on His Facebook Page

This prompted a swift and apologetic response from Anthony, who admitted that he was new to all this booking stuff. And as soon as he posted it, he was flooded with suggestions. That includes one from our friend Kelly Foster Peay who chimed in with an idea that is near and dear to our hearts:



And look at that. Kelly's comment is just above one from the daughter of a country music icon. But, Kelly is right. The Beaver Dam Amphitheater would be great for Oliver Anthony, and, I'm guessing, so would any of the others that were suggested. And the fact that Anthony is responding continues to prove that he really is, simply, a man of the people who stood in front of a microphone one day and became an overnight success in the most old-fashioned way possible.


The Best Country Singer From Every State

Some states, like Oklahoma and Texas, are loaded with famous country singers. Others, like Nevada and Maine, are still looking for a real breakthrough artist. See the best and most successful country music artist from all 50 states, starting with Hank Williams and Alabama.

Check Out the Best-Selling Album From the Year You Graduated High School

Do you remember the top album from the year you graduated high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, looking at the best-selling album from every year going all the way back to 1956. Sales data is included only from 1992 onward when Nielsen's SoundScan began gathering computerized figures.

Going in chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present the best-selling album from the year you graduated high school.

More From WBKR-FM