Truckers on I-40 through Amarillo, TX, are in for a treat in November. Each Wednesday, the Big Texan Steak Ranch will be staging special trucker concerts starring local country star Sharla Lee Hayes.
This roadside country-music mecca and home of the free-if-you-can-eat-it-all 72-ounce steak will bus in truckers from three west-Amarillo truckstops for the concerts. In addition to the Opry-style show, there's a trucker-special dinner. Bobby Lee, owner of the restaurant and show promoter, is donating part of the price of the meal to the Trucker Buddy program.
The Big Texan is 3 miles east of Amarillo, on the north side of I-40. Even if you can miss the yellow painted building and the big billboard, the huge bull out in front is a giveaway. There's parking for 40 trucks as well as the spaces at neighboring truckstops.
The Big Texan Opry is a big event in these parts. The Steak Ranch has staged its Opry nights for years. Sharla Lee hosted it for seven years. Now she's pursuing her country music career, with her first album just released. She has already gained a string of awards, including 1996 Rising Star as well as regional 1997 Female Vocalist and 1997 Female Entertainer from the Country Music Associations of America.
Sharla Lee recently appeared at TruckerFest '99 at the Alamo Travel Plaza in Reno, and toured with the Share America Convoy.
The Wednesday-night Opry at the Big Texan starts Nov. 3. Look for the Whittaker Road exit going east, or for the Lakeside exit going west.