Earlier this year, Hope enjoyed back-to-back Country acts when contemporary star Trace Adkins and legendary Ronnie Milsap performed within days of each other at Hempstead Hall, so imagine if lighting struck twice in a matter of months.

Earlier this year, Hope enjoyed back-to-back Country acts when contemporary star Trace Adkins and legendary Ronnie Milsap performed within days of each other at Hempstead Hall, so imagine if lighting struck twice in a matter of months.
For Southwestern Arkansas County music fans, the second strike occurs today as tickets go on sale for legendary Country star Clint Black, who will perform in Hope on August 4, just days in front of contemporary star Joe Diffie on August 12.
Black has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and racked up 57 charted singles, 31 top-10 hits and 22 number-one smashes. Recordings such as “A Better Man,” “Killin’ Time,” “Like the Rain,” “When I Said I Do” and “Nothin’ But the Taillights” have led to honors from the Country Music Association, The Academy of Country Music, The Grammys and the American Music Awards, as well as membership in the cast of the Grand Ole Opry.
Hempstead Hall Director Dolly Henley was like a kid at Christmas making the announcement late Monday afternoon.
“We are incredibly happy to bring Clint Black to Hope and have these two great Country music artists in town,” Henley said, “It was a real exciting opportunity to book Clint Black on a routing stop in Hope; to have a star of his quality here and the arrangements work out just in front of the Watermelon Festival later in August is great.”
With tickets on sale today, Henley said seats range from $75, $45, to $35.
With Hope having a major Interstate highway, Henley said that once in while major acts will consider stopping for an extra show, en route to a bigger venue elsewhere for a weekend.  Black’s show in Hope will be a Friday night performance, in front of a major performance in Tulsa on Saturday.
“We are always looking at the performer’s schedules and which ones are coming this way. Sometimes, we can talk to their agents and make it work,” Henley said.
Black’s show will start at a later 8 p.m. on Friday night, which Henley hopes will give folks time to either drive over from regional places like Texarkana or Little Rock, or simply provide folks closer to Hope an opportunity to eat and visit town prior to Black’s performance.
Henley said there will also be an opening act for Black with their performance starting at 7 p.m.  She did not have details on the performers as the Hope Star was preparing for press Tuesday afternoon for Wednesday’s edition.
“There will be a lead-in act at 7, then Clint Black will take the stage at 8,” she said, “It’s not something we’ve done very often, but it will happen that Friday.”
Raised in the suburbs of Houston, Black’s career and even personal history are well-known. Black and then-TV actress Lisa Hartman met on New Year's Eve in 1990, when she went to one of his concerts, ironically in Houston, where they were both raised. They married in 1991, and they have been together ever since, emerging as one of those rare celebrity marriages that have stood the test of time.  
Black began performing with his brother, Kevin at family barbecues, and he spent 10 years performing regionally on nightclub circuit. He auditioned for a Nashville recording contract in 1988, and he ended up as part of a wave of new talent that transformed Country music into a multi-million dollar industry in the 1990s and beyond.
In retrospect, Black said “I don’t really feel like I was leading a change in Country music. It just felt like big success to me. I would hear things like, ‘So-and-so is going to record, and they’re using their own band because you did.’ Or, ‘So-and-so wants to write more of their own songs, because you did.’  But I don’t feel like I changed anything, other than contributing my work to the big picture.”
“It’s hard to look at myself and see the impact I’ve had. I do know that my songs have touched a lot of people,” he said.
Black is in the midst of a comeback tour, promoting his full-length album in decade “On Purpose,” and true to form as a self-made singer/songwriter, Black insisted on writing his own songs as well as producing the new album.
His new ballads featured on the album include “Only One Way to Live,” “Stay Gone,” “Breathing Air” and “The Last Day”, while “Beer” and “Better and Worse” are among the most upbeat songs he has ever crafted. “Time For That,” “Doing It Now For Love” and “Summertime Song” round out the new songs along with “Calling It News” and “The Trouble.”
The new album also features his third career duet with his wife, now of 25 years, Lisa Hartman, appropriately titled “You Still Get to Me.”  It was not known at press time if Hartman was going to perform with Black in Hope or make a cameo appearance.