Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

August Christopher- Rock Band's Lead Singer finds Christ, Premieres in Hopkinsville

august chris 300HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (5/7/13) – Ask just about any soldier in Fort Campbell's 101st Airborne, or anyone who's attended the annual Owensboro International Barbecue Festival, if they know who August Christopher is and you're likely to get a big smile and a bigger "Oh yes!"
 
During their long-life from 1998 to 2012, August Christopher performed over 4000 shows and opened for some of rock's biggest names, including Nickelback, Lynyrd Skynyrd, All American Rejects and Train, to name a few.
 
Along the way the band picked up thousands of loyal fans from Daytona Beach to Kansas City, many ready and willing to drive for hours to see an August Christopher show. Their tight sound, knack for audience participation, and on stage sense of humor, making fun of fellow band members and even good natured ribbing of audience members, had many, including many in the music industry, thinking this group would be the next big breakout artist.
 
But, sadly, the group never got that one big break...a major label contract and a million selling album.
 
Now the group has officially called it quits, but not without one last amazing feat, the soon to be released film, “A Decade With An Unsigned Rock Band".
 
A free, special premiere of the film will be shown this Thursday night, May 9th, at 8 PM at Hogshead, located at 801 Main Street in Hopkinsville
 
SurfKY News talked with lead singer Criss Cheatam, who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest concert by a solo artist...singing 24 hours straight, all to raise funds for the families of Fort Campbell soldiers.
 
"We were playing often one or more shows a week in the Fort Campbell area, so when it was decided I would try for the Guinness Book record for longest solo concert, doing it for the troops was the right thing to do. Many of these men and women are just 18, and willing to lay down their lives for us, back here, enjoying freedom. People really need to be reminded of that... often. Being in the record books is just something extra." Cheatam emphasized.
 
Cheatam formed the band and remained its lead singer and manager despite many changes in members. He dedicated his life to Christ in the midst of a struggle with drugs and alcohol in 2008, a touching moment caught on tape and included in the documentary. He and other former members of the group now play music every Sunday in the Victory Fellowship Church in Nashville.
"After I found Christ, we would play in a club on Saturday night, and people would say, "Hey, stay and party with us, and we would say, "No, man, we have be in church Sunday. They would think we were kidding, but it was true. No way would we miss church. That was it!" Cheatam said.
 
The idea of doing a documentary was originally just "a nice way to say goodbye to all the many band members. But in the process of putting it together, the original bass player, Joel Edwards, brought over more than 150 tapes, starting with the band's very first show. The more we looked the hours of footage, the more we realized this was a pretty cool story."
 
Much of the film features shots from live concerts, hundreds of club shows, and from the group's six concerts at the Owensboro International Barbecue Festival.
 
"The barbecue festival was one of the best places we ever played. We always loved to play there. The interaction with the crowds in Owensboro was so awesome. Some of our biggest fans and supporters were there. We love Owensboro," Cheatam said.
 
As for the end of a band, Cheatam has dedicated his life to since 1998, he seems to have no bitterness about not getting that "Big Break" in the tightly controlled music industry.
 
"I've never felt a whole lot of rejection. We just never were seen by the right people. It would have been easier if someone has just told us "No." Cheatam notes.
 
So what's next? After becoming a Christian, and as the band began to realize fame was not around the corner, Criss has worked his way into several movies filmed in Tennessee, including "The Identical" with Ashley Judd, Ray liotta and Seth Green, "The Legend of Daltry Calhoun" with Johnny Knoxville, and a Brad Paisley video.
 
 "We're submitting "A Decade With An Unsigned Band" to several festivals, are looking to get national distribution of the film, and I'm moving to Los Angeles to work on other movies." Cheatham said.
 
As Cheatham packs up for his new life in Los Angeles, sometimes called the City of Angels, it appears the angels may not be done with him.
 
"No doubt, without the Lord I would not be where I am today. I feel like there's been a protection over me for a really long time." Cheatam said.
 
He will be working for a Christian entertainment company there, and you never know. The many thousands of fans they still have in Kentucky may not have seen the last of August Christopher.
 
Paul McRee
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,106.22
+19.59 (0.11%)    
2 S&P 1,986.96
-0.05 (0.00%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,468.75
-4.95 (-0.11%)    
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only

In Other News...

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – July 23, 2014

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (7/23/14) — The above photos are local fugitives that are currently being sought by local… Read More

Swinging for Sadie Raises $6,000 for Scholarship Fund

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (7/23/14) — Sadie Beth Smith lived life to its fullest. The daughter of Brian and April Smith of… Read More
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 22, 2014 3675

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 21, 2014 2614

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1961

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 21, 2014 1895

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - July…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
July 23, 2014 1405

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 22, 2014 3675

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 23, 2014 1405

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 21, 2014 1173

Madisonville Fire Chief Announces…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1119

Three Injured in Three-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 909

Families Upset About Piney Groves…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 21, 2014 1294

Portion of Southeastern Parkway Closed…

in News by Beth Cecil
July 22, 2014 962

Alliance for a Drug Free Owensboro and…

in News by Carla Shelton
July 22, 2014 880

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd
July 23, 2014 808

Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance Meeting…

in News by Sherry Girten
July 21, 2014 488

Strahan Selected as Cravens Elementary…

in Top Stories by Julie Ellis

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 21, 2014 2614

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1961

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 1324

Greenville Family Loses Home, Possessions…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 901

Swinging for Sadie Raises $6,000 for…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03