Monday, January 26, 2015
Davis Motor Sales banner ad
Posted on 2/2/14

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 2015 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.

2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

January 23, 2015 8081

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 20, 2015 6994

Bridal, Prom, Pageant Expo Planned for February…

in Hopkins News by Dana Brown
January 22, 2015 6927

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 5608

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 23, 2015 5525

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 22, 2015 5153

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 21, 2015 4769

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 23, 2015 4326

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 20434

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 20120

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 25, 2015 3748

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 25, 2015 2016

UPDATE: Two Die, Two Injured in Two-Vehicle…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Dispatcher Dustin Staves
January 25, 2015 1413

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 25, 2015 1250

Kynect Enrollment Climbs as Countdown to Feb. 15…

in General News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 25, 2015 1093

Market Commentary - Jan. 25, 2015

in Top News For All Sites by Randall L. Franklin
January 25, 2015 1046

Dave Says - Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey
January 25, 2015 980

March 20-22 Women's Retreat: 'Holiness in Family…

in Owensboro News by Jennifer Kaminski
January 25, 2015 892

Outdoor Truths - Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Gary Miller
January 25, 2015 851

Legislator's Log - Week of Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
January 26, 2015 527

Henderson County Traffic Advisory

in Local (Henderson) Top News by Keith Todd
January 25, 2015 435

MCCH Offers Free Screenings at the Love Your…

in Local (Lakes) Top News by Kyser Lough
January 25, 2015 380

Two Arrested for Trader Baker Robbery

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Deputy Pearre