Legendary Texas Talent Booster, Johnnie High, Dead at 80

Funeral arrangements will be held Saturday (March 20) in Arlington, Texas, for Texas music impresario Johnnie High, who died of congestive heart failure Wednesday (March 17) at his home near Fort Worth. He was 80. A performer himself, as well as a nurturer of talent, High established Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue, a live Saturday night show, in 1974 in Grapevine, Texas. The show has been presented at the Arlington Music Hall since 1994. Among the stars who launched careers there were LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Steve Holy and Gary Morris. “Johnnie was a huge part of my career,” Rimes said in a written statement, “and I wouldn’t have had the kind of experience at such an early age in such a wholesome environment if it wasn’t for Johnnie’s show and his belief in me. … My love goes out to his family who have always been like an extended family to me.” High’s granddaughter, Ashley Smith, currently hosts the revue. This week’s show has been canceled.