The big event, held at the Houston Omni Hotel, featured a reception and book signing, seated dinner and a tribute to the legendary singer and musician. Before and after dinner, party-goers also enjoyed bidding on great items in the big board and silent auctions.
ABC Channel 13 anchor Dave Ward served as emcee and did a great job moving things along at a harmonic pace.
Gilley started out singing straight-up Country and Western, but his music became more pop-friendly in the 1980s, bringing him even greater success. Among his biggest hits are "Room Full of Roses" and "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time."
Gilley's nightclub in Pasadena, known as the "world's biggest honky tonk," was highlighted in the movie, Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta. In the film, Gilley's remake of the Soul song, "Stand By Me," was also featured. The song became a favorite of just about everybody. It climbed to the top of the Country charts in 1980 and made the Pop Top 40.
Thrilled I was tonight when Gilley stepped on stage, with guitar in hand, to sing "Stand By Me" one more time!