Country singer Mickey Gilley entertained the Grafton crowd on Friday night. (Photos by Michael Weaver)

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GRAFTON - In recent years, Grafton has been building its entertainment name and Friday night’s concert with country music legend Mickey Gilley continues to up the village’s game.

Gilley, in his 80s, entertained like a much younger man Friday and delighted a large crowd, estimated around 700 to 800 at the Historic Boat Works in Grafton next to the Loading Dock. The concert was to benefit the Grafton Police Department.

Gilley spent the last 20 minutes of the show with a set from his “Urban Cowboy” fame, full of movie clips and songs the entertained the enthusiastic crowd.

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Peter Allen, one of the concert organizers, said: “Our goal was just to raise money for the police department. The funds from ticket sales the last few weeks went to Grafton Police Department We hoped to raise $3,000 to $5,000. They need radios, antennas, bullet proof vests and have a big list of needs the village can’t provide. One thing we love from mayor and police on down is they welcome tourists and have a friendly police force.”

Ron Young of Nashville Productions is a personal friend of Mickey Gilley and he enabled the event to happen. Gilley did the concert for a discounted rate so Grafton could raise money for the police, in typical style for the country star.

The Grafton Chamber of Commerce orchestrated the event through ticket sales, promotion and hospitality. The chamber made a statement and said the police department helps make Grafton the village it is and they always want to show them support.

Mickey Gilley began his country music recording career in the 1970’s and shot to fame with his hit, “A Room Full of Roses.” At the same time he began his singing career, he opened Gilley’s in Texas which has largely been cited as a forerunner to the themed Hard Rock Café clubs. Gilley’s became a landmark nightclub and the “world’s largest honky-tonk” was the dominating force behind the hit movie, “Urban Cowboy."

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