HR137: Commending Donna Dean Stevens.


HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 137
Commending Donna Dean Stevens.
 
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 19, 2024
 

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens, a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer in Richmond, has preserved the history and heritage of country music in the Commonwealth while supporting new generations of country music artists as hostess of the Old Dominion Barn Dance; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens began her career in the music industry at the age of 14 as a cast member of the 1973 revival of the Old Dominion Barn Dance, a country music variety show that ran in Richmond from 1946 to 1957 and featured the first female emcee of a radio show in the country, Mary Arlene Higdon, also known as “Sunshine Sue”; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens won two Virginia Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the Virginia Folk Music Association in 1977 and 1978, and she was later inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame; and

WHEREAS, in 1981, Donna Dean Stevens moved to Nashville and made appearances on local and national television, as well as playing headliners at the World Famous Stock-Yard Restaurant & Bull Pen Lounge; she received a recording contract from Mercury-Polygram Records and signed as a songwriter with SonyTree Studios; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens returned to the Richmond area after marrying country music legend and businessman Jimmy Dean, who passed away in 2010; she remained in the area and subsequently remarried to her childhood sweetheart, Jayson Stevens, in 2012; and

WHEREAS, the following year, Donna Dean Stevens made her triumphant return to the music scene when she performed at the Virginia State Fair to a packed audience; and

WHEREAS, in 2015, Donna Dean Stevens followed in the footsteps of Sunshine Sue and reestablished the Old Dominion Barn Dance; she wrote the new theme song for the show and serves as the producer and hostess, while her husband, Jayson, serves as production manager; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens has guided the Old Dominion Barn Dance, which is currently located at the Beacon Theatre in Hopewell, to once again become a staple of local culture and a major tourism attraction for the Richmond region; and

WHEREAS, in addition to nationally acclaimed headlining acts, Donna Dean Stevens has nurtured and supported local musicians and vocalists by organizing a talent search and providing a platform for artists to hone their skills; and

WHEREAS, through her driven and passionate leadership, Donna Dean Stevens has ensured that the Old Dominion Barn Dance continues to thrive, delivering wholesome entertainment to music fans of all ages and backgrounds while preserving the unique legacy of country music in the Richmond area and the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, outside of her work in the music industry, Donna Dean Stevens is a generous community leader, who has dedicated her time and resources to support the Richmond Christmas Mother Fund, the Hopewell Food Pantry, the Historic Hopewell Foundation, and many other organizations, including animal shelters, churches, cancer research organizations, and local families in need; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, That Donna Dean Stevens hereby be commended for her outstanding achievements as a country music artist and producer and hostess of the Old Dominion Barn Dance; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Donna Dean Stevens as an expression of the House of Delegates’ admiration for her contributions to the American musical landscape.

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 137

Offered February 15, 2024
Commending Donna Dean Stevens.
Patron-- Coyner

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens, a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer in Richmond, has preserved the history and heritage of country music in the Commonwealth while supporting new generations of country music artists as hostess of the Old Dominion Barn Dance; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens began her career in the music industry at the age of 14 as a cast member of the 1973 revival of the Old Dominion Barn Dance, a country music variety show that ran in Richmond from 1946 to 1957 and featured the first female emcee of a radio show in the country, Mary Arlene Higdon, also known as Sunshine Sue; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens won two Virginia Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the Virginia Folk Music Association in 1977 and 1978, and she was later inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame; and

WHEREAS, in 1981, Donna Dean Stevens moved to Nashville and made appearances on local and national television, as well as playing headliners at the World Famous Stock-Yard Restaurant & Bull Pen Lounge; she received a recording contract from Mercury-Polygram Records and signed as a songwriter with SonyTree Studios; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens returned to the Richmond area after marrying country music legend and businessman Jimmy Dean, who passed away in 2010; she remained in the area and subsequently remarried to her childhood sweetheart, Jayson Stevens, in 2012; and

WHEREAS, the following year, Donna Dean Stevens made her triumphant return to the music scene when she performed at the Virginia State Fair to a packed audience; and

WHEREAS, in 2015, Donna Dean Stevens followed in the footsteps of Sunshine Sue and reestablished the Old Dominion Barn Dance; she wrote the new theme song for the show and serves as the producer and hostess, while her husband, Jayson, serves as production manager; and

WHEREAS, Donna Dean Stevens has guided the Old Dominion Barn Dance, which is currently located at the Beacon Theatre in Hopewell, to once again become a staple of local culture and a major tourism attraction for the Richmond region; and

WHEREAS, in addition to nationally acclaimed headlining acts, Donna Dean Stevens has nurtured and supported local musicians and vocalists by organizing a talent search and providing a platform for artists to hone their skills; and

WHEREAS, through her driven and passionate leadership, Donna Dean Stevens has ensured that the Old Dominion Barn Dance continues to thrive, delivering wholesome entertainment to music fans of all ages and backgrounds while preserving the unique legacy of country music in the Richmond area and the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, outside of her work in the music industry, Donna Dean Stevens is a generous community leader, who has dedicated her time and resources to support the Richmond Christmas Mother Fund, the Hopewell Food Pantry, the Historic Hopewell Foundation, and many other organizations, including animal shelters, churches, cancer research organizations, and local families in need; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, That Donna Dean Stevens hereby be commended for her outstanding achievements as a country music artist and producer and hostess of the Old Dominion Barn Dance; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Donna Dean Stevens as an expression of the House of Delegates’ admiration for her contributions to the American musical landscape.