"I was playing clubs at the time and the thought of going to school was foreign to me," Randy explains to Country Weekly. "I was judging a talent competition one night and Mr. Carson came up to me and asked me if I wanted to go to college. Come to find out that Mr. Carson was and still is one of those people that take kids like me, recognizes their talents and often ends up giving them scholarships to go play music at East Central. I would have never had the money to go to school without his help."
The beloved teacher, who has served as the Director of Bands at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., for 30 years, is now relying on the support from his former student. Diagnosed with esophageal cancer earlier this year, the man who helped kick-start the career of the 'Boots On' singer will be the recipient of a benefit concert his former student will play in his honor.
"I always knew that he believed in me and my music," Randy says. "I'll never forget the moment he looked me in the eye and said, 'If you can get out of this town, you need to go'. I moved to Nashville soon after. He helped me. Now it's time to help him."
The show will be held Nov. 12 at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia, Miss. The concert will begin at 4:00 PM with several local bands, before Randy takes the stage at 9:00.
Randy is currently adjusting to life as a husband, after marrying singer-songwriter Jessa Lee Yantz in an intimate ceremony in the Dominican Republic last month. He's also working on new music while he plays several shows in the remainder of October. Keep track of his itinerary here.