Hickory – Legendary singer-songwriter Radney Foster has been penning hits for decades for well-known artists, including Luke Bryan, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Los Lonely Boys. His unique storytelling and musical talent will be featured as Lenoir-Rhyne University welcomes Foster for the Visiting Writers Series, Oct. 17, 2019, at 7 p.m. in P.E. Monroe Auditorium.

The event, sponsored by Cafe Rule, will also raise funds from VIP ticket sales to benefit the Hickory chapter of the American Cancer Society. A private pre-performance reception, reserved seating for the Visiting Writers segment, and post-performance intimate storyteller concert and book signing is available for $75 for one ticket; $125 for two tickets. These events will accompany the regular Visiting Writers event that is free and open to the public.

A songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee, Foster made his recording debut as part of the Foster & Lloyd duo, recording three studio albums with nine singles on the country charts. Foster began his solo career in 1992 and his album “Del Rio, TX 1959”produced four consecutive Top 40 hits. Overall, Foster has had 13 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including the Top Ten hits “Just Call Me Lonesome” and “Nobody Wins.”

“For You to See the Stars” is Foster’s recent album and is a project comprised of two parts – a book and a CD. The book is a collection of short stories published by Working Title Farm. Even though the stories are fiction, they are informed by Foster’s upbringing on the Mexican border in Del Rio, Texas. Although the literature can be enjoyed independently, each story is uniquely coupled with a song and features nine new songs and a special re-recording of “Raining on Sunday,” the song Foster co-wrote with Darrell Brown, which became one of Keith Urban’s top Billboard singles. The album was recorded at the historic Nashville studio Sound Emporium and was produced by award-winning Will Kimbrough, who also plays multiple instruments and sings on the record.

During the presentation, Shari Smith, publisher, founder, and director of Working Title Farm, will interview Foster. Smith considers Catawba County, North Carolina home, specifically Claremont, which is the subject of her book, “I Am a Town.” She is the force behind Working Title Farm, an artist’s collective and the publishing imprint of River’s Edge Media she operates from Boone. This creative retreat is where authors and singer-songwriters gather to work on new projects, co-write songs, and edit. “For You to See the Stars” was the first book on the Working Title Farm imprint. Since then, Smith has published “Out Past the Wires” by Rod Picott, “Witch Hairs” by Dixie Gamble, and “The Last Entry” by Jim Hamilton.

LR’s VWS is supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts. The VWS is also supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Sponsors of the 2019-20 VWS include: Cafe Rule, Corning Foundation, Crowne Plaza Hickory, Footcandle Film Society of Catawba County, The Hickory “Hop,” Hickory Public Library, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, and United Arts Council of Catawba County.

For more information or to redeem your general admission tickets, visit lr.edu/VWS or call the LR Box Office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 828.328.7206. To purchase tickets for the private reception and intimate concert that benefit the fundraiser, visit visitingwriters.eventbrite.com.