New mural in downtown Dothan pays tribute to country music

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Some of the country music greats made an appearance in the Circle City today.   In fact, they're here to stay.

Country artist Billy Dean, known for songs like "Billy the Kid" and "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," is one of the 16 country music performers honored in the mural.  Dean was on hand at the unveiling ceremony.

He said, "I didn't realize what kind of company I was in from this area."

Glenda Bowman, whose brother Ray Kirkland is also in the mural, says it shows just how much talent is coming out of the area.

She said, "For the people in the Wiregrass that have dedicated their life to country music, I think it's wonderful that they're being recognized today."

From Hank Williams and George Jones, to locals like Kirkland, folks say the mural not only pays tribute to the country roots of the Wiregrass, but the history of the area itself.

And city leaders are singing a similar tune.

Dothan City Manager Mike West said, "It's beautiful.  When you look at it you feel good, so I think it's wonderful.  It goes along with the revitalization of downtown."

West says, this mural and the 20 others in the city add to the ambiance of downtown and also attracts more visitors and tourism dollars.

He said, "I think it's a tourist attraction.  It's a sense of community pride, and it's not something you see every day in any town, so it's quite unique to Dothan."

City leaders hope the creation helps spur future economic growth for the downtown area.