TUCSON, Ariz. – Acclaimed country and bluegrass singer Bradley Walker of Athens, Ala., will perform on the national broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6.
It will be Walker’s eighth appearance on the legendary show, which is expected to be watched by nearly 40 million Americans. (see Walker’s past Telethon performance).
The national broadcast of the Telethon originates from the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, beginning at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 5, and lasting for 21½ hours. In the Athens area, the national Telethon and local segments can be seen on WHNT, Channel 19.
Walker has nemaline myopathy, one of the diseases for which MDA seeks treatments and a cure. It causes weakness in the muscles of the face, neck and upper limbs, and can affect respiratory muscles as well. He uses a power wheelchair and adapted van for mobility and independence.
“We’re delighted to have Bradley Walker back on our show,” said Gerald C. Weinberg, MDA president & CEO, and Telethon executive producer. “His talent is incredible. Bradley’s life is filled with challenge, but he perseveres in his hope and confidence that MDA will find a cure for his disease. His story, and his performance, will inspire Telethon viewers.”
In 2006, Walker released his debut album, “Highway of Dreams” (Rounder Records). In 2007, the International Bluegrass Music Association named him Male Vocalist of the Year. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine hailed him as the "next great voice of bluegrass music."
Walker made his first appearance on the Telethon in 1989 with the Oak Ridge Boys. He’s received standing ovations for his performances on the Grand Ole Opry, and has frequently appeared with bluegrass headliner groups including The Lonesome River Band and Lost Horizon.
In 2009, pledges and donations to the MDA Telethon surpassed $60 million. MDA is the first nonprofit to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association, “for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity.”
The show will be broadcast to nearly 40 million viewers in the United States and Canada via more than 170 television stations in MDA’s "Love Network." Millions more worldwide will be able to see the Telethon on the Internet via RealNetworks at www.mda.org.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
MDA maintains clinics for area adults and children with muscle-damaging diseases at The Children’s Hospital and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, both in Birmingham.