By Joyce May

The Cove Herald

Friends and fans of the original Cove Country Opry are invited to come out Saturday to enjoy the show’s kickoff at the Knights of Columbus ballroom.

“Come tap your feet and warm your heart. The original Cove Country Opry is back,” said founder and CEO Hilde Hilton.

Hilton, who now lives in New Mexico, said that while she cannot attend this first show because of health reasons, her heart will be here.

Reviving the show has special significance for her as she continues to mourn the loss of her son, Copperas Cove Firefighter Earl Hilton, to cancer last year.

“I am now dedicating this show to the angels of Angela Hooten and Earl Hilton and all other angels,” she said.

Angela, the daughter of Trey and Sandy Hooten, who both serve on the Cove Country Opry board, died in 1999.

“That’s why we understand each other perfectly. They have helped us a lot,” Hilton said of the Hooten family.

Hilton began the show in 2001 to raise funds for the Copperas Cove Fire department, but it was such a success that she continued the tradition using her own funds to support its operation.

“We just cannot wait to get our friends, the performers and audience back. We were close with the audience and the performers. We love the smiles on their faces, the hugs that were exchanged and the friendships that were made. That is the positive and beautiful aspect of the show,” she said, adding “and a lot of tapping of the feet.”

Hilton said she looks forward to attending the September show to welcome guests and performers.

Saturday’s show begins at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus ballroom located on Farm-to-Market 2657.

The Opry will feature The Travelers, a local band that has been a staple of the show since its inception.

Special guests include Madlyon Oppermann, Duby Todd, Teresa Conley, Rick Titus and The Rose City Gospel Quartet.

The opry is a smoke-free and alcohol free, family-oriented environment.

Trey Hooten, president of the board, said the opry books many Christian and Gospel music entertainers and is involved with several area churches.

Organizers attempt to find a host church to bring the groups in to perform on Saturday night at the opry and Sunday at worship services.

Tickets are $7 for adults, and advance tickets can be purchased at Music World. Children are admitted free of charge.

Hilton said the Cove Country Opry is well-known throughout Texas and has had articles written about it in several magazines and papers from Dallas to San Antonio including Texas Monthly.

“I made sure everybody knew about us and this is how we made friends and got the very best of performers,” she said. “I am especially delighted to be joined with the Boys and Girls Club of Coryell County. The youth interact with the older generation and even help them. It is important that the youth pay respect to the older and learn since this is a family event.”

For more information about the Cove Country Opry, call (254) 542-5474 or visit

Contact Joyce May at or call (254) 547-0428.

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