Corey Kent White is an up and coming country singer from Oklahoma. He competed on Season 8 of The Voice and has started to make a name for himself. With that new found fame, he has chosen to do an incredible thing. He has decided to use his talent not to make money for himself, but instead to help raise money for a well-deserving charity.
The Folds of Honor Foundation was started in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney after he witnessed the family of a deceased soldier meet a casket in an airport one day. Major Rooney decided he needed to do something to help military families. “Our sole mission is to provide educational scholarships to the families of military service members who have been killed or disabled,” said Ret. Lt. Col. Jeremy “Huck” Durtschi, Director of Corporate Partnerships. To date they have been able to award over 10,000 of those scholarships to worthy families.
In order to help the foundation grow, Corey Kent White has set up a concert series in several different cities to raise money and give back to those that fight for freedom. The first concert was held in White’s hometown of Tulsa, OK at Cain’s Ballroom on January 23, 2016 and the final check of all the money raised at the shows will be presented at the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 in Atlanta, GA.
Opening the Tulsa show was the western swing band Round Up Boys who had a special place in White’s path as a musician. Ten years prior, White and his band Oklahoma Stomp had opened up for them in the exact same place, Cain’s Ballroom. Now the roles were reversed and they were opening for him. This was the Round Up Boys’ 65th performance at Cain’s and they had the crowd two-stepping just like Bob Wills used to do. After the Round Up Boys finished, Alaska and Madi, Tulsa natives who also competed on The Voice and old friends of White’s, sang “God Bless America.”
Next, Purple Heart recipient Major Ed Pulido hyped up the crowd, told a little about what Folds of Honor does and introduced Corey Kent White. White started off with a song called “You Got It” and his smokey voice sounded great. Throughout the night he played his own songs including a new one that depicted his college life in Oklahoma and one that he co-wrote with fellow Tulsan Ben Rector called “The Same Thing.” White also covered several songs from The Beatles’ “Come Together” to Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried.” His history with western swing was shown when he played Bob Wills’ “Milk Cow Blues” but the band gave it a 2016 update that included an incredible electric guitar solo by John Conrad.
About half way through White’s set, he decided to make a video to post on social media. He held his phone in his hand as he described to the crowd what he wanted them to do. Then his phone rang. A buddy had called him so White answered and said he was on stage at a show. Then he realized his friend was in the crowd. That’s the kind of fun that happens when an artist comes home. Major Ed Pulido returned with the Folds of Honor staff and presented a flag to the spouse of a fallen hero. The foundation had helped her and her children by providing funds to get a college degree. Since this was a fundraiser, they auctioned off a picture on stage with White and a personalized signed poster. The winning bid was $1,100 but once the couple got on stage they announced their company was going to double it. But the donations didn’t stop there. They also announced that they had received two donors who were going to give the funds needed to get the band’s equipment to the next show in Phoenix, AZ.
Corey Kent White came back out on stage to finish up his set. Towards the end he sang two songs from his EP Making Noise. The audience sang along with him on “She Ain’t Perfect” and my personal favorite “Till You Find a Keeper.” At that point, the band left and the house lights came up. The show was over. But the hometown crowd wasn’t going to let White leave without an encore. White seemed genuinely shocked and humbled and mentioned they didn’t plan an encore so they will just wing it. They talked for a minute and then played Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to be Alive.” Finally, by an audience member’s request, they ended the show with Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”
White is an incredible example of someone with a heart of gold. He has stated “I want to do something bigger than myself” and he is definitely achieving that. At only 21 years old he is wise beyond his years in showing many people that it is more important to give than to receive. The Folds of Honor Concert Series will make stops in Phoenix, AZ, Lawrence, KS and Decatur, GA. If you are anywhere close to those cities, I highly recommend you go see this show. Not only are you getting great entertainment provided by Corey Kent White but you are also helping out our military families in the process.