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Grammy Winner Peter Frampton Latest in MTSU’s Streak of Hosting A-list Artists

Legendary British guitarist and rock singer selects Tucker Theatre for special concert filmed for British television

Peter Frampton
Renowned rocker Peter Frampton performs legendary hits like “I Want You to Show Me the Way” to a full house in Middle Tennessee State University’s Tucker Theatre Sunday, Jan. 22, as part of a made-for-TV concert that will be aired on British television later this year. Frampton previously announced his retirement from extensive touring for health reasons and held Sunday’s free concert as a gift to his fans. (MTSU photo by Cat Curtis Murphy)

There was this special moment Sunday night when legendary rock star Peter Frampton gazed out at the capacity crowd at his concert at Middle Tennessee State University’s Tucker Theatre and paused to let the night sink in.

“Thank you for coming, and thank you for being such a great crowd,” Frampton, 72, told the audience, all standing and cheering as he wrapped with a powerful rendition of The Beatles’ classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” closing his 90-minute set. “We love you and we’re going to keep on fighting … never say never.”

Sunday’s concert was the Grammy-winning singer’s gift to his fans, after announcing his retirement from extensive touring after a diagnosis of inclusion body myositis, an inflammatory condition of the muscles that causes weakness. He quietly announced the show, only on his social media sites, and gave away the tickets for free.

And Frampton didn’t disappoint, belting out fan favorites such as “Show Me the Way,” “Baby I Love Your Way,” and “Do You Feel,” all from his iconic “Frampton Comes Alive!” album. The concert was filmed by Sky Arts, a British television network, for its new TV series, “Greatest Albums Live,” airing in the United Kingdom later this year.

Hundreds lined up in front of Tucker before noon in hopes to get a seat for the 6:30 p.m. show, some saying they traveled as far away as Massachusetts, California, and Canada to hear the legendary rocker perform.

Frampton’s team sought out MTSU as a venue through a connection with Odie Blackmon, a Grammy-nominated associate professor of songwriting in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment.

And MTSU leaders, who just hosted November’s made-for-TV final concert event for The Judds in Murphy Center that attracted Wynonna, Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Martina McBride, were eager to make things happen for Frampton.

“We’ve once again demonstrated that MTSU is a destination for A-list artists seeking performance venues that can be a custom fit to their needs,” said President Sidney A. McPhee. “And we’re seeing how our academic strengths in music business and television production make our campus an attractive venue.”

McPhee singled out the Tucker Theatre production team, led by Production Manager John Underwood, for their efforts to help accommodate both Frampton and the Sky Arts producers. “We know well how to both stage a show and television venue,” he said.

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