Jake Penrod realized early when growing up in Henderson County that he was not like most country music fans.
“They were listening to the music on the radio but I liked the older music,” Penrod said.
What got him really excited were some of the genre’s earliest stars: Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Roy Acuff.
“I loved it and wanted to pass it on,” he said of their yesteryear sound.
In a prepared statement he added, “We can’t forget where we came from. If country music is going to carry on, you have to keep the roots alive.”
Penrod, who describes himself as a “traditionalist,” is doing just that in “A History of Country Music.” He will present his one-man show at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Liberty Hall, 103 E. Erwin St., Tyler.
Tickets cost $30 and are available at lib ertytyler.com or by calling 866-710-8942.
Penrod highlights country music from its 1920s hillbilly origins through bluegrass, honky-tonk Western swing and “outlaw” eras. He covers about two dozen singers, including Jimmie Rodgers, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Johnny Cash and George Strait.
“I try to include the major influential artists who still have a visible footprint today,” he said.
Penrod said he spends a little time talking about how each singer advanced the genre and sings some of the artist’s hit songs.
“I am presenting their music as close to their original stylings as possible,” he said. “I try to capture their nuances.”
He also performs some of his original songs and plays several instruments during the show.
When not presenting his one-man show, Penrod and his band, the Million-Dollar Cowboys, often perform in dance halls and honky-tonks in the area. He recently released an album, “Closer to Me.”
Penrod has been a featured guest on RFD-TV’s “TruCountry” and Rural-TV’s “Texas Pickin’ Party” shows that feature traditional country music. He has performed as Hank Williams Sr. in the off-Broadway play “Lost Highway” and in his self-penned tribute road show, “Hank Williams Remembered.”