Internet yodeling sensation Mason Ramsey returned on Wednesday to the Harrisburg Walmart where his recent meteoric rise in popularity started, and gave a rousing performance to about 700 fans.
Ramsey, known by "Walmart Yodeling Boy" and similar monikers, gained widespread attention when a YouTube video of him singing old Hank Williams songs at the Harrisburg Walmart in late March went viral. Others added to his popularity by remixing Ramsey's singing with other songs or adding it to videos online.
Wednesday, the 11-year-old entertainer, who lives in Golconda with his grandparents, told the crowd that while he has been singing since age 3, this was, so far, his favorite performance. He also said he'd like to have the chance to perform with country musician Blake Shelton someday.
Ramsey appeared on ABC's "The Ellen Show" earlier in the week, where host Ellen Degeneres told him she had arranged for him to perform this Saturday at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. She also told him he will receive a $15,000 college scholarship from Walmart.
Music producer and artist D.J. Suede, known as "the Remix god," opened Ramsey's show. Suede, known for creating remixes of popular songs and internet-popular catchphrases, said he and his crew flew from Atlanta to join Ramsey on stage.
Numerous members of the media covered the concert, and those in the hometown crowd said they were happy to be a part of the experience.
"I'm excited to see him," Carrier Mills fifth-grader Julie Crisp said from the front row of the audience.
Harrisburg resident Chris Wangler said he was glad to see a local person getting so much positive national attention.
"It's great to see a local boy doing good," Wangler said. "He's hitting it big time."
Ramsey is no stranger to the country stage. When he was 4, he sang as part of Josh Turner's performance at the Carson Center in Paducah. A year later, he opened there for Gene Watson. He started playing guitar at age 6, and sang with Kenny Rogers for a TV Christmas special the following year.
But, it was an impromptu a cappella performance of Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues" in the Harrisburg Walmart captured in late March that brought his name to the masses.
On Wednesday, midway through the set, Harrisburg Mayor John McPeek declared the day "Mason Ramsey Day" in the city of Harrisburg, citing the positive attention he has brought to the area.
"I think it was great what he did for our community, and I'm proud of our Walmart for everthing they do for our community," McPeek said.