The video for “Drink Along Song,” the newest single from Average Joes Entertainment artists Montgomery Gentry, which premieres below, contains some of the last live footage of Troy Gentry prior to his tragic death on Sept. 8, 2017 in a helicopter accident in Medford, New Jersey. Watching the video for the Here’s To You song stirs mixed emotions in his widow.
“There are million things that go through my mind,” Angie Gentry told Billboard. “It’s a very mixed emotion. It’s one of those things where you know it’s going to hurt, but you have to do it anyway. I hate seeing it, because it reinforces the fact that he’s gone, yet I love seeing it because I can still see him. I was watching it yesterday, and literally felt I could touch him through the screen. You just wish you could reach through there and just touch him. It’s bittersweet in so many ways. I love watching it because it’s a memory that is always going to be there, and I get to have that. But it also reminds me that’s the only way I can see him now.”
Those comments are echoed by Gentry’s partner in music, Eddie Montgomery.
“Your heart just melts. Even though you’re going on, you miss him so much. I miss that big-assed smile that he had, and all the practical jokes that he was always pulling. When I see the video, it gets in your stomach and in your heart.”
The release of the single and the video coincide with the announcement of the formation of The Troy Gentry Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization founded by Angie Gentry. A star-studded concert to benefit The Troy Gentry Foundation, the Opry Trust Fund, T.J. Martell Foundation, Make-A-Wish, The Journey Home project and scholarships and instruments for music education in Kentucky schools is set for Jan. 9, 2019 at the Grand Ole Opry House. Hosted by country superstar Blake Shelton and Storme Warren of SiriusXM’s The Highway, tickets are available via www.thetroygentryfoundation.org, www.ticketmaster.com and www.Opry.com.
Gentry said that the Foundation serves as a way of preserving her husband’s legacy.
“Troy’s friends and I were trying to figure out a way that we could honor Troy and keep his philanthropy efforts going forward, as there were a lot of things that he was really interested in. We sat down one night and realized that if we started the Foundation we could raise money and use that money to support the efforts of everything we have been working on in the past few years. So, we sat down, and got a board together, named the Foundation, and started planning on some things. We set out on a mission, and have four main areas of interest that we like to work with – cancer research for families affected by cancer, and I had breast cancer, we wanted to create a music scholarship for children who are interested in pursuing a career in music. We also wanted to help families in need, whether that was a parent out of work or a disaster happening in their family and they needed financial assistance, and help families in the military – those needing help getting adjusted to coming back in to everyday life or families getting adjusted to people being gone from their everyday life.”
The Troy Gentry Foundation’s inaugural fundraising event, The Annual Tin Roof 2 Tin Cup Golf Tournament, was held Oct. 8, 2018, in Nashville, Tennessee, and was very successful.
“We received a check for $112,000, which we were thrilled about,” Gentry says. “We are also sponsoring the tribute concert to Troy in January called ‘See You On The Flip Side,’ which was a phrase he would use at the end of their shows – he’d take a guitar pick, flick it out on the audience and say ‘See You On The Flip Side.’ The proceeds from that, we will use to hand out to some of the different charities that we’ve decided to work with. With some of those being The T.J. Martell Foundation, Make-A-Wish, the Ronald McDonald House, and charitings such as those.”
Montgomery has been carrying on the music of the CMA Award-winning duo this year, and says that the experience has certainly been a bittersweet one. “When you look to your left, and you don’t see him there, it’s a little startling. I ain’t going to lie about it. We were so close, and when something so horrific like that accident happens, you stop and ask yourself ‘What just happened?’”
Making the year emotionally satisfying has been the support of their loyal audiences. “It’s been unbelievable. We ain’t never called anybody fans, we call them friends, and we’ve got a lot of friends around this world. They’ve had our backs and still got our backs.”
For more information on the Foundation, visit www.thetroygentryfoundation.org.