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Bridge over Vickery Lake named for Bain

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Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2016 6:00 am


More than a year after the Big Nance Creek watershed near Courtland was named Vickery Lake, after singer and songwriter Mack Vickery, the road surrounding the lake and a bridge going over a creek that feeds into the lake were named after a close friend and musical partner.

At its meeting on Friday, March 11, the Lawrence County Commission unanimously agreed to name the road surrounding the lake "Chris Bain Loop" and the bridge as "Bain Bridge" which will honor both Chris Bain and his son Heath.

Tommy Pettus spearheaded both the naming of Vickery Lake and the naming of the road and bridge after Chris and Heath Bain, and said he was pleased with the commission's approval for the names of the lake, road and bridge.

"I would like to thank my commissioner Norman Pool and the entire commission for their unanimous support of this project which was dear to me," Pettus said. 

"At the last county commission meeting, I observed how hard a job they have and how dire the county's finances are and I appreciate them passing this resolution with all the hard decisions they are having to make. Hopefully, this unique honor for a songwriter will lead to some tourism dollars coming to the county."

Vickery, a Town Creek native, is in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He wrote numerous hit country songs in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, including songs recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon Jennings and George Strait.

Chris Bain became friends with Vickery and the two began writing songs together. 

Bain was an accomplished songwriter in his own right, writing songs for country music stars Craig Morgan and Kenny Chesney, among others.

Pettus said the road that is now named for Chris Bain is a road he would often drive on to get inspiration for his songwriting.

"For songwriting inspiration, Chris would take the scenic loop from Loosier, where he lived, to the Blackground community and back, which would circle the lake," Pettus said. "After Mack died, Chris came up with the idea of naming the lake for Mack and I am pleased that I could follow through to make it happen."

Chris Bain died on June 14, 2007, while Heath died at age 30 on July 8, 2012.

In addition to songwriting, Chris and Heath Bain were active in prison ministry and Heath was an international advocate for Soles4Souls, an organization that globally provides shoes for the needy.

Pettus said it was a sweet irony that the Alabama Music Hall of Fame hosted Vickery's children in celebration of the naming of Vickery Lake on the same day the commission approved the naming of Chris Bain Loop and Bain Bridge.

"Having the county commission honor Chris and Heath on the same day the Alabama Music Hall of Fame hosted Mack Vickery's children completed a fantastic circle," Pettus said.

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