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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

With the BK being closed this Tuesday night, we had originally planned on spending the evening at home when we remembered what an enjoyable time we had the last time we were able to attend Pastor Carl Garrett's Cowboy Church, located at the Rutlader Outpost, just a few doors south of the Middle Creek Theatre near Louisburg, KS.  Along with Annie Little & Jay Holmgren, who rode down with us, we left our home base in Merriam a few minutes after 6PM this evening and although we ran into a couple of traffic snarls, arrived with time to spare before the 7 PM start time.  The large number of vehicles we noticed in the parking lot outside was mute testimony to the popularity of this every-Tuesday night spiritual get-together and as we entered the building, it brought back memories of an old country church we would attend whenever we visited our Grandpa in rural southern Illinois.

The band tonight consisted of Teresa Mote, band leader, guitar/bass. Cheryl Gardner, keyboard, Jack Smith, rhythm guitar, Pastor Carl Garrett, bass, Eldon Landis, lead guitar, Wes Medin, steel guitar, Karen Eoriatti, vocals.  Among the selections tonight were "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms," "He Keeps Me Singing," "Praise Him Praise Him," "Let's Just Praise The Lord" and Jack's solo of "Your Grace Still Amazes Me."  Pastor Carl delivered a fine message this evening, urging all Christians to concentrate on being Christians and not so much on being a Baptist, Methodist or other denomination.  We have to agree that this would be a much better world if we were able to ignore the differences which drive us apart and pay more attention to the similiarities which bring us together.  Amen.  It was just astonishing to see all the wonderful sandwiches, meats, cheeses, and all kind of desserts and goodies that these folks brought in and suffice it to say everyone went home stuffed!

It was great seeing Sylvia as well as Eldon Landis, whom we know from the KOFPS shows in Spring Hill and Bill and Brenda Harris who own and operate the Outpost and the Middle Creek Theatre.  It was announced tonight that the Missourians Gospel Quartet will be appearing at the MIddle Creek Theatre for a special Southern Gospel show on March 6 @ 7:30 PM.  Stay tuned for further details.  (Below)  The Cowboy Church meets each Tuesday night at the Rutlader Outpost



Posted by hawkshaw5 at 11:32 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:52 PM CST
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We were listening to the Bill Mack show on XM satillite radio's 64, "Willie's Place" this morning when Bill announced the passing of Carl Smith, who had so many great hits in the 50's & 60's including "Hey, Joe," "You Are The One," "Loose Talk" and "If Teardrops Were Pennies."  Carl's wife Goldie preceeded him in death, having passed away in 2005.  Please join us in keeping Carl's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:41 PM CST
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Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Country Shindig is a group of talented folks that get together at the Lawson, MO community center every 3rd Saturday from 7 - 10 PM to play oldtime country music for their own and other's enjoyment.  We have seen these folks individually, from time to time, at various bluegrass shows and jam sessions but had never had the opportunity to see them together until last night at the H.A.B.O.T. show where they performed.  Because of Annie's early show today (1PM start time), we were able to grab a bite, head for Lawson and arrive in plenty of time to enjoy a double dose of fine entertainment this Saturday.

This friendly bunch of folks are headed up by Norman Martin, who kept the beat going all night with an instrument we weren't familiar with, an accoustical bass!  Looking more lika a conventional flattip guitar than a bass, it has a tremendous sound --  almost like a standup or doghouse bass.  Interesting.  As the magic hour approached, Norman introduced Karen King who played keyboard as she sang "Calling You" and Hank Sr.'s "A Tear In My Beer."  Karen returned later with Dolly Parton's "Coat Of Many Colors."  Husband Royce King put his deep mellow voice to use with "House Of Gold," Jim Reeves' "Four Walls" and "One More Time."  Norman's uncle Walt Weigand who is also very involved in the goings on of the group, stepped front and center to sing "I'm Confessing," "Please Put My Little Shoes Away" and do a great job picking "San Antonio Rose" and "Guitar Boogie"on his flattop guitar.

We could sit and listen to Norman Martin sing all night and we heard several others say the exact same thing.  He used his mellow, calming voice tonight to sing "I'm Using My Bible For A Road Map," a Mac Wiseman tune, a tune we saw Jeannie Seely perform at Middle Creek last year, "You Don' Have Very Far To Go," Randy Travis' "Diggin' Up Bones," "This Old House" and "Till The Answer Comes."  Duke Creason, one of the newer members of the group showed he has a fine voice as well, singing "Old Country Church," Hank Williams' "Mansion On The Hill" and "Someday You'll Call My Name."  Donna Werle, one of the original founders of the Shindig which has been here for 7 years, plays a great honky tonk style keyboard and tonight sang "If There's Medals For Mothers," "That's My Baby" and Little Jimmy Dickens' "Another Bridge To Burn" much to the audience's delight.  June Smitha and Ruth Graham are a great example of what close harmony is all about and they got a big hand as they sang "So Many Times," "Too Much To Gain To Lose" and "Build My Mansion."  We really enjoyed hearing Martha Hayes sing that great Gillian Welch song "Red Clay Halo," the Osborne Brothers' "Don't Let Smoky Mountain Smoke Get In Your Eyes" and Bill Monroe's classic "Tall Pines."  Sherry Schoolfield turned the clock back a bit as she did a dandy job with the old Billy Walker tune "Down To My Last Cigarette," Jack Greene's "I Wanna Be Free" and Faron Young's "Step Aside."  This is the real stuff, folks!!

A nice surprise tonight was seeing our friend Ivan Parton.  We know Ivan from the Old Town Jamboree, Leland Jones' Country Pickin Opry and several gospel shows we have visited throughout the years and was also a grand friend of our friend and school mate, the late Glen Smith.  It turns out that Ivan lives right here in Lawson, a mere six blocks from the community center.  Ivan, who we are sure could play anything if you stick a string on it, had an old resonator guitar that Glen once gave him and did a beautiful job playing "9 Lb. Hammer," "Freight Train," "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and at Miss Jean's request, joined Walt on "You Are My Flower."  The show concluded with the entire group singing "How Great Thou Art."  (Below) top - Country Shindig  bottom - Ivan Parton





Posted by hawkshaw5 at 11:01 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 17 January 2010 9:05 PM CST
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Shortly after the show concludes today, Annie, the ACJ band and a busload of regular audience members will be boarding a tour bus headed for Galveston, TX where they will embark on a relaxing Caribbean cruise with Lani Novak and friends from Country Legends radio 106.9.  Surprisingly, even with the 1 PM start time, a big crowd showed up to wish the gang "Bon Voyage" and enjoy Jim Winters & Annie Dunavin's tribute to Conway & Loretta. 

Annie greeted the matinee crowd with the hearty "Come On In" and "Mighty" Marvin Bredemeier, the group's wonderful fiddle player, got the feet tappin' with "Jersey Bounce" and a little later "Dragging The Bow."  The cute little gal with the big voice, Haylie Walter turned back the clock a bit with Ernie Ashworth's "Talk Back Tremblin' Lips," Tammy Wynette's "Apartment #9" and later a Charlie Walker tune "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down" and Wanda Jackson's "Right Or Wrong."  Fred Uzzell did his usual fine job behind his triple-neck Remington steel guitar and tonight it was "Midnight In Old Amarillo" as well as "Harbor Lights."  Drummer Steve Straub showed off his trremendous vocal skills with Merle Haggard's "Big City" and Jack Greene's "Statue Of A Fool" and closed out the first half playing "Wipe Out."  Pretty Ronni Ward got a big hand as she sang Pam Tillis' "Put Yourself In My Place," Suzy Bogguss's "Somewhere Between," "Just Say Yes," Patsy Montana's "Cowboy's Sweetheart" and a Johnny Cash hit, "I Still Miss Someone" while husband Ted Ward, the group's bass player did a great job singing "Crime Of Passion."  Annie's musical director and one of the finest lead guitar players you will find anywhere, David George put his vocal talents to work as well with a couple of Ronnie Milsap tunes, "Day Dreams About Night Things" and "Pure Love."

If you happen to be a Conway Twitty or Loretta Lynn fan (what true country music fan isn't?) and didn't make it out to Tonganoxie this afternoon, you truly missed out on a grand performance.  Jim Winters did a outstanding job singing many of Conway's top hits in a method and style that was truly his own.  "Hello Darlin'," "Baby's Gone," "Fifteen Years Ago" and "Linda On My Mind" were followed by "I'd Love To Lay You Down," "I Talked To The Man In The Moon" and "Tight Fitting Jeans."  We thought Annie Dunavin's tribute to Loretta sounded so much like Loretta herself, that it was almost uncanny.  "Don't Come Home A'Drinkin'," "Blue Kentucky Girl," and "Coal Miner's Daughter" was followed by "You Ain't Woman Enough" and a special request, "Sweet Memories" (we love to hear her sing this!).  And what would a Conway/Loretta tribute be like without the duets?  Jim and Annie got a huge ovation as they sang "Sweet Thang," "Louisiana Woman/Mississippi Man" and "After The Fire Is Gone."

Annie Dunavin closed the festivities tonight with Ferlin Husky's "On The Wings Of A Dove."  Don't forget -- there will be no show at Annie's next Saturday, January 23rd as the gang will not be back yet, but Byron & Krysta Jones will be on the show January 30th.  To everyone on the cruise - BON VOYAGE and come back safe.  (Below) Jim Winters & Annie Dunavin with another Conway/Loretta duet



Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Monday, 18 January 2010 1:14 PM CST
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Friday, 15 January 2010

Hard to believe, but it's already the third Friday of the month and January is already half over, the snow is melting and we're getting used to writing "twenty-ten" (2010)!  As we arrived at the Northcross Methodist Church, 1321 N.E. Vivion Rd. in Kansas City's Northland where the Heart Of America Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Club (H.A.B.O.T.) meets, it was evident that we weren't the only ones "thawed out" and anxious for an evening's entertainment as the parking lot was full and it was a scramble to find a place to park.  As we entered the church, we noticed that the back rooms were already full of jammers and that a big crowd was already forming in the auditorium, anxiously awaiting tonight's program.

President Mary Eddings welcomed everyone to tonight's gathering and after a few announcements introduced tonight's first guest artist, Mary Harris of Overland Park, KS who played her autoharp and sang "Wildwood Flower," an instrumental of "Remington Ride" and John Denver's "Gramdma's Feather Bed."  Next up were Joyce Carriker and Jake Smith, Joyce, of course having served for many years as H.A.B.O.T.'s newsletter editor and Jake, a past president of the organization.  With Joyce on the doghouse bass and Jake on banjo, they sang some great old tunes: "Just A Closer Walk With Three," the "Crawdad Song," Moe Bandy's "Too Old To Die Young" and Vern Gosdin's "Gonna Be Movin'."  Dave Hicks, who accompanied them on guitar and also serves as a board member, took his turn behind the mike, doing a bang-up job with "Blue Ridge Mountain Home" and "Where Could I Go?" 

Tonight's first band, Judy Coder and Cowgirl Swing. all dressed to the nines in their classy cowgirl costumes, features Judy Coder on guitar and lead vocals, Diane Gillenwater, fiddle, mandolin & vocals, Karla Campbell, stand-up bass, vocals and Patti Nance, dobro & vocals.  "Cowgirl Swing" preceeded Jimmy Dean's "Cimarron Roll On," "Mockingbird Yodel," "Cowboys Are My Weakness" and "Silver Spurs."  Next up was "Arikaree Breaks"  a song Diane co-wrote about an area in northwest Kansas, followed by "I Didn't Know" and the beautiful, award-winning "Mourning Dove Song" by Judy.  Next up was Bob Wills' "Panhandle Rag," "Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle," "Singing On The Trail," "Cottonwood Waltz," "Paint The Town," "Thank Heavens" and "Yippie Yi Your Troubles Away."  Find out lots more about Judy Coder and this group by logging onto: .

Tonight's second group, Country Shindig have their own show in Lawson, MO, at the community center every 3rd Saturday beginning at 7 PM.  Tonight, with Jim Downs sitting in on bass,  Karen King started the set singing a Hank Sr. song, "There's A Tear In My Beer" with Royce King close behind with George Jones' "A House Of Gold."  Walt Weigand sang another George Jones gospel tune "Old Brush Arbor" while Norman Martin sang crowd favorites, "I Use My Bible For A Road Map," "Mama's Hungry Eyes" and later returned with "I Won't Go Huntin' With You Jake, But I'll Go Chasin' Women."  Donna Werle sounded so good as she sang Little Jimmy Dickens' "Just Another Bridge To Burn" while Ruth Graham & June Smitha blended their voices beautifully, proclaiming "If You Lift Your Eyes A Little Higher, You Won't See The Thorns, You'll See The Rose."  Martha Hayes was up next, with a real oldy but goody, "Red Clay Halo" and Sherry Schoolfield sang a honky-tonk favorite, "Down To My Last Cigarette."  Royce King returned to lead the group in closing with "How Great Thou Art."

There was a last minute cancellation due to a death in one of the members of the last scheduled band tonight, so who is better putting a last minute show together than Byron Jones?  No one, that's who and that is why the last band of the evening was called simply, "Byron Jones & Friends."  Along with Byron (vocals & guitar), it was Mark Franske (vocals & mandolin), Jim Downs (vocals, bass) and Jake Smith (vocals, banjo).  Byron kicked the set off with "Cabin In The Hills Of Caroline" and Porter Wagoner's "Old Love Letters" before Mark, playing a brand-new mandolin he had just made, led the group picking "When You And I Were Young Maggie."  Mark returned to sing Bill Monroe's "She's My Little Georgia Rose" and the Stanley Bros. "White Dove."  Mary Eddings joined the group to sing "I Wonder Where You Are Tonight" and "Wildflowers" and then it was Jean Bartee with "I Think I'll Just Stay Around" and "I'll Take The Blame."  Jim Downs followed with "Slewfoot" before Jake and the rest of the crew closed the evening with "I Saw The Light."  Byron announced that the Northtown Opry will be returning to North Kansas City around the 1st of April and shows will either be held on Fridays or Saturdays.  (Below)  top - Judy Coder and Cowgirl Swing  center - Lawson MO's Country Shindig  bottom - Byron Jones & Friends





Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, 17 January 2010 12:52 AM CST
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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Over 200 enthusastic honky tonk and classic country fans crowded into Knuckleheads tonight to hear Austin, TX country music legend Dale Watson.  Actually born in Alabama, Dale moved to Texas at a very young age and has always thought of Texas as his true home.  Living in the Houston area at the time, Dale began writing songs at age 12 and made his first recording two years later.  After graduating from high school, he spent seven years playing local clubs and honky tonks.  After a few years in California and Nashville, he didn't find commercial country much to his taste and he relocated to the more progressive-minded music scene in Austin, TX.  Soon, he formed a backup band he called the Lonestars and in 1995, Hightone released his debut album, "Cheatin' Heart Attack."  It was welcomed with enormous acclaim for the vitality he brought to his vintage-style material and performance.

Dressed in his signature black leather vest and thigh length coat tonight, Dale put the final tuning on his instrument of choice, a Fender Telecaster covered with bright, silver coins!  With Dale on vocals and lead guitar, Billy Donahue on bass, Don Pawlak on pedal steel guitar, Mike Bernal on drums and Don Raby on fiddle, the audience clapped, stomped and yelled at the familiar strains of "Honky Tonkers Don't Cry."  Next up was Merle Haggard's "Here In Frisco" followed by a tribute to Lonestar Beer, "Brown Bottle Little Blue Label," "Truckstop In La Grange," "Wine Don't Lie," "Where Do You Want It," and Ray Price's "City Lights."   "Made In Japan" was next, then "No Help Wanted," "You're Always On My Mind," "Whiskey Or God," "Pretty Girls" and soon to be recorded "Honky Tonk Wizard Of Oz."  We appreciated very much the fact that Dale and his road manager Robert "Hawk" Hawkins invited us on his bus for a short visit before the concert and he mentioned he would be singing several songs tonight that were earmarked for an album he will be recording later this month and should be released this spring. 

Dale continued with "I Hate These Songs," Jerry Reed's "Amos Moses," "One More For Her," "Honkiest Tonkiest Beer Joint" (about Jenny's, his favorite Austin bar), "Tell 'Em I Ain't Here," "Hey, Don (Support My Favorite Beertender)," "Every Song I Write Is For You," "Fox On The Run," "Hair Of The Dog," "Tequilah & Tear Drops," "Texas Boogie," "She Asked Me To Dance" and "Nashville Rash," a well-deserved shot at Nashville and mainstream country music today.  As a debut, Dale returned with "Sit, Drink & Cry," another number from the new album, "What I Like Most About You" and "Dragonfly" (which also is the name of the bus).  Dale will be traveling to Minneapolis next and then it's a tour down the east coast.  It was an honor to be able to spend a little time with Dale and we encourage you to watch those shelves at your favorite audio outlet for his new CD this spring or check out his website @

At one point, Dale thanked the many in attendance here tonight for choosing to spend their dollars watching him in these uncertain times.  We thought this was an extremely classy act on his part.  Dale and the Lonestars will be returning to Knuckleheads, Friday May 21st with country music superstar Ray Price and possibly Billy Joe Shaver.  Don't wanna miss that one!  Many thanks to Frank Hicks at Knuckleheads for his hospitality and a thumbs up to Pete, who does such a fantastic job with the sound.  Folks - We had a blast!!! (Below) top - Dale Watson in concert @ Knuckleheads 1-14-10  bottom - Miss Jean poses with Dale Watson




Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 15 January 2010 9:28 AM CST
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Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Despite the chilly conditions, the BK was literally swamped with country music lovers and dancers this evening and late comers (like ourselves) were frantically searching for parking places amid the snow piles and icy lot conditions.  We managed to find a spot at the back of the lot, nuzzled up against a snow bank and just as we opened the door, the band was playing the opening strains of "Gordon's Boogie," their unofficial theme song.  Tonight found the group's lead singer, Larry Dean taking a well deserved vacation and Lawrence, KS's Arnie Johnson, a long-time area musician & band leader aptly filling in.  Arnie began the evening with Hank Sr.'s "I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You," "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again" and Charlie Pride's "Crystal Chandelier."  Arnie returned later with Lefty Frizzell's "I Never Go Around Mirrors," Keith Whitley's "Somewhere Between," Jimmy Rodgers' "T For Texas," Gene Watson's "Paper Rosie," "Walkin' The Dog," Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings" and an Elvis Presley classic, "That's All Right Mama." Lead guitarist Gordon Riley also chose to sing an Elvis tune, "Big Boss Man," much to the delight of the audience, then he and the rest of the band including John Malone on drums teamed up on "Wheels," "Honky Tonk" and "Back Home Again In Indiana" as the floor was literally covered with dancers.  "Mighty" Marvin Bredemeier, who plays fiddle every Saturday night at Annie's Country Jubilee in Tonganoxie, KS showed his vocals talents off as well tonight with "Rubber Dolly" and Bob Wills' "Right Or Wrong."  He was to return later with "Tennessee Waltz" and another Wills classic, "Milk Cow Blues." 

David Purcell is always a crowd favorite and tonight he put on his best Willie voice to sing "Funny How Time Slips Away,' then it was a Garry Bichelmeyer song, "Northern Star," another Willie - "Remember Me" and "I Wonder How Many There Would Be."  Art Covey and his mandolin were joined tonight by good friend Ron Fine on his guitar and together they did a beautiful job singing and playing "Falling Leaves," "Now And Then There's A Fool Such As I," "Rebel Soldier" and "Frauline."  Mary Bichelmeyer did her usual fine vocal treatment on "Your Cheating Heart" and Gordon with help from Dave sang the Waylon Jennings classic "Good Hearted Woman."  It's always great to hear Annie Little tackle a song and tonight she did a swell job with Patsy Cline's "I Love You Honey" and Anne Murray's "Could I Have This Dance?".  Art & Ron closed out this evening's festivities on a spiritual tone with "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."  Note: Due to vacations, there will be no show at the BK next Tuesday 1/19/10 and Grinter House will be held Thursday 1/28/10. (Below)  top - Arnie Johnson entertains the big BK crowd  bottom - Ron Fine (l.)  and Art Covey (r.) sing "Falling Leaves"





Posted by hawkshaw5 at 11:44 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 13 January 2010 12:25 AM CST
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Sunday, 10 January 2010

This bright, sunny Sunday afternoon found us traveling to the Clinton County Youth Building for the first ever Plattsburg Opry.  The building, which is located on MO Hwy. 116 between Lathrop & Plattsburg, MO is home to many county youth programs including 4H and used to feature another Sunday country show featuring the Heartland Express a few years ago.  The new Opry features the Take 5 Band which is composed of our friends, Bill (lead guitar, fiddle, steel & vocals) & Lisa (vocals) Bennett, John Lowe (guitar, vocals) plus John (bass) & Joy (drums) Bennett.  Plans are for the Opry to have shows every 2nd & 4th Sundays from 2PM to 5PM.  They feature a large dance floor and a full service snack bar with hot dogs, brats, (w/ or w/o chili), chips, popcorn, candy bars, strawberry cheesecake, coffee & soft drinks & more!  Despite the freezing temps outside, a nice-sized crowd showed up to eat, dance and listen to some good 'ol classic country music.

Bill Bennett opened this afternoon's festivities, fiddling the "Orange Blossom Special and somewhat later, "Wheels" and "Faded Love."  Bill also showed his versatility, playing "Steel Guitar Rag" on his steel and picked and sang Brooks & Dunn's "Boot Scootin' Boogie, joined wife Lisa on George & Tammy's "Golden Rings," the Bellamy's "Margarittaville," "Keys In The Mailbox" and Dwight Yoakum's "Guitars & Cadillacs."  It was Bill starting the second half with an old fiddle tune, "Black Mountain Rag" then singing "Bubba Can Dance."  The dance floor filled up as Lisa sang Patsy Cline's "Crazy Arms" & "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down," Ray Charles' "Take These Chains," Del Reeves' "Don't Come Crying To Me," Ricky Van Shelton's "I Cried My Last Tear For You," Gretchen Wilson's "Red Neck Woman," Tanya Tucker's "Let Me Be There," Highway 101's "Walkin, Talkin, Cryin" and Janie Fricke's "I Need Someone To Hold Me."

John Lowe started his set with a great George Strait classic "The Cowboy Rides Away" followed by Hank Williams Jr.'s "Eleven Roses" and "All For The Love Of Sunshine," Hank Sr.'s "Honky Tonk Blues," Chuck Berry's "Memphis" and Billy Currington's "People Are Crazy."  Later it was George Jones' "Walk Through This World With Me," Merle Haggard's "Ramblin Fever," Gene Watson's "Got No Reason Now For Going Home" and Micky Gilley's "There's A Song On The Jukebox."  Great stuff!  Walk-ons this afternoon included Elmer Clark ("All My Ex's Live In Texas," "Your Cheatin Heart"), Larry Roberts ("Candy Kisses," "Wabash Cannonball"), Bill Boswell (his uncle Buddy Boswell used to operate the Union Mill Opry in Edgerton, MO) ("Silver Wings," "Farewell Party"), Art Damgar ("Just Walk On By", "Swinging Doors"), Jordan Wallace ("Last Kiss," "Sweet Home Alabama") and our pal Wayne Hoover, who operates the Countryside Jamboree in Cameron, MO each Friday night ("Washed My Hands In Muddy Water," "Unwound").  John Lowe closed the show with a gospel number - "I Saw The Light."  (Below) The Take 5 Band plays here at the Clinton County Youth Building the 2nd & 4th Sundays from 2-5 PM



Posted by hawkshaw5 at 8:24 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 10 January 2010 10:21 PM CST
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Friday, 8 January 2010

We talked with Byron Jones this morning and the KCABMC meeting at 3601 Sterling which is normally held every 2nd Friday of the month has been cancelled due to these adverse weather conditions.  Next meeting is scheduled for February 12, weather permitting.

We also have received an e-mail from Terry Dunavin informing us that the show at Annie's Country Jubilee in Tonganoxie this Saturday night has been cancelled and they are attempting to reschedule Bill Jordan.  The show for January 16th is an afternoon show, starting at 1 PM with Annie & Jim doing a tribute to Conway & Loretta.

We've just received an e-mail from Dennis Dittemore and the show at Big Creek in Pleasant Hill, MO has been cancelled for this Saturday night as well.  He made a very good point that driving conditions and temperatures make it increasingly dangerous for us older folk to risk life & limb.

Billy Dean Bennett reports that the new Plattsburg Opry which is going to be held at the 4H building just east of town, is a "go" for Sunday.  The show starts at 2 PM.  The weather is supposed to improve by show time.

Posted by hawkshaw5 at 2:15 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 9 January 2010 9:18 AM CST
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Saturday, 2 January 2010

We haven't had the opportunity to visit Dave Wooge and his Burlington Opry, which is held every 1st Saturday at the historical Music Box Theatre in Burlington, KS, for quite awhile now, so despite a rather crummy forecast, mid-afternoon found us heading south on I-35/US75, arriving well before the 7PM start time.  Dave, who is still on crutches and heavily bandaged from a recent foot operation, didn't miss a beat, emceeing the event with his usual comedic flair, doing a tremendous job behind the keyboards and displaying his vocal talents.  The Music Box band had some new faces tonight with Lane Gray of Topeka on steel guitar and Mark Paquette of Ottawa on drums.  Dave Hammersmith who hails from Lansing, KS was back on lead guitar, as was Russell Wolfe of Topeka on bass.  A neat surprise was seeing Thomas McGregor here tonight, playing fiddle.  We've known Thomas for many years and knew he had left the area at one time to pursue his musical career.  It was great seeing him again!  Dave is not the only Wooge involved in the Opry as wife Stephanie handles the box office, concessions and lots more of the business side and daughters Katie (12 years old) and Erin (6 years old) both sing with the band.

The show started, as customary, with Katie bearing the Stars and Stripes down the main aisle to the stage and Erin leading the audience, singing "The Star Spangled Banner."  Dave and the band welcomed everyone with Porter Wagoner's "Company's Comin'."  We always enjoy hearing Russell Wolfe tackle a good country song and tonight he sounded super as he sang Merle's "Let's Chase Each Other Round The Room Tonight," Jack Greene's "Statue Of A Fool" and "Silver Wings" among others.  Drummer Mark Paquette also did a bang-up job singing Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown," Roger Miller's "King Of The Road" and Buck Owens' "Act Naturally."  Lane Gray turned his steel guitar loose on "Bud's Bounce" and returned later to sing "Heart Over Mind" while Dave Wooge sang the Tennessee Ernie Ford classic, "Sixteen Tons" as well as the "Tennessee Waltz" and Johnny Horton's "North To Alaska."  Dave Hammersmith got an ovation as he sang Buck Owens' "Tiger By The Tail" while Thomas McGregor had his fiddle smokin' with "Ida Red," "Faded Love" and the "Orange Blossom Special."  Katie Wooge got a big hand as she sang "End Of The World" and Donna Fargo's "Happiest Girl In The Whole USA" as did sister Erin ("You Are My Sunshine").

The first of tonight's guest artists was our friend Butch Carter from Quinemo, KS, who after singing Gene Watson's "14 Carat Mind," was joined by Russell & Dave to sing "Tom Dooley," a 1958 megahit by the Kingston Trio.  Conway Twitty's "Linda On My Mind," Faron Young's "Four In The Morning," Marty Robbins' "Devil Woman," Leroy Van Dyke's "Just Walk On By" and a super duet with tonight's other guest artist Lorena Prater of Johnny Duncan's "It Couldn't Have Been Any Better" followed.  Lorena, who lives in nearby Vassar, KS, is a consumate entertainer, being able to sing a Patsy Cline song with the best of 'em and can put an audience in the aisles with a side-splitting comedy routine!  Tonight it was Hank Sr.'s "Jambalaya," Patsy's "Crazy." a great duet with Russell Wolf of the Vince Gill/Patty Loveless release, "You're My Kind Of Woman (You're My Kind Of Man) followed by another Patsy Cline number "Walking After Midnight," Tammy Wynette's "Apartment #9" and joined by Russell & Dave, the June Carter/Johnny Cash chartbuster "Jackson."  Also, dressed in her 50's bobby soxer outfit, complete with hoop skirt and saddle oxfords, she awakened a lot of memories with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love."

An extra special treat tonight was Autumn Kirchner's Star Struck program which operates from the Burlington Recreation Center.  Composed of young ladies, ages 5 through 12 who, all dressed up for the occasion sang and executed some of the cutest choreographed routines we've seen.  After Autumn sang the Dolly Parton hit "9 to 5," the 5 year olds performed "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," the 7 year olds, "Rockin Around The Christmas Tree," the 8 year olds, "You Belong With Me" and the 10-12 year olds, "Love Story."  The big audience applauded both Ms. Kirchner and her future starlets: Gabbi Burger (8), Brooke Faimon (7), Madison Fischer (8), Jalyn Griffith (8), Kassidy Gutsch (5), Desiree Hartpense (10), Megan Hartpense (8), Makena Klubek (5), Breea McManus (7), Kylie Price (5), Delanie Sloop (12), Jara Thorp (8), Kameron Cole (8), Cassidy Birk (8) and Rachel Adkin (7).  This super show closed most appropriately with Thomas fiddling "How Great Thou Art" and the cast singing "Praise Him."  (Below) top - Russell Wolfe, Dave Wooge & guest artist Butch Carter sing "Tom Dooley"  center - Lorena Prater & Butch sing "It Couldn't Have Been Any Better"  bottom - Autumn Kirchner with members of Star Struck





Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 19 January 2010 12:41 PM CST
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