COUNTRY...on the move!
Do you remember Marvin Rainwater. He had a huge hit with a song entitled "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird." He was a very good friend of Sheila and myself, and since he made his home in Southern Minnesota, he often came down to do a show at the Oak Tree whenever he could. He really liked this little performance center, and would often bring our daughter Bobbie Lhea a gift of candy or something like that. He passed away a couple of years ago, and we've missed him a lot.
He would always sing "Bluebird" of course. I asked him once how he came to write such a nice song, and he said, "My mother kept yammering at me to write my own music, write something, write anything. So I did, and that's how Bluebird came about, it's really a song for my mother." I've always admired the song, but there was another song Marvin did that was a show-stopper every time he did it. It was such a popular song with his audience, he never recorded it, mostly because he didn't want other entertainers to steal the song and it's contents. It was a song that he did not write, but it was written by a good friend of his. It was a song about all kinds of vegetables and fruits and flowers in it. I can't remember much of it, but sometimes 'maybe' one of the verses went kind of like this...."My heart 'beets' for you. 'Lettuce' rendezvous. I 'carrot' for you and 'bean' in love with you forever."
Well something like that, and that led me to an interesting observation about this kind of song writing. You might find it in pop music, but a good portion of them were in country music. Flowers was always big, especially the 'rose.' Can you remember? "Roomful of Roses." or maybe "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden." Or maybe "Yellow Rose of Texas." Fun huh? Do you remember who recorded those songs? So, with 'flowers' in mind, do you remember "Wildwood Flower" or maybe "Flowers On The Wall." Who recorded them>
OK, here's the game. I'll give you ONE song with this kind of premise. You have to name who recorded it, and then provide another song with the same word in it.
"Daisy A Day Dear" I'll help a little, Jud Strunk did this, but is was very very popular with country bands and audiences. Now you name a song with 'daisy' in it.
Here's another one: "Orange Blossom Special" who recorded it, you name one.
"I Hear The Bluebells Sing" "A White Sport Coat And A Pink Carnation" "Apple Jack" "Violet And A Rose" Two artists recorded this, Pam Tillis was one, who was the other one. "Peach Pickin' Time In Georgia" "My Little Honeysuckle Rose" "Meat And Potato Man" "The Lily Of The Valley" "Goober Peas" "The Gardenia Waltz" "Blackberry Wine" "Tall Oak Tree"
Well there, I even got a 'tree' in the bargain. How'd you do? "Tree" immediately reminds me that we are really busy in Anita, Iowa at our "Oak Tree Opry," getting ready for SpringFest, which is probably why I got this big idea of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees in songs in my head. We're sure ready for spring, and hope you are too, and if you really want to welcome it, come be with us for SpringFest at the Oak Tree. April 28-29-30, four big shows starting at 6:30pm on Friday evening. Sat. matinee 1pm; Sat. night 7pm; Sun morning 11am. Some of our upper Midwest superstars on hand to make it a super-fun weekend. Red Johnson, Capitol Records artist that has a ton of his original songs on national television right now, playing in the background of shows like NCIS. Janine Sherry one of Minnesota's and RFD-TV's biggest players. Clarence Heyden who was such a hit in the Rio Grande Valley last year. Emma Heyen the beautiful Chinese girl that sings great country songs. Bob Duff from California is going to MC the shows, and to also welcome everyone. He likes the regulars, and they'll all be with us, Rick & Harriette Andersen, David Green, Francis Hahn, and Marge Lund. Lee Muller from Kansas and Don Diemer from Colorado both on hand, and a whole slew of players like Nick Fisher & Monika; Calvin Duhacek; Kathy Graeve; Ron Dupuy; Down Home; Allen & Nancy Jensen; Fred's Polka Band; Joan Brooking; The Cajun Three; and our very special guests Annie & Teri Avery with Don Taft.
So you see it's going to be a fun time. The Lake Anita State Park is open for RV's, you can camp right next to the lake. The Redwood Steakhouse will be open with delicious Iowa beef. The Weathervane Café with delicious farmer breakfasts, and prime rib on Friday evening. The Anita Grand Motel has nice clean rooms, and the admission to all four shows is only $20. Reserved seats might be recommended which you can arrange by calling 712-762-4363. Do so, especially if driving a long way.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International