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8/10/13 Sock Hop at the Opry


Did you dance last night at the Sock Hop at the Liberty Opry?  Well we did get one dance in to the lovely melodic voice of Kimberly Williams, singing “Sentimental Journey “.  Now there’s an old favorite you probably heard at the end of the Big Band era too.  The 50’s & 60’s gave us some great music that we still carry with us today.  Sometimes I wonder if the “new wave of music” will still be enjoyed 50 – 60 years from now.  Somehow I doubt it!  Jabbo Cannon, wow what I can say he was there at the first show and here he is today still a crowd pleaser.  And last night his better half Kathy Cannon joined him in a great rendition of “I’m Leaving It All Up To You”…let’s have more of that duo singing next time.   It was the first time for Kimberly to sing with a band & to be on stage.  She sings often for Senior Citizens group, she told me, and I told her she would be doing the same thing here, only with a band.  She was great and I, personally would be happy to hear her again.

Another favorite of mine is the Gainey’s who did a superb job together with “Hit The Road Jack”… I so enjoy both of them.  Calvin is a wizard with that keyboard and when he cuts lose you can see the audience sit up and get right in the groove with him, & going wild when he throws his stool back and putting his all into it.  Then there is Trish, all glitz and glamour, with her classy hair do’s and outfits…she’s a fashion icon with a voice that touches your soul.  Gotta luv em!

There’s so many of the Opry’s cast that I could write about in depth…I’ve made so many great friends with them all, especially that remarkable drummer, Rick Burton… who when I wrote my first review of the opry invited Jerry & I to tour the backstage with him & understand more about the band & it’s workings & that’s where I really began doing all of this.

There ’s John Ray, bass player who waves ‘I Love You’ to the crowd every night & sings from the heart; Jim Cox who has dedicated his life to the Opry, putting up with whatever & whoever comes his way, with infinite patience and precision guitar picking; Ray Sowell, quietly picking away and sometimes singing during his favorite programs, but you don’t see him on the Rock N’ Roll nights (however you’ll see his wife Kathy in the ticket booth every show); Mike Loftin whose talents are many with his various saxophones and flutes with an ability to rewrite the keys to songs & print up new charts right at the rehearsals; Andy Lingenfelter, our trumpet player with the great lip who can really belt out those horn sections, & has his own band too; Lainey Shearer, my friend with some great outfits and who sings our favorite , “Can I Have This Dance For the Rest of MY Life”… thank you Lainey for inviting us to dance that first night; Brent Burris always bustling around with his sound board that looks like an I Pad, trying to appease everyone with their microphones, plus taking care of any maintenance problem; Jerry Locke who often has a story about his song pick of the night and can do a great auctioneer, so sorry you have a tough time getting around right now; Booger Lee, my friend you and little Judy Lee are a great couple and it takes a very special person to make fun of himself and give such joy to others doing it; Jay Cantu who has a voice that women swoon to, (yes women still swoon & if you’re too young to know what the word means, do look it up!) ) & Nina Cantu, the busiest person at the Opry and probably all week too, backup singer, bookkeeper, keeper of the weekly ‘stars’, and the one who keeps Jay happy. You can hardly mention one without the other…a working couple & a loving couple…..friends! Liberty Opry you are loved by many, I’m only one of the many.


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