Hello Friends -
I hope you and your family are well and happy, and surviving this winter. Martha and I just recently endured 8 days with no electricity due to an ice storm. Major tree damage.
These past few months have provided the opportunity to make new friends and to see many old friends again. Thanks to folks in Holdenville, Medford, Cherokee, Chickasha, Crescent, Oklahoma City, Ada, Oilton, and Henryetta in Oklahoma plus Herington, Kansas. And it was such a great night in Ponca City when the Silverlake band and I paid tribute to Mr. & Mrs. Ray Schiltz on their 50th. (Martha and I celebrated our 45th last August.)
It was wonderful to be a guest of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Ceremonies in November honoring Bob, Johnnie Lee, Luke and Billy Jack Wills, plus the Texas Playboys Band; and to see our good friends Billy Parker, John Wooley and John T. Wills, son of Johnnie Lee. And I wish you could have been with me when I entertained at the Oklahoma Sports Museum’s Awards Banquet. Although Randy Johnson had to cancel due to bad weather, it was such a treat to meet and visit with Warren Spahn and others. Happy Birthday to Gary Chambers from all the band and thanks to your family for a great party in Pawhuska. And boys and I also appreciate the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce for inviting us to entertain for the Ice Storm Workers Appreciation Party.
I have been surprised these past few weeks in being featured in three different magazines. The C.F. Martin Guitar Company’s magazine “The Sounding Board” included a photo and story about my being designated the official “Oklahoma Balladeer”. Of course, in the photo I am holding my Martin 000-16SP guitar which is my favorite. Also in the photo are State Senator Paul Muegge and State Representative Jim Newport who were responsible for the Legislative Resolution on my behalf. It was a great surprise and an honor I will always cherish.
There is a magazine titled “Reminisce - Extra”, the magazine that brings back more good times. In the February, 2002 issue there is a story and photos from Don Davis who played steel guitar for Pee Wee King in the forties. The major photo shown was taken on October 29, 1945 in front of the Trading Post in Gene Autry, Oklahoma. The photo not only shows Pee Wee King and his band but also a group of local kids who were hanging around downtown Gene Autry that day. And guess who is front and center at age 11. Yep, it is me.
Thirdly, the Kaw Lake Magazine for 2002 features a cover page photo plus a two page spread about yours truly. Martha and the Silverlake Band are also featured. My thanks to writer Gael Hancock for a job well done.
I hope you are making plans to come to the annual Gene Autry Film and Music Festival in my hometown of Gene Autry, Oklahoma. The dates are September 26-29. I will be on the Friday night show (solo) and the Saturday night show with my band. The Saturday night show will also feature Rex Allen, Jr. and Roy (Dusty) Rogers, Jr. If you are planning to attend, please call ahead (580-294-3047) to reserve tickets. The Saturday night show will be a separate ticket from the festival ticket. There is lots of room for RVs to park if self-contained. For information about motels, call the number shown above.
Please check my website for my latest schedule which is updated around the first of each month, and for Product Information.
Thanks for your support and hope to see you soon.
Adios and Keep Smiling!!
"The Oklahoma Balladeer"
P.O. Box 350
Ponca City, OK 74602
(580) 762-0965 (fax)