The Oak Tree Opry is down for the season, but we are sure looking forward to a good season next year.  First show is our SpringFest which is April 20-21-22, and Janine Sherry has just signed on to be with us to help raise money to keep the old building up and running for the next year.  Seems like we have to do work on the roof just about every year now.  Sure wish that Eddy Adcock would come up and help out.  Not working on the roof, with playing music.  He’s one of America’s best banjoists if you didn’t know, and even after brain surgery tried to waylay him, he shoved it all aside and went right back to the reason he was born.  Playing the banjo.  Super super neat guy.
Some news from Branson, Iowa native Andy Williams (83) from Wall Lake, has bladder cancer.  He reported this recently at his Christmas Show in Branson at his Moon River Theater, and vowed to return next year for his 75th year in show business.  “This illness is no longer a death sentence” he said.  “People with cancer are getting through this thing.  They’re kicking it, and they’re winning more and more every year.
Sheila’s mom just got out of the hospital from her cancer operation, was in for about 30 hours, but is back home in the  beautiful forest where she lives.  Sheila’s brother and wife are staying temporarily with her until she is up and around. Of course she has to do a lot of exercises to speed up the recovery process, and we have had a lot of prayers for her recovery.  She had both breasts removed and a lymph node too.  She loves cards and get well wishes, so please spend a few pennies to make her day a happier one.  Virginia Armstrong, Rt 1 Box 18-E, Preston, Mo 65732.  Thanks a lot!
Steel guitarist Curt Shoemaker of Iona, Kansas, has been chosen by the Nebraska Country Music Foundation to receive their 2011 Hall of Fame Award.  See what you learn if you hang around in Kansas.  The “Shoe” was presented the honor during the foundation’s award banquet at Hastings, Nebraska, on October 15.  Shoemaker has performed extensively in the state of Nebraska throughout the years, and has recorded with many Nebraska music artists.  He has performed at least once in the Country of Iowa (at the Oak Tree Opry), but we feel he has probably snuck in a few other times.
Audrey Johannsen sent up a nice ‘positive’ report on Freddy Larson’s “Gathering” in Malvern, Iowa, last weekend.  Audrey said they had a good turn out, some of the entertainers that come to LeMars, and a larger number from the ‘Toast & Jam” sessions Dick Zion created in the Western Trails Center in Council Bluffs.  Lots of local folks showed up, and that’s really important.  Without local support it’s getting harder and harder to keep these old-time music gatherings going.  The weather was perfect, and Audrey said they had beautiful decorations in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium where the event was held.  Good going Freddy, I have an idea for you for LeMars next year, we’ll talk.
OK, here it comes…..the story about Roy Rogers and Spade Cooley.  This is a true story, maybe magnified a little by yours truly, but this all supposedly happened.  To set the stage, Spade Cooley, living in California,  was an incredibly gifted western style fiddler.  Much like Bob Wills, but maybe a little smoother.  He played for a lot of dances, and his dance band was in constant demand.  He recorded several great ‘western style’ hits, and was well on the road to incredible fame and fortune.  However Spade Cooley had a mean streak, and he was very very jealous of his pretty wife.  He believed she was having an affair with Roy Rogers.  Roy Rogers denied this accusation over and over again, but Spade Cooley was a very jealous man.  In one of his fits of rage, he shot his wife in front of their 14-year old daughter.  Of course he went to prison (for life), but the trauma he left on his daughter must have been really bad.  It was bad on Roy Rogers too, because he continued to deny that anything was ever going on.  He had worked with Spade Cooley’s wife a couple of times, she arranged some benefit concerts for various causes, and he was willing to help out, but according to him that was the extent of it.  Then about 20 years later, the Governor of California (I don’t remember who that was) was arranging a huge benefit show featuring the ‘western’ music of California.  The Governor had heard about Cooley in prison, and asked him if he’d like to perform on this huge concert.   Cooley had kept his fiddle playing ability alive by playing a little very day.  The morning he walked out of prison to go do the concert, he turned to some of his fellow prisoners and whispered, “I won’t be back boys.”  They of course figured Spade had managed to arrange a break.  The big moment came, the Governor introduced the famous western swing fiddler, and Spade Cooley walked on the stage and played the best he had ever played.  Then he slowly turned, walked off the stage, and as he was descending the stairs, had a heart attack and died right there.  Roy Rogers to ‘his’ dying day, denied the allegations about him and Spade Cooley’s wife.  We have some of Cooley’s stuff in the Pioneer Music Museum in Anita, come and see it some time.
Well, the Country Music Awards have come and gone (thank God), and it wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so UN-country.  Quickly, Taylor Swift won entertainer of the year (no new news there).  The Band Perry won new artist and single and song of the year.  Lady Antebellum took vocal-group.  Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert were named top vocalists (keeping it in the family you know) for their respective categories.  Jason Aldean took album of the year.  Sugarland (this is the ‘rock’ group that was playing at the Indiana State Fair when the stage collapsed) took vocal-duo award, and so it goes.  Isn’t it amazing that NO bluegrass and NO Americana and NO folk music is represented at this so-called ‘country’ music event?  I won’t even get into the ‘non-country’ clothes they wore.
Nov 12 – 7:30pm – Our popular “Roys” performing with Janie Fricke at Glenwood Audit., Alexandria, Minn.
Nov 12 – 3pm – Roys do a workshop, Glenwood Audit. on singing, picking, and history of country music.  Free
Nov 15 – 6:30pm – The amazing Druha Trava at the Bohemian Cafe, Omaha, Nebr. (reservations recommended)
Nov 17 – 6:30pm “Bob Everharts Old Time Country Music” Iowa Public TV with Mac Wiseman
Nov 18-20 – Harvest Bluegrass Jam, Marriott Hotel, Minneapolis, MN.  Banquet on Saturday night
Nov 18 – 7:30pm – Rivertown String Band at the Auld Pavilion, Antelope Park, Lincoln, Nebr.
Nov 18 – 2pm – Texas Style Jam at the Dows Iowa Convention Center
Nov 19 – 7:30pm – Contra Dance to live music, Seymour Elem. School, Ralston, Nebr.
Nov 19 – 6pm – Harvest Moon Ball, City Auditorium, featuring Kenastons, Lyons, Nebr.
Nov 19 – 7:30pm – Justin Roth, Folkhouse (go to internet for details)
Nov 20 – 3pm – Big Muddy Fiddle Club, St Andrews Episcopal Church, 925 84th St., Omaha, Nebr.
Nov 20 – 1pm – Hawkeye Jamboree, American Legion Club, 2nd Ave., Des Moines, Iowa
Nov 27 – Oak Ridge Boys, Hoyt Sherman, 1501 Woodland, Des Moines, Iowa
Nov 27 – Country music show and jam, Senior Center, 1001 Limerick Rd., Papillion, Nebr.
Dec 3 – 5pm – Christmas Party with the Kenastons, Community Bldg. (good food) Yale, Iowa
Dec 3 – 7pm – Acoustic Tradition at Cornhusker Theater, Louisville, Nebr.
Dec 4 – 11am – Flatwater Drifters, Holiday Market, AkSarBen Village, Omaha, Nebr.
Dec 17 – 7:30pm – Monroe Crossing bluegrass band, 7th St. Loft, 504 7th St., Lincoln, Nebr.
Dec 18 – 2pm – Monroe Crossing bluegrass band, American Legion, 7811 Davenporlt, Omaha, Nebr
Apr 20-21-22 – SpringFest, Oak Tree Opry, Anita, Iowa
Druha Trava, an incredibly gifted musical group that does  some bluegrass, old-time country, jazz, anything that sounds good to them on acoustic instruments, will be at the Bohemia Cafe in Omaha on Nov 15 at 6:30pm.  The Cafe is not all that big, so it will sell out, reservations are highly recommended.  They will be in Wichita, Kansas, Nov 19, with a terrific article/interview about this on National Public Radio.  Robert Kreston, the lead singer and mandolin picker had this to say… “Well, I don’t just do American music.  I write my own songs, and have since I was 12 years old, so it’s kind of natural for me, and it’s natural for me to combine American influences and my Czech roots.”  Good group, catch them if you can.
Kelsey Klingensmith (one of our LeMars attendees), will be on KMEC-14 “News at Sunrise” television show to promote her “Little More Lovin” concert at the Chesterfield on Nov 18, 5-7pm.  Kelsey is collecting canned food for the Gospel Mission. I wish I could tell you where all this is at, but I don’t know.  Check her website.
Joan Brooking, one of our regular attendees at the Oak Tree Opry, reported that she enjoyed watching Tex, Bob, Alita, Alan, Gordon, and Bob on the IPTV show last week.  She wanted to know if I still had the same guitar I was playing on that show.  “I still have it Joan, but I don’t play it anymore.  Sheila got me a beautiful Martin-12 for my birthday, and I really like it a lot.”  Joan also reported that she watched the RFD-TV 100th birthday celebration of Roy Rogers.  She said it was good, but apparently they had a very small crowd for it.  She also said she saw the Kenastons on one RFD-TV show, and also Terry Smith.  (I think these are probably PRE RFD-TV tapings in Branson)  She’s going to go see the Kenastons on Dec 3 in Yale, Iowa, so please tell them HI for us Joann.  She also watched “Reflections From The Circle” featuring Vince Gill, and found it good, but in today’s world a full one-hour one-on-one conversation is a little long.  Thanks Joan.
I reported in last week’s “On The Road with Iowan’s Bob & Sheila Everhart” (a weekly column I write for several Iowa newspapers, and include at the bottom of the bulletin) that Sheila, Bobbie Lhea, and I stopped in Maryville, Kansas, to see the Pony Express station and statue there.  Got an e-mail from old side-kick Dale Sanford who lives in Naples, Florida, “Bob!  Maryville, Kansas.  One of my ancestors was shot and killed in Maryville.  July of 1859, Samuel Sanford was shot in the back of the head with the bullet coming out his eye.  He died.  He was against slavery, and made it known.  Someone hired a village ruffian to kill him to get him out of the way.  Kansas statehood was still a couple years away.”  Thanks Dale.
Kristin Chenoweth of Muskogee, Okla., turned down a chance to perform on the CMA Awards television show, as well as make a presentation on the show, to  be inducted into the Oklahoma Country Music Hall of Fame….same day.  Good going Kristin.  Anybody with money can do the CMA thing these days, you chose the right one.
Some of you are familiar with the music of Guy Clark, he is without a doubt one of our better ‘country’ songwriters.  He’s gone, but his music sure isn’t.  He would have been 70 years old this year, and a “Tribute to Guy Clark” is going to be made available from Ice House Music around Dec. 6.  There are 30 tracks with some pretty amazing musicians and singers taking part.  Should be a good project.
The Grand Ole  Opry is shutting down the ‘big’ theater for the winter.  Well, it’s getting harder and harder to fill it, and the balcony remains empty the whole winter, so they’re moving everything to the Ryman Auditorium.  Porter Wagoner once said he’d never perform at the Ryman again after doing the GOO Theater.  Mostly because it didn’t have enough dressing rooms or air conditioning.  I believe that has been taken care of.  There will also be a Facebook Trivia Challenge going on at the same time, so go to Facebook and see if you can get any of the questions answered!
A couple of women have been working on a documentary about John Hartford.  Remember when he was on our television show “Old Time Country Music”  We sang “She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain” together, and he had such a good time, cause I got so nervous trying to play with people like that, I dropped the timing, and he simply made up words, got us back on time together, and laughed all the way through it.  What fun, and he made me feel so good not to have to do it all over again.  Anyway, the documentary has been in the making for five years, mostly through grant money.  They are about to get it all done, but still need about $3,000 to get it finished.  You can participate by going to the web-site of Deering Banjo who is also helping with the project.
Thanks to Pat Boilesen for the news that Lynn Anderson’s mother, Liz, passed away.  Liz Anderson was an incredibly gifted country music songwriter, and wrote a number of hits for various singers.  Pat got to spend a considerable amount of time with her at one of the early Western Music Association gatherings, and especially enjoyed talking about songwriting with one of the best in the business.  I’ll try to find a few of the names of songs she wrote, there were quite a few.
     Fort Riley, Kansas…..”We thought we were on the right road to the 7th Cavalry Museum, but when we pulled into the gate at Fort Riley, Kansas, a very attractive Army lady-officer (she looked an awful lot like the lovely Lorraine Worth) stopped us and asked us where we were going.  To the Cavalry Museum we said.  No your not, she said back, you’re on the wrong road.  Give me your driver’s license, go ahead about a block, turn around, and come back and get your license, and I’ll tell you how to get there.”
     “Well, we did all that, and much to our surprise, found the 7th Cavalry Museum about ten miles further on.  I guess I didn’t realize how big Fort Riley is.”  Bob, Sheila, and Bobbie Lhea are on the road, today they’re in Kansas, looking at the great 7th Cavalry Museum.  “The 7th Cavalry, if you’re not aware,” Bob is quick to point out, “was a creation of none other than George Armstrong Custer.  Boy do they have tales to tell at Fort Riley about him.  Anyway, we got in a conversation with a Doctor of History, or whatever, and in identifying ourselves as recording artists for the Smithsonian Institution, he promptly wanted to know if we could do some music for their Fall Apple Days Festival next September.  Well, yes we thought.  It included accommodations and food at the Fort???  Well, we’ve done worse.  We’ll see.  It’s just before our Old Time Music Gathering in Fremont, and the drive time is about six hours.  Well, what the heck, should be fun even though we won’t make a lot of money.  The cots and mess-food should be good?”
     “We had lots of e-mails from folks who watched Bob’s PBS-TV show “Old Time Country Music” last Thursday night (a week ago) and instantly recognized Tex Schutz, Bob Tripp, and Gordon McMasters.  Thanks ever so much for those of you who tuned in, it’s still a very well produced program of old-time traditional country music, and it’s all real.  This past Thursday I believe the Bill Sky Family was on.  We’d like to hear your comments on that show too,” Sheila added.”
     “Boy talk about a budget lunch,” Bobbie Lhea, the Everhart’s 15-year old daughter added.  “Dad was really on the cheap.  We stopped at a Perkins.  We knew it would blow our budget away, but dad figured it out.  If we ordered what Perkin’s calls it’s “Perkins Sampler” for mom and me, and dad had a bowel of their new ‘tomato bisque’ soup, plus one of the wraps in the sampler, we’d have more than enough for lunch and manage the budget.  I really liked it, it included four pieces of chicken strips, four mozzarella cheese sticks, two southwest wraps, a dozen large deep fried green beans, three dips, and some taco like chips.  Dad only had one of the wraps with his soup, so mom and I had all the rest.  Sure was good.”
     “We can only do that,” added Sheila, “if we don’t order off the drink menu.  When drinks, which cost ten-cents to make, go as high as $2.50, we don’t order.  We order iced water with lemon in it instead.  Bob even adds a little sugar to his, and says it’s great.  He says it’s like a weak lemonade.”
     Next stop for the Everharts is the Eisenhower House and Museum in Abilene, Kansas, and also a stop at the Russell Stover Candy Factory.  Bob asked a waitress there, “if women treat you mean in Abilene,” and she said, “You got the wrong Abilene, buster.”
Robert Everhart

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