After returning home last week from my first trip ever outside of the United States, I can sum up my week abroad in just one word — incredible!
I saw the most modern and beautiful of malls and less than five minutes away viewed homeless toddlers waking up on the sidewalks of poverty-stricken, inner city neighborhoods.
I participated in an eye-opening, spiritually inspiring Sunday praise worship attended by Manilan celebrities in a multimillion dollar facility and saw 2-year-olds begging for money on the filthiest of streets.
I experienced a culture of hospitality, respect and sincere friendliness and an American embassy guarded by camouflaged soldiers carrying automatic rifles. Maybe incredible really isn’t the adjective I should use.
But, of course, the most wonderful part of my journey was meeting Mary Ann (who goes by Ann), the young lady I have been corresponding with for several months on the Internet.
I found out that in person she is more loving, sweet and genuine than she has been through her written word and the phone. We had an incredible week together and I am pleased as punch to say that Ann and I are now officially engaged to be married.
We figure that it will take about 6 to 12 months for the visa paperwork to be completed, then Ann will join me here in Payson.
I’m so happy about the past week that I am dedicating this week’s music trivia question to my new fiancee, Mary Ann.
In 1952, a group of three students at Western Kentucky University banded together, with pianist Billy Vaughn, to form the vocal group, the Hilltoppers. They adopted a college look of beanies and letter sweaters that would become their trademark. They appeared on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town in October, 1952 and followed this with an appearance on the The Perry Como Show.
Vaughn left the group to begin his orchestral solo career in 1955, his place in the Hilltoppers taken by Chuck Schrouder.
From 1952 through 1957, the Hilltoppers charted 25 hits, 10 of which made Billboard’s Top 10, including the hits “Trying” (1952), “P.S. I Love You” (1953) and “Only You” (1955).
In February of 1957, the group’s last year together, the Hilltoppers’ most successful single, “Marianne,” debuted on the pop charts, later peaking at No. 3. You may remember some of the catchy lyrics to this Hilltopper hit, it begins, “All day, all night, Marianne, down by the seaside ... even little children love Marianne ... Marianne, oh, Marianne, oh won’t you marry me.”
This week’s music trivia question is: What was Marianne doing down at the seaside? Was she A) sifting sand, B) building sand castles, C) writing love letters in the sand, or D) preparing her visa?
If you are caller number four this week and have the correct answer, in honor of our nation’s Independence Day celebration this weekend, you will win a CD that I have put together of our country’s greatest patriotic songs.
Now, let’s check out last week’s question, which was: Can you name the composer of Peter, Paul & Mary’s 1969 hit “Leaving On A Jet Plane?” He was very successful on both Billboard’s pop and country charts, charting 33 pop hits and 27 country hits. He scored five No. 1 hits, including “Annie’s Song,” “I’m Sorry” and the ever-popular, “Thank God I’m A Country Boy.”
Was this composer: A) Ritchie Valens B) John Denver C) Ricky Nelson or D) Buddy Holly?
The correct answer was John Denver.
Tragically, each of the above artists share something in common — they were each killed in small-engine airplane crashes. Valens, age 17, and Holly, 22, (along with the Big Bopper, 28, were killed in a crash in 1959 in Iowa. In 1986 at age 45, Nelson died when his plane went down in DeKalb, Texas. And in 1997, Denver, 53, died at the controls of a light plane that crashed off the California coast.
Due to a major goof-up on my part, there was not a music trivia winner for our last contest. In my preparation to leave for my trip to Manila, I thought it would be a good idea to turn off the power to my computer, thus eliminating any power surges that would cause damage to it while I was away.
What I forgot was that with my NPG Cable package (TV, phone and computer), when the power goes off to my computer, both my computer and phone are rendered useless — and callers receive a busy tone. I offer my apology to all who called in two weeks ago.
Have a great (and safe) Independence Day weekend!
DJ Craig — Phone: 468-1482
Web site: www.DJCraigIn