Sawdust Festival Back To Life In The Rim Country


The Payson Arizona Loggers Sawdust Festival is back in town, this Saturday and Sunday at the event center. Professional loggers and amateurs alike will descend upon Payson and compete for cash and prizes. The grand prize, the coveted “Logger of the Year,” will go to the logger with the most points at the end of the two-day event.

The resurrected Sawdust Festival is being billed as a family event that celebrates Payson’s logging heritage. Contestants will participate in a variety of events that will test their accuracy, skill and endurance.

This weekend, the Payson Event Center will be echoing with the chop of the logger’s ax and the hum of a hot saw. And if you’ve ever been near a man or woman striking blows with an ax, you know that The First Cut is the Deepest — which brings me to this week’s music trivia question.

In 1967, the song “The First Cut is the Deepest” was written and recorded by pop-folk singer, Cat Stevens. The song was also a charted hit in 1973 for Keith Hampshire and more recently in 2004 by Sheryl Crow.

My favorite version of Stevens’ song was recorded by a pop-rock artist in 1977. Is this singer: A) Lionel Richie, B) James Taylor, C) Rod Stewart or D) Rick Croy?

Hint: This English born singer-songwriter worked as a folk artist in Great Britain in the early 1960s. In the mid-1960s, he performed with the Hoochie Coochie Men, Steampacket and Shotgun Express. He was a member of the Jeff Beck Group from 1967-1969 and Faces from 1969-1975. He has been one of rock’s leading performers for over 35 years, with 14 “Top 10” songs to his credit. His biggest hits were “Maggie May” (1971), “Tonight’s The Night” (1976) and “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (1979).

If you are caller number three this week and have the correct answer, you’ll win a $10 gift certificate from Bootleg Alley Antiques & Art, located on historic Main Street, courtesy of Ken and Brenda Mooney, owners. If you haven’t been in their shop lately, you simply must stop in and check out their new inventory of unique collectibles.

Now, let’s see how we did with last week’s question, which was: Can you match four of Pastor Elaine Watskey’s favorite music artists with each artist’s top hit?

The correct matches were: Peter, Paul and Mary — “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” The Kingston Trio — “Tom Dooley.” Simon & Garfunkel — “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Jefferson Airplane — “Somebody To Love.”

Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, John Dipinto, who lives in Florida and reads the Roundup online.

John was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He and his wife, Terri, will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary in September. While on a cruise to Mexico, the two lovebirds were introduced by a mutual friend. John remembers well their first date. He and Terri drove 90 miles into Pennsylvania to see “The Firm,” starring Tom Cruise, then went out for ice cream.

John spent most of his adult life as a police officer in the suburbs of Cleveland, retiring as a sergeant. He and Terri moved to Phoenix in 1997, then to Payson in 2003, where they resided until three years ago. While in Payson, both John and Terri were active volunteers with the Payson Humane Society and John was a “Big Brother” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. John now enjoys bowling and working on his computer.

When I asked him what his favorite music is, John replied that he enjoys all genres, but particularly likes new country and classic rock. His favorite artists are Queen, Alan Jackson and Styx.

Because John lives in Florida, he asked me to give his trivia winner’s prize, a $6 certificate from Fireside Espresso and a quarter pound of creamy fudge from the Sugar Shack, to a Big Brother or Sister, who can take his or her Little Buddy out for goodies. Thanks, John!

I stopped in at the parks and rec office a few days ago to get an update on how (and if) the summer Saturday night concert series at Green Valley Park was shaping up.

Deb Rose had great news for me! Not only is the concert series alive, it appears the program is going to be better and longer than ever! Deb had just finalized the concert schedule and gave me a copy — which shows the series starting a little earlier than ever (June 6) and continuing for an additional seven Saturdays.

Lastly, on your way to or from the Sawdust Festival this weekend, please stop by the annual arts and craft show on the corner of the Beeline and Frontier Street. I’ll be there all three days of the holiday weekend event. Please visit and say “hello!”

— DJ Craig Phone: 468-1482

— Web site:


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