Happy birthday, America! It’s hard to believe that our country is 234 years old and still going strong. (Well, sort of.)
This Sunday, thousands of area residents and out-of-towners, too, will descend upon Green Valley Park to enjoy music, food, fellowship and fireworks. By the time the Payson Fire Department sends off the first star candle at 9 p.m., almost every square inch of beautiful Kentucky bluegrass will surely be covered by blankets, lawn chairs and Easy-Ups.
As I customarily do each 4th of July, I will have my music system set up on my front deck, playing patriotic music throughout the day and during the fireworks, as well.
If you are on the lake’s south side, you will most likely hear the patriotic country sounds of Johnny Cash’s “From Sea to Shining Sea,” Loretta Lynn’s “Dear Uncle Sam,” and Merle Haggard’s “Here Comes the Freedom Train.”
At sometime during the day, you may also hear the soulful sound of James Brown’s “Coming to America,” Ray Charles’ heartwarming version of “America the Beautiful” and Bruce Springsteen’s rockin’ “Born in the USA.”
One of my favorite patriotic songs is the 1962 hit, “P.T. 109,” by the late Jimmy Dean, based on the August 1943 sinking of the famous torpedo boat.
The song’s lyrics poignantly describe the World War II conflict on that fateful summer day: “Off the isle of Olasana in the strait beyond Naru, a Japanese destroyer in the night cut the 109 in two. Smoke and fire upon the sea, everywhere they looked was the enemy. The heathen gods of old Japan; yeah, they thought had the best of a mighty good man.”
This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the “mighty good man” who was the skipper of the PT 109 and saved most of his crew, who later went on to do great deeds for our country?
Was this American “hero” A) Douglas MacArthur B) Dwight D. Eisenhower, C) John F. Kennedy D) George W. Bush?
Be caller number six this week with the right answer and you’ll win a CD of America’s greatest patriotic songs.
Now, let’s check out last week’s music trivia question, which was: Can you name the 1950s-’60s artist who recorded the hits “Chain Gang,” “Shake,” “Twistin’ The Night Away” and the 1957 No. 1 hit, “You Send Me?”
Is this “King of Soul” singer A) Otis Redding, B) Curtis Mayfield, C) Sam Cooke or D) Ron Gibson?
The correct answer was Sam Cooke.
Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield (of the Impressions) were also top soul singers of that time period. Ron Gibson is the lovable, and soulful, mid-day DJ on KMOG.
Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Delilah Filip, who won a Best of Sam Cooke CD.
A little about Delilah: She was born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago. She and her husband, Ron, attended the same grammar school.
Delilah chuckled when she told me about how the two first met. “In a school play, I had the part of Arabella, the dancing doll. Ron later told me that I was the first girl he ever dreamed about.”
After high school, the two bumped into each other at the Exit Lounge in Chicago, went on their first date to see Omar Sharif and Julie Christie in the movie “Dr. Zhivago” and were married a few months later. They have been married for 44 years.
Delilah and Ron enjoy splitting their time between their homes in Fountain Hills and Payson. She likes to walk, read and volunteer at the Time Out Shelter. They regularly worship at the Breakfast with the Bible fellowship.
Delilah’s favorite music is classical, Christian and jazz. She particularly likes the music of Mozart, Sandi Patty and Amy Grant.
Lastly, pictures I have just added to my Web site are from the Ken Ronning-Shannon Merkel wedding last Saturday. Ken is from the Chicago area and now works for the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department. Shannon attended Payson High School in the early 2000s and is employed at the Pine Deli.
See you at Green Valley Park on the 4th. And remember, song requests, especially patriotic ones on this day, are more than welcome!
DJ Craig — Phone: 468-1482
Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com