We In Rim Country Can Honestly Say, ‘What A Wonderful World’

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Three big cheers and a pat on the back to Payson’s Parks and Rec program — which has once again brought the Rim Country a wonderful blend of music genre and talent to this summer’s outdoor concert series.

Although I’ve been available to take in only half of this year’s series at Green Valley Park, the performances I have been able to attend have been a real treat.

What could be better on a Saturday night than sitting outside amongst friends, feeling the cool touch of Kentucky bluegrass tickle your tootsies and gazing up at the stars — all while being entertained by quality musicians? Is it any wonder that we in the Rim Country can honestly say, “What a Wonderful World?”

This Saturday, the Valley’s J. Powers Band’s five-member crew will be on center stage at Green Valley Park, pumping out its mix of classic rock, blues, R&B, soul and Motown. It should be quite a show.

Listed on the band’s Web site play list is one of my favorite love songs, which I hope the group includes in its performance this Saturday.

“What A Wonderful World” was first recorded in 1967, then later appeared on the Billboard charts in 1988, after being featured in the movie, “Good Morning, Vietnam,” featuring Robin Williams.

This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the artist of the Grammy Hall of Fame hit, “What A Wonderful World?”

This artist was born in 1901 in New Orleans and died of heart failure in 1971. In 1922, he joined the legendary band of Joe “King” Oliver in Chicago. By 1929, he had become the most widely known black musician in the world.

This accomplished trumpet player was the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he became the most influential musician in the music’s history. As a trumpet virtuoso, his playing, beginning with the 1920s studio recordings made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles, charted a future for jazz in highly imaginative, emotionally charged improvisation.

For this, he is revered by jazz fans. But he also became an enduring figure in popular music, due to his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging personality, which were on display in a series of vocal recordings and film roles.

Among this artist’s most popular hits were “All of Me” (1932), “When the Saints Go Marching In” (1939) and his 1964 No. 1 hit, “Hello Dolly.”

Is this week’s music trivia artist: A) Ray Charles, B) Duke Ellington, C) Louis Armstrong or D) Justin Bieber?

If you’re caller number four this week with the right answer, you’ll win two great prizes — a CD of 20 beautiful love songs of the last 50 years and a $10 gift certificate to Scoops Ice Cream, which you can redeem at either Saturday’s concert in the park or at Chris and Maria’s shop next to the Sawmill Theatres.

Now, let’s check out last week’s music trivia question, which was: Can you complete the title of the 1957 hit by Marty Robbins, “A White Sport Coat ...”?

Is the answer: A) A Lavender Tie, B) A Pink Carnation, C) A Purple Pinstripe Shirt, or D) Blue Suede Shoes?

The correct answer was “A Pink Carnation.”

Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Patti Varney, who won a CD of Marty Robbins’ top hits.

A little about Patti: She was born and raised in the Valley and was a 1962 graduate of Glendale High School. Her older brother and sister knew Marty Robbins quite well.

In 1990, Patti moved from Glendale to Payson to be closer to her two sisters. She has been widowed for the past 14 years.

Before she retired eight years ago, Patti worked for 13 years at Ace Hardware and was also an aide at Frontier Elementary School for four years. Patti said, “Now that I’m retired, I enjoy gardening, landscaping and reading.”

Patti’s favorite music genres are ’50s and ’60s pop and classic country. Her three favorite artists are Elvis Presley, George Strait and Johnny Cash.

Lastly, pictures I have just added to my Web site are from this past Saturday’s retirement party for Ed Heinecke, held at Rumsey Park. Ed was a crew leader at both Rumsey and Green Valley Park for the past 20 years. Much credit is due him for the beautiful condition of these parks.

Best wishes, Ed!

DJ Craig — Phone: 468-1482

Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com

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