Rim Country Turned Into Winter Wonderland

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As I’m writing this week’s music trivia column, I’m also looking out my window at the winter wonderland across the street. Adults and children of all ages are flying down the mighty slopes of Green Valley Park on their Red Riders, building snowmen or enjoying a friendly snowball fight. In my eight years of living in Payson, I’ve never seen so many winter enthusiasts ascend upon our beautiful park.

The better part of a foot of softly-fallen snow, brilliant azure blue skies, calm wind and a three-day New Year’s holiday weekend have proved to be the perfect chilly ingredients for a winter wonderland of outdoor fun in the Rim Country.

A look outside and one can’t help but think of the popular seasonal song “Winter Wonderland,” by composer Felix Bernard, with lyrics added by Richard Smith.

Since it was first written in the early 1930s, “Winter Wonderland” has been an enormously popular snowy season favorite and has been recorded by quite a number of different artists. Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, with vocalist Carmen Lombardo, scored a No. 2 hit with its song in 1934. Versions by Perry Como (1946) and Johnny Mercer (1947) also landed in the Top 10. Other popular artists who have recorded “Winter Wonderland” include the Andrews Sisters, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan.

Interestingly, although “Winter Wonderland” does not directly refer to Christmas at any point, the song’s use of sleigh bells is symbolic of the Yuletide season, which gives more credence to the traditional view of the song’s association with Christmas.

But, if you listen closely to the lyrics, you might agree that the song is actually about two people who are in love, sharing the beauty of a winter’s day and of their plans for marriage.

In the song, the couple talk of building a snowman in the meadow and pretending their winter creation is a parson. (In days of yore, parsons were protestant ministers who frequented small remote towns, performing weddings for those of the denomination who did not have any local ministers within the faith.)

The lovers affirm their intentions to marry when the parson asks the couple if they are married and the lovers respond, “No, man, but you can do the job when you’re in town!”

2011’s first music trivia question is: What is the name of the parson in the song, “Winter Wonderland?” Is it: A) Parson Black, B) Parson Brown, C) Parson White or D) Parson Purple?

If you are caller number five this week with the correct answer, you’ll a CD of your favorite artist, genre or era of music. Good luck!

Now, let’s check out last week’s music trivia question, which was: Which of the following country songs was not one of the three country songs that topped the Billboard country chart for four weeks in 2010: A) “Consider Me Gone” by Reba McEntire, B) “Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner, C) “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lamber or D) “How Do You Like Me Now” by Toby Keith”?

The correct answer was Toby Keith’s “How Do You Like Me Now,” which was country music’s No. 1 hit of 2000.

Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Helma “Sugar” Applebee, who won a CD of her favorite music (1940s big band), plus a $10 gift certificate to Scoops Ice Cream & Espresso, located in the Sawmill Crossing complex.

A little about Sugar: She was born and raised in Vandalia, Mo., then moved to Phoenix in 1945. She and her husband were married for 64 years before he passed away last April. Sugar has two children, Vickie and Larry. Three months ago she moved to Payson to be closer to family.

While living in the Valley, Sugar was employed for 30 years by the Motorola Company. She was very active in her church and enjoyed collecting coins and studying genealogy. She enjoys listening to gospel and big band music, especially the smooth sounds of the Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller Orchestras.

Stay warm!

DJ Craig

Phone: 468-1482

Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com

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