Mother Nature certainly has a way of evening things out, doesn’t she?
Through the beginning of July our Rim Country had been as dry as a bone and I was beginning to wonder if monsoon season would ever get here.
But the skies have since opened (again and again), replete with the season’s usual violent lightning strikes and booming claps of thunder.
I often wonder why it is that I am so completely fascinated by evening summer storms, so enthralled that I even find myself sitting outside on our front deck during the most dangerous of storms, staring in awe into the heavens as millions upon millions of volts of electricity light up the sky in various shades of purple and mauve.
And it’s only when my clothes are nearly soaked from the driving, wind-swept rain that I run inside for shelter, change into my warm jammies, hip-hop into bed and drift off to sleep to the sounds of raindrops drip-dropping through the juniper trees outside our wide open bedside window.
Yes, emphatically, I love a rainy night.
This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the singer-songwriter-guitarist who earned a No. 1 hit on both the pop and country Billboard charts with his 1981 hit “I Love a Rainy Night?”
This New York born (1941) and New Jersey raised artist, who moved to Nashville in 1968, was one of country music’s most innovative artists during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Though it took a few years to get his recording career off the ground, he paid the rent through songwriting, authoring Elvis Presley’s “Kentucky Rain” and Ronnie Milsap’s “Pure Love.”
He continued to write professionally until 1975, when he signed with Elektra Records’ newly established country recording company. He made recordings that were decidedly country — mostly up-tempo material, like “Two Dollars in the Jukebox” and “Drinkin’ My Baby (Off My Mind),” with thick, inimitable harmonies.
However, with the assistance of his then-associates David Malloy and Even Stevens, his records became “progressively progressive.”
In 1976, he started a string of Top 10 hits that ran uninterrupted until 1989. During that time, he had 16 No. 1 singles, including “Drinkin’ My Baby (Off My Mind)” (1976), “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” (1978), “Every Which Way But Loose” (1979), “Drivin’ My Life Away” (1980), “Step by Step” (1980), and “You and I,” a beautiful 1982 duet with Crystal Gayle.
In the late 1980s, this artist returned to more traditional sounds, as his country shuffle “On Second Thought” demonstrated, but it was too late for him to return to the top of the country charts, since he had already been supplanted by a newer generation of artists.
In 1997, this popular country-pop crossover artist was diagnosed with lung cancer, which claimed his life on May 7, 1998.
Is this “I Love a Rainy Night” artist: A) Glen Campbell; B) Kenny Rogers; C) Eddie Rabbitt; or D) Ron Hitchcock?
Be the fifth caller with the correct answer this week and you’ll win a CD of this artist’s greatest hits.
Last Week’s Music Trivia Question
This past week’s trivia question asked if you could name the title of Hank Thompson’s hit to which the late Kitty Wells was responding in her song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” Was Thompson’s song: A) “The Wild Side Of Life,” B) “Honky Tonk Girl,” C) “Anybody’s Girl,” or D) “I Find You Cheatin’ On Me.”
The correct answer was “The Wild Side Of Life,” which sat atop the country music charts for 15 consecutive weeks in the spring and summer of 1952 and later earned induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Jim Davidson of Payson, who won a CD of the very best easy listening songs of the 1950s. Jim has won once before.
A couple of last notes
New pictures that I’ve added to my Web site are from Chuck Jackman’s birthday bash last Saturday at his ranch off Main Street. The highlight of the two-day affair was the much-anticipated performance of the “Veiled Enchantment” belly dancers from Snowflake. They put on quite a show.
And last — if you’re looking for a fun day and evening this Saturday, come on down to Green Valley Park this Saturday any time between noon and 8 p.m. for National Night Out Family Fun Day, sponsored by the Payson Police Department.
There will be family fun for all ages, including food, live music by local musicians (Junction 87, John Carpino & the Hot Cappuccinos, Brandon Shill and Bill Camp), vendors, games, a bounce house, water slide, community service booths — and a whole lot more. It should be a great day and evening of fun.