This summer seems like it’s just flashing by at light-year speed. The summer solstice has already come and gone, the days are beginning to get shorter, Independence Day has skyrocketed by and after this Saturday night, the summer outdoor concert series at Green Valley Park will be two-thirds of the way through.
This Saturday night’s 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. outdoor concert should be another big hit for area residents. Local favorites, John Carpino and the Hot Cappuccinos, will be there, bringing us their high-energy Rock, Country, Reggae and Motown sound.
On stage, singer/songwriter John Carpino, lead vocals and guitar, will be joined by his lovely wife, Lu, keyboard, vocals and percussion; David Brooks, bass guitar and vocals; and Dave Yoder, drums and vocals.
Although John says he feels like he has been singing forever, “the ‘Hot Cappuccino’ flavor was added to our title in 2005, when the band needed a catchy name for Elvis’ 70th birthday tribute at the Mazatzal Casino. It’s been our calling card ever since.”
John’s music history really does go back a ways. His interest for music developed when he was in high school. “At that time, I really wanted to play football, but I was too small and I kept getting hurt. So I took up the guitar,” John explained.
“Then, when I was a student at Fort Lewis College in Colorado, I started entertaining for others, and that’s when my career really took off — and I also met the love of my life.
“At one of the performances I was giving, a young woman came up and suggested that I let her friend join me on stage.
“Although a bit skeptical, I agreed. But it didn’t take long before I knew that this young auditioner had more than a good voice — she had also found a special place in my heart,” John beamed.
John and Lu have now been married for 23 years and are the proud parents of four children. Their daughter, Jessalyn, is a senior at NAU and will be doing her student teaching in art at Payson High School this fall.
When not performing for others, John enjoys substitute teaching at the Pine School, where Lu is a speech therapist. They have lived in Payson for the past 25 years.
One of the songs that we will most likely hear on Saturday night is “Blue Bayou,” written and performed by the late, great Roy Orbison and later turned into an even bigger hit by Linda Ronstadt.
This Saturday’s version of Orbison’s hit (which was the B-side of his Top-5 hit, “Mean Woman Blues”) will be performed by Lu as a solo.
John said, “It’s a really hard song to sing, but Lu does a fantastic job with it. The audience will be in for a real treat.”
The song “Blue Bayou” tells a sad story — one of loss, nostalgia and heartbreak. Yet, unlike most such Orbison songs that dwell on such topics, the music of the track is gently happy-go-lucky.
The charming melody and lazy, swinging pace ooze not so much despair as a return to happier times and tempered by an odd sense of anticipation, almost, of revisiting the Blue Bayou where he lost his girl.
I’m really looking forward to Lu’s presentation.
This week’s music trivia question is: In what year did Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou” hit Billboard’s Pop chart? A) 1956; B) 1963; C) 1972; or D) 1989?
Be the fourth caller with the correct answer this week and you’ll win a copy of John Carpino’s first (of four) published CDs, “Come So Far.” (All his CDs will be available for sale the night of the concert.)
Last week’s Music Trivia Question
This past week’s question asked if you could name the Georgia-born R&B singer who scored a number one hit in the fall of 1960 with his song “Georgia On My Mind,” which was later covered by country artist Willie Nelson in 1978 and brilliantly performed by Junction 87 at last Saturday’s concert in the park.
The choices were: A) Ray Charles; B) Sam Cooke; C) Fats Domino; and D) Charley Pride.
The correct answer was Ray Charles.
Did you know that the song “Georgia On My Mind” goes back even further than Ray Charles? It was originally produced and was a Top 10 hit by Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra in 1931 and also became a top hit 10 years later for bandleader Gene Krupa, with the vocal by Anita O’Day.
Congratulations to this past week’s multiple-time music trivia winner, Aaron Chernov of Payson, who won a Junction 87 CD, which he picked up from the band the night of the concert.
One last thing
Season tickets are still available for this next year’s Tonto Community Concert series. The season spans from September through May, featuring eight terrific musical acts from across the United States.
The concert series is held in the beautifully remodeled Payson High School Auditorium. Concert brochures and ordering forms are available at both the library and the chamber of commerce.
I’m now a member of the TCCA board, so you can always call me for information about the concerts too.
I hope you had a nice 4th of July. And have a great time at this Saturday’s concert in the park!