Only two more weeks to go.
The June 30 deadline to get 2012-2013 Tonto Community Concert Association series early bird reduced-price season tickets is quickly approaching. Season ticket brochures and ordering forms can be picked up at the Payson Public Library or the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The early bird season ticket price is again only $85 for all eight concerts, which breaks down per concert to about the same price as an “all-beef-patty-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-seed-bun” meal deal. And the concerts won’t leave you feeling bloated and gassy!
And what a great concert series it’s going to be this year, with acts coming into the Payson High School Auditorium from all over the country. The series starts off in September with the return of the ever-popular Daniel Rodriguez, the New York singing policeman, who this year will be joined by his beautiful and talented wife, Marla, and finishes in May with the Side Street Strutters, with their colorful costumes, tap dancing and 26 years of creative musicianship.
In between, the series will feature the Abrams Brothers, 42Five, the Prima Trio, the Legacy of Floyd Cramer (performed by his pianist grandson, Jason) and the two concerts I definitely will be there early for to get front row seats — January’s Masters of Motown and March’s Ricky Nelson Remembered.
The 10-member Motown cast will be bringing us the Detroit Motor City sound we loved so much in the 1960s — featuring songs by the Temptations, Four Tops, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas and more.
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, the identical twins sons of 1950s-60s teen idol Ricky Nelson, will be on stage performing all their father’s hits that we listened to as we were sitting in the malt shops of the day — “Never Be Anyone Else But You,” “Be-Bop Baby,” “Stood Up” and so many more.
Ricky Nelson has always been one of my favorite “Oldies-But-Goodies” singers. Born Eric Hillard Nelson, he was the son of bandleader Ozzie Nelson and vocalist Harriet Hillard. With his brother David, he appeared on the Ozzie and Harriet radio show, which debuted in 1949, and later on the family’s long-running TV show from 1952-1966.
When the good-looking Ricky Nelson broke into the music scene in 1957, he was an instant success. His first release, “A Teenager’s Romance,” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard chart and his next 17 consecutive songs all made it into the Top 30.
In all, he had 53 Billboard chart hits from 1957 to 1973, including 18 songs that made it into the Top 10.
In 1963, Nelson married Kristen Harmon (sister of actor Mark Harmon), later divorcing in 1982. Their twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar (who we will see in concert) began recording in 1990 and had three Top 15 hits of their own, including their number one hit “Love and Affection.”
This week’s music trivia question is: Which of the following songs was not a Top 5 hit for Ricky Nelson? A) Poor Little Fool; B) Venus; C) Travelin’ Man; or D) Garden Party?
Be the fourth caller with the correct answer this week and you’ll win a CD of all of Ricky Nelson’s top hits.
Last week’s Music Trivia Question
This past week’s question asked if you could complete the end of the last line of Arizona State University’s fight song, “Maroon and Gold.” The last line started: “And it’s onward...”
Is the correct finish: A) to fight, fight, fight; B) to victory; B) to never, never say die; or D) to Camp Tontozona.
The correct answer was “to victory.”
Congratulations to this past week’s second-time music trivia winner, Ruth Wells-Miyamoto, who won a $50 gift certificate from Payson Florist & Plantscapes, good toward the purchase of fresh arrangements or interior plants.
This Saturday night’s free concert at Green Valley Park should be another good one, especially if you enjoy listening to the blues. Local band, Blue Frog, which entertains regularly on Friday nights at Sidewinders in Pine, will be performing from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Lead vocalist, “Big Al” Schwartz told me, “Our five-piece band primarily plays the blues, with a rock edge and with a little country thrown in, too. We love to interact with the audience and get the whole place rockin’.
“We’ll probably start off the evening with a Joe Cocker song, then sneak in a some Lou Rawls, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Rolling Stones and Stevie Ray Vaughn.”
It should be another great Saturday night of music in Green Valley Park.
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482