Mom A Popular Song Subject For Country Crooner

Aurora Alvarez was the guest of honor last Saturday when her three children, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and more than 150 family members and friends gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Aurora Alvarez was the guest of honor last Saturday when her three children, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and more than 150 family members and friends gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday.


M is for the mercy she possesses

O means that I owe her all I own

T is for her tender, sweet caresses

H is for her hands that made a home

E means ev’rything she’s done to help me

R means real and regular

Put them all together they spell MOTHER, a word that means the world to me.

The above lyrics are from country music singer Eddy Arnold’s 1985 song “M-O-T-H-E-R (A Name That Means The World To Me).”

The Tennessee born and raised Arnold certainly must have admired and held his mother in the highest regard, as no less than six of his top hits feature “mother” in the titles, including three in 1947 alone: “That Wonderful Mother of Mine,” “My Mother’s Sweet Voice” and “I Wish I Had A Girl Like You, Mother.”

I imagine that if Eddy were alive today, he would still be belting out tunes in that smooth, southern voice of his, honoring his mother, Fannie. And I’ll bet he was a caring, concerned son, one who often stopped by to visit his mom, especially on Mother’s Day.

Eddy was born on May 15, 1918 on a farm near Henderson, Tenn. His father, a sharecropper, played the fiddle, while his mother played guitar. As a boy, Arnold helped on the farm.

Arnold attended Pinson High School in Pinson, Tenn., where he played guitar for school functions and events. He quit before graduation to help with the farm work, but continued performing, reportedly often arriving on a mule with his guitar hung on his back.

During 1934, at age 16, and for the next decade, Arnold worked at several different radio stations in the East and was always one of the station’s favorite performers.

Arnold performed for WSM-AM on the Grand Ole Opry during 1943 as a solo artist. The next year, he signed a contract with RCA Victor, with manager Colonel Tom Parker, who later managed Elvis Presley.

Arnold’s first single was little noticed, but the next, “Each Minute Seems a Million Years,” reached No. 5 on the country charts in 1945. Its success began a decade of unmatched chart performance. Arnold’s next 57 singles all scored in the Top 10, including 19 No. 1 successes.

His 1948 “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I can Hold You in My Arms) stayed atop Billboard’s country chart for an unprecedented 21 consecutive weeks.

Eddy Arnold recorded and placed hits on the country charts for six decades, with “Cattle Call,” a duet with LeAnn Rimes and a remake of his earlier 1945 hit, marking his last chart appearance. He died in 2008 at the age of 89.

This week’s music trivia question is: What was Eddy Arnold’s well-known nickname? Was it A) Fast Eddy; B) The Tennessee Plowboy; C) Golden Throat; or D) Mama’s Boy?

This week, if you are the fifth caller with the correct answer to this week’s trivia question, you’ll win a prize that’s just in time for Mother’s Day — a Chili’s Restaurant $10 gift certificate, plus two certificates for a free kid’s meal when you purchase an adult meal. Chili’s Restaurant — always a great place to take the family.

Now, let’s see how we did with last week’s music trivia question, which was: Who was the actor who played the part of Caractacus Potts and the singer of “Hushabye Mountain” in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Was this talented celebrity A) Marvin Gaye; B) Frankie Valli; C) Dick Van Dyke; or D) Cliff Potts?

The right answer was Dick Van Dyke.

Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Aaron Cherov, a regular caller and multiple time music trivia winner. Aaron won two complimentary tickets to last Saturday’s “Let’s go to the Movies” concert, presented by the Payson Choral Society.

Last, new pictures I’ve added to my Web site are from last Saturday’s evening’s birthday party for Aurora Alvarez.

Aurora’s three children, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren were among the more than 150 family members and friends who gathered at the Elks Lodge to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Born the second of 10 children and raised in Peoria, Aurora spent the majority of her working life as the family grocery store’s bookkeeper and later helped her husband run a Mexican food restaurant.

Aurora has lived on Mountain View Road, east of Star Valley, since 1975. Her son, Richard, is a vocational education teacher at Payson High School and her daughter-in-law, Darlene, teaches fourth grade at Julia Randall School.

Happy birthday and happy Mother’s Day, too, Aurora. And happy Mother’s Day to all moms everywhere.

DJ Craig — (928) 468-1482


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