Saying Goodbye To A Great Guy

Dr. Mark Ivey, Jr., longtime Rim Country resident and area physician, has decided to retire from his private medical practice on North Beeline Highway

Dr. Mark Ivey, Jr., longtime Rim Country resident and area physician, has decided to retire from his private medical practice on North Beeline Highway


After 35 years, one of Payson’s “really good guys” is taking down his business shingle.

Dr. Mark Ivey, Jr., longtime Rim Country resident and area physician, has decided to retire from his private medical practice on North Beeline Highway. The good doctor, known familiarly and affectionately as simply Doc Ivey, will continue as the medical director at both Payson Regional Home Health and Rim Country Health.

Originally from Ajo, Ariz., Dr. Ivey earned his medical degree in 1977 in Montreal, Canada and has been serving the greater Payson community for his entire medical career. Said Dr. Ivey, “I’ve probably administered to 100 or more patients each and every week for the past three-an-a-half decades. I’m figuring that adds up to over 200,000 client visits.”

When I asked Dr. Ivey what has been the most enjoyable aspect of being a family physician, he said without hesitation, “Two things — that I’ve helped people help themselves and making the right diagnosis.”

In addition to being a fine doctor and good friend to his patients, Dr. Ivey has another passion that those close to him know about — music. He just happens to be a terrific singer-songwriter-guitarist, having written and recorded three songs, “Let’s Make America America Again,” “It Must Have Been one hell of a Night” and the locally popular “Pine Country.” His guitar often accompanied him when he made his rounds at the Rim Country Health and Retirement Center.

To honor his 35 years of service and last 15 as the medical director of its long-term care facility, Rim Country Health and Retirement recently honored Dr. Ivey with a surprise “going away” party. And surprised he was. At the end of the many, many speeches lauding him and his service to the facility and the community, Dr. Ivey brought out his acoustic guitar and entertained the many appreciative guests with his very own “Pine Country.”

If you visit my Web site listed below, you’ll be able to see pictures from Dr. Ivey’s retirement party.

This week’s question

Can you name the country music artist who in 1957 recorded Dr. Ivey’s all-time favorite song, “Four Walls”?

This Texas-born singer-songwriter was perhaps the biggest male star to emerge from the Nashville sound. His mellow baritone voice and muted velvet orchestration combined to create a sound that echoed around the world and has lasted to this day. He was capable of singing hard country (“Mexican Joe” went to No. 1 in 1953), but he made his greatest impact as a country-pop crooner.

From 1955 through 1969, he was consistently on the country and pop charts — an amazing fact in light of his untimely death in an airplane accident in 1964. Not only was he a presence on the American charts, but he became country music’s foremost international ambassador and, if anything, was even more popular in Europe and Britain than in his native America.

After his death, his fan base didn’t diminish at all, and several of his posthumous hits actually outsold his earlier singles; no less than six No. 1 singles arrived in the three years following his burial.

In all, this country “gentleman” scored 43 Top 10 songs on the country charts, 11 of which went to No. 1, which in addition to “Mexican Joe” and “Four Walls” included “Bimbo,” “Distant Drums” and “He’ll Have to Go.”

Is Dr. Ivey’s favorite singer: A) Johnny Cash, B) Hank Snow, C) Eddy Arnold, or D) Jim Reeves?

Be the sixth caller with the right answer and you’ll win a CD of the greatest hits of this week’s music trivia artist. Good luck!

Last week’s question

Last week’s question asked if you could name the duo who sang the fun and peppy 1983 dance hit “It’s Raining Men.” The choices were A) The Lightning Seeds, B) Earth, Wind & Fire, C) Fire and Rain, or D) The Weather Girls.

The correct answer was the one-hit wonder, San Francisco-based R&B duo The Weather Girls — comprised of Martha Walsh and Izora Redman. The duo started out in the gospel group NOW (News of the World) before becoming backup singers with Sylvester in the 1970s. They formed the duo Two Tons of Fun in the latter part of the decade, before changing their name to The Weather Girls in 1982.

The Lightning Seeds, though the name indicates a group, was actually soloist Ian Broudie, an alternative-rock singer from Liverpool, England, who produced two moderate hits in the early 1990s, “Pure” and “The Life of Riley.”

The Chicago-based R&B funk band, Earth, Wind & Fire, charted many hits from 1971-1993, including eight Top 10 songs and their 1975 No. 1 hit “Shining Star.”

Fire and Rain, named after James Taylor’s 1970 hit, was a pop duo from our own Tucson, Ariz. They had one song, “Hello Stranger” make the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, coming in at No. 100.

Congratulations to last week’s three-time music trivia winner, Cathy Joyce, of Payson, who won a CD of her choice. She chose a greatest hits album of country singer Miranda Lambert.

If you happen to be up in Pine this weekend for the town’s Mountain Daze, please stop by and say hello.

Have a great week!

DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482


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