The town of Payson certainly is abuzz. What absolutely, marvelously, stupendously exciting news that the last of so many hurdles was jumped last week and construction will start before the end of the year on the much anticipated Arizona State University satellite campus here in town.
But just like anything new that comes down the pike, there will be those who disagree with the decision to add 6,000 college-age students to our town population. But then, I’ve been told that there were opponents nearly 20 years ago when the plans to build Green Valley Park were unveiled. And look how well that major decision turned out.
For most of us, having a state-of-the-art, four-year college in our dinky little rural town is an unbelievable blessing. The new college will create an abundance of new jobs, consumers and friends. The college will bring wonderful learning opportunities, and not just for out-of-towners, but for us local yokels, as well.
An ASU campus will bring a new cultural diversity and renewed energy to Payson — and so much more. Many thumbs up to Mayor Kenny Evans and to all the others who worked relentlessly to turn this college dream into reality.
I’m so excited!
This week’s question
Can you name the R&B vocal group that recorded the 1984 dance hit “I’m So Excited”?
This sister group (Ruth, Anita, June and Bonnie) formed in 1971 in Oakland, Calif. and debuted on the Top 40 with their 1973 hit “Yes We Can Can,” which peaked at No. 11.
Following five years of moderate success, Bonnie left the group in 1978 to pursue a solo career, with the remaining sisters continuing as a trio in a more contemporary style. It was then that the sisters enjoyed their greatest ascendancy, starting with their 1979 song “Fire” and continuing through their 1985 hit “Dare Me.”
It was during this six-year run that the sisters took on more of a pop-dance flair, which worked well for them as they landed 10 songs onto Billboard’s Top 20. In addition to “I’m So Excited,” the trio’s other big hits were “Neutron Dance,” “Slow Hand” and “Jump (For My Love),” for which they earned Grammy’s Pop Vocal Group award.
This fun group also appeared as The Wilson Sisters in the 1976 movie “Car Wash.”
Is this “I’m So Excited” group A) The Lennon Sisters; B) The Pointer Sisters; C) The McGuire Sisters; or D) The Andrews Sisters?
If you’re caller number seven and have the right answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite artist or genre of music. Good luck!
Last week’s question
This past week’s question asked if you could name the Kentucky born and raised singer/songwriter/guitarist who sang the 1975 country hit “Deal”?
From 1967-1986, this popular country artist charted 54 songs on Billboard’s Hot Country chart, 21 of which made it into the Top 10 and seven that went to No. 1, which included “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine,” “A Week in a Country Jail” and “I Love.”
The choices were A) Tom T. Hall; B) Merle Haggard; C) Waylon Jennings; and D) Don Williams.
The correct answer was Tom T. Hall.
Country singers Haggard, Jennings and Williams also scored many No. 1 country hits in the ’60s through the ’80s.
Congratulations to this past week’s second-time music trivia winner Bob Fulton of Rye, who won a Tom T. Hall Greatest Hits CD.
Some final notes
New pictures that I’ve added to my Web site are from this past Saturday’s elegant and fun wedding at Gainey Suites in Scottsdale between Katie Carpenter and Noah Simon. Katie is the daughter of Ross and Shari Carpenter of Payson, a 2003 graduate of Payson High School and a 2011 doctoral graduate of the University of Houston. (Katie is a Payson girl who “Got ’Er Done.”)
The fifth of the nine free concerts under the stars at Green Valley Park will take place this Saturday night with one of Payson’s favorite bands performing. Junction 87 will take the stage from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the trio of Bob Lewis, Jim Norman and Billy Ichida again bringing to the park their two-steppin’ and swing blend of classic country and rock ’n’ roll oldies.
Also, if you plan to visit Green Valley Park for the annual 4th of July festivities and fireworks next Thursday and you’re anywhere in the close vicinity of the lake, you’ll again hear patriotic and other fun music billowing from our front deck — cranked up when the fireworks begin. This year, I’ll be in Pinetop for a four-day holiday music event, so “DJ Ann” (my wife) will be taking over the patriotic entertainment duties.
As always on the 4th, feel free to walk up our driveway and give Ann your music requests — or just come up and say hello. I know she’ll enjoy your company.
And finally, we say a final farewell to country music’s singer-guitarist-yodeler Slim Whitman. He passed away last week at the age of 90. Slim broke into country music in 1952 with his first big single, “Love Song of the Waterfall” and then followed that up with eight straight Top 10 hits. The mustachioed Floridian continued producing albums (65 in all) through the 1990s.
He will probably best be remembered for his hits “Indian Love Call” and “Rose Marie.” So long, Slim.
Have a star-spangled Independence Day!
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482
Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com