“I see trees of green, red roses too.
I see them bloom, for me and you.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.
“I see skies of blue, and clouds of white.
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.”
The above are the first two verses from jazz legend Louis Armstrong’s 1967 song, “What a Wonderful World,” one of my top five, if not my all-time favorite song.
And what a wonderful world kind of weekend it was again in Payson this past Saturday and Sunday. Residents of the Rim Country were treated to more sunshine, oh-so-nice temperatures and many great things to do.
The three-night Payson High School play “Footloose” received standing ovations from the large audiences; the “You Ought to be in Pictures” Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase was a rousing success; Nashville superstar John Berry captivated the TCCA audience with his masterful voice, country charm and storytelling; and through fun activities, Rim Guidance’s Fools Day Fun helped area youth understand and deal with the issue of alcohol and drug abuse.
And to top off last week’s wonderful Payson weekend, both the high school baseball and softball teams each won their games.
Blessed are we who call Payson, Arizona our what-a-wonderful-world home.
This week’s question
Louis Armstrong was one of the towering giants in 20th century American music, born on Independence Day, 1900. By the time he formed his own band in 1926, young “Sachmo” was already a jazz legend. His greatest popularity came with his uniquely raspy, scat-ting vocals.
In years to come, frequent movie appearances as well as concerts made Armstrong one of the world’s best-known and most beloved entertainers, and so he remained until his death in 1971.
Armstrong’s five decades of charted recordings included over 70 hits, many as duets with some of the big names in music — Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers, just to name a few.
In 1932, he earned his first No. 1 hit with the song “All of Me,” from the film “Careless Lady.” It wasn’t until 32 years later in 1964, at the age of 64, that he scored his second, and last, chart-topper.
This week’s question is: What was the name of Louis Armstrong’s second, and last, No. 1 hit? Was it A) “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” B) “She Loves You,” C) “Can’t Buy Me Love,” or D) “Hello Dolly”?
If you’re the fourth caller this week with the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your choice of artist or music genre.
Last week’s question
Last week’s trivia question asked if you could name 1990s country singer John Berry’s only No. 1 hit, which he so brilliantly sang at his Sunday concert. The choices were A) “Amazing Love,” B) “Your Love Amazes Me,” C) “Amazed,” or D) “Amazing Grace.”
The correct answer was “Your Love Amazes Me.”
“Amazing Love” was a 1973 chart-topper by Charley Pride; “Amazed” was a No. 1 hit in 1999 for the country group Lonestar; and “Amazing Grace” has been recorded by a myriad of artists, with my favorite version being by Johnny Cash.
Congratulations to Peri Cline, last week’s trivia winner, who won three tickets to last Sunday’s John Berry concert in the high school auditorium, courtesy of the Tonto Community Concert Association.
“John Berry has always been a favorite of mine and the tickets couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Peri, “Sunday was my birthday.”
Peri was born in Boston and raised in California. Following her graduation from Coopertino High School, she attended Deanza Community College, where she met her future husband, Don.
Don left for Australia before Peri finished school, but as soon as she graduated a year later, she hopped on the first flight she could get and off for the down-under continent she went. Peri said, “I chased him down. You just don’t let a good man get away.” In July, Peri and Don will celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary. They have one daughter and three grandchildren.
After living for three years in Australia, the couple moved to the Phoenix area, where Peri began a 30-year career as a purchasing agent, with the last eight at General Electric.
After retiring a year ago, Peri and Don moved to Star Valley. She now spends her free time canning goods, knitting and crocheting. She donates her handmade blankets to the New Beginnings’ Nook Thrift Store and her lap robes to veterans organizations. They are members of St. Paul Episcopal Church.
Peri’s favorite genres of music are easy listening and 1990s country. Her three favorite artists are John Berry, Garth Brooks and George Strait.
A couple of final notes
New pictures that I’ve added to my website are from last weekend’s Payson High School Music Theatre production of “Footloose.” Kudos to everyone involved with this year’s high school spring musical. The high school students put everything they had into the musical and it showed. The performance was two-plus hours of non-stop, energetic song and dance.
We are fortunate to have some very talented youth in our community.
Have a great Rim Country week!
DJ Craig - (928) 468-1482 - www.djcraiginpayson.com