Junction 87 concert in the park draws a crowd

Junction 87 played to a crowd gathered on the grass at Green Valley Park on Saturday.

Under a full moon, one of Rim Country’s favorite bands, Junction 87, drew a crowd of 1,300 to Green Valley Park Saturday night.

The second band in Payson’s summer concert series, people of all ages danced to Junction 87’s classic country tunes.

Ray Kinsman, 95, a familiar face wherever there’s dancing, said it’s hard for him to walk two blocks now, but he can always dance.

Kinsman is somewhat of a local legend for hiking the Grand Canyon at 85, and continuing to remain fit and active into his 90s.

“People think I’m 78,” he said with a smile on his face, “but I’m 95.”

Children twirled around the stage and others danced on the grass as the stage filled with people.

The crowd stretched from the stage all the way up to the top of the bowl. The Payson Police Department was on hand. They estimated attendance at 1,300.

Caley King commented on the Roundup’s live video, “The best part of this video is seeing that no matter your age; dancing is still fun and spreads joy.”

Others said hello to their friends as they appeared in the video, some lamented that they had to work so were unable to make it.

Pam Korn Jones said, “Couldn’t make to the park so we are sitting at our front yard enjoying.”

Junction 87 includes three musicians.

Billy Ichida, lead guitar, fiddle and saxophone, has been playing guitar for about 40 years. He said his style has changed according to his lifestyle.

Jim Norman, bass guitar and vocals, began playing bass guitar at age 14 and formed a garage band before joining the Air Force. When he retired from the Air Force he returned to music and has played ever since.

Bob Lewis, lead vocal and rhythm guitar, began playing bass guitar at age 10. He comes from a long line of Arizona musicians. He played backup for Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Sammi Smith and Waylon Jennings, among others.

The Concert in the Park is a series of free live concerts on Saturdays in Green Valley Park from the beginning of June through the end of July each year.

The next concert, on June 22, will feature Back to the Fifties. All concerts are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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