Special Friends – Family – Oak Ridge Boys

September 16th, 2011

What a super evening. We hadn’t seen our family – you know the ones you pick as opposed to the ones you’re born with – the Oak Ridge Boys, in quite a while so this was particularly fun.

We had tried to get to Nashville for their induction into the Grand Ol’ Opry but the timing was off for us. So the last time we saw them was during General Yeager’s birthday last February and the day after – Valentine’s Day.

We got to the casino in Sparks early and chatted over some food with Darrick. General Yeager told Darrick that he wanted to hear “It Takes a Little Rain”.

When we went backstage, we saw Joe first. Hugs. Joe said he got the word: The General would kick his bu–, if they didn’t sing his favorite song.

Joe introduced us to Kyle, who is in the Navy, and a special guest.

Next we saw Chris G., Chris N.. Jimmy, Rex, Jeff. Chris N was enjoying married life – still a newlywed – a home boy from Phili :-)

Then I went back to the Green Room. Duane gave me a warm welcome, then looked around – You here a-lo-…Where’s the General?

Just then the General came in. Next said hello to Richard. He’s so kind – he once explained to me that he doesn’t talk a lot before a concert – saving his voice.

And finally William Lee walked in. He was looking pretty trim after his 10 trip through Europe with his wife Brenda and son Solomon.

Joe alerted Duane that he has to sing It Takes A Little Rain or the General is going to kick Joe’s butt.

Duane looked at Chris N and teased you sing it this time and walked in the adjacent room. I started singing it, Chris joined in. Duane came back looked at me with surprise and said, Yeah, you can sing it.

I didn’t tell him that we play it over and over sometimes – in part so General Yeager can hear me sing it – it’s in my key so I actually sound pretty good singing along with Duane in the privacy of our car. :-)

Saw Donny – he had his earphones hanging down from his ears – they look a little freaky – being pink flesh colored. Then to make it more eerie, they moved from his neck to his ears seemingly of their own accord. In truth, Donny had pulled  them by string from his back. Hard to describe this visual.


Gen Yeager returned backstage. Darrick introduced him & big cheers as General Yeager walked out onstage.

He started with: You might wonder what the hell….ahem…Pardon me. What a military guy might be doing here.

Joe Bonsall turned to me with delight at the “hell…ahem..Pardon me.”

Gen Yeager continued and described being one of 2 P-51s escorting a box of bombers for the 1st daylight raid on Berlin March 4, 1944. The weather was stinkin’ and the mission had been recalled but the 357th hadn’t gotten word. Only 2 of the P-51s found the box of bombers tho’; General Yeager being one of them.

He shot down his first enemy. Found he was going so fast, he almost overtook him, so he did an immelman and came in behind the enemy and shot him down. Problem was the pieces of the airplane almost hit Gen Y’s airplane. He learned not to shoot from directly behind – those flying pieces could have knocked him out of the sky.

On the way back, Gen Yeager’s guns were spent, so he told the other P-51 to make sure the bombers didn’t shoot him down – they could be trigger happy thinking he was an enemy aircraft before they looked carefully.

“In Myrtle Beach, the Oak Ridge Boys heard the 357th FG was having a reunion and invited us to come to their show. We asked who they were and do we have to buy the tickets. They said no, you’re coming as our guests. We enjoyed the concert. They’re really patriotic.

And we’ve been friends ever since. “

Let’s welcome the Oak Ridge Boys.

The Boys are Back. The Boys are Back.

Darrick took us to our seats in the audience. And we sure enjoyed the show.

Their new CD comes out Monday – sponsored by Cracker Barrel. So Joe said – please go to Cracker Barrel and order oats, dumplings, and lots of CDs. I thought Cracker Barrel made cheese?

The Oaks sang lots of songs we hadn’t heard before or in a long while.

And of course. It Takes a Little Rain.

Each time I hear Duane, I don’t think he, or anyone for that matter, could sing it any better, and then the next time he does! And then tonight, his voice was even more full, more passionate, more true and tonight was the best.

General Yeager saluted him.

William Lee sang a new one, and a fairly new one – both lovely. Bluebird is the name of one – Beautiful Bluebird. Chris Golden would like to do a video of Gen Yeager flying with William Lee singing this song.

Joe sang Sacrifice. Wowser. Now there’s a song I’d like many people I’ve encountered in the last few years to hear. There are too many people I have met that have no regard for what all these veterans of war including the attack on the world trade towers, some surviving, some dying, have done and the loss of their families. For these disinterested people. If they heard this song sung by Joe, and still didn’t get it, then it would be clear they had no soul to be touched by this song.

Richard sang full and strong.

The Shade was a fun song. Duane really was at play when he sang it. Fun!

It was a great concert. A little different because the audience was not the usual loud and vocal. So I got a solo when the Oaks put the microphone to the audience during Elvira: “Lips like cherry wine!”  Woo hoo!

Only took me a couple years to get it right :-)

When I was little my brother used to complain to my mother that I never got the words right to any song (as I sang to the radio in the car). My mother didn’t care – I don’t think she could decipher the words any better than I could.

I asked my brother to tell me the right words but he refused. So I gaily sang whatever I thought the words were to the annoyance of my brother. I think that may have added to my joy. Tee hee. Hey – I had asked him to tell me the words. At least he didn’t say I was off key :-)

I’m a music, not a words person at first gush. Probably cause in the 60’s, as I mentioned, I couldn’t understand what many were shouting or mumbling or….so I stuck to the music and enjoyed Broadway music whose lyrics were easier. But with the Oak Ridge Boys’ songs, I listen to the words and chair dance (the G rated kind) to the music. Several very inspiring songs.

A older friend of mine used to talk about a rap artist before he died. She’d say Two Pack of Coors. It took me awhile to win the game – she meant Tupac Shakur. So I guess this language comprehension afflicts many of us.

Anyway, even though the audience last night wasn’t loud and vocal, nonetheless, I could see they were thrilled and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They had the house lights up a few times, so I’m sure the Oaks could see this too.

I also know this because a few stopped us on the way to the car – unable to speak for the first couple minutes, so thrilled to meet their hero whom they hadn’t expected when they bought tickets. They loved the concert. And they loved Chuck Yeager’s introduction.

A wonderful evening with our musical family.


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