Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Jack Marlin Rekindles Memories of Elvis Presley

Jack Country Club

Jack recently entertained a Dickens Victorian Village tour bus group with Elvis songs at the Cambridge Country Club.

If you’ve ever had a fondness for the music of Elvis Presley, you’re certain to be entertained by the voice of Jack Marlin, who sounds remarkably like the King of Rock and Roll. His easy-going manner and rich, smooth voice make him a crowd-pleaser.

Jack as a child

A young Jack Marlin performs in the backyard.

   Singing has been something Jack has enjoyed since high school in St. Clairsville, where he sang in the school and church choirs. Over the years, he has sung country, gospel and Elvis music. Today, the Elvis style and songs are what he prefers performing.

Jack Scout

As a teen, Jack earned his Eagle Scout award and sang at that presentation.

   As a young man, Jack admired the music of Elvis, his favorite entertainer, played his 8 tracks and tried to mimic his style and voice. He decided to conquer one song at a time and the first Elvis song learned was “Amazing Grace.” Determination set in as he then learned those popular favorites “Blue Suede Shoes” and “All Shook Up.”

Jack with City Band

An Elvis song is always popular at the Cambridge City Band concerts.

   This is a caring man who began his public singing by going to nursing homes and cheering the residents. He’s even been known to go to the home of a true Elvis fan when they were very sick just to boost their spirit. Smiles and tears from those in attendance made Jack’s voice quiver.

Jack with Crash Craddock and daughters

Jack, pictured with his daughters, opened for Billy “Crash” Craddock at the Secrest Auditorium in Zanesville.

   While Jack lives in Cambridge these days, he has performed at so many musical performances it would be impossible to list them all. Some of the ones he remembers best include opening for Nashville names like Ronna Reeves, Connie Smith, and Billy “Crash” Craddock. Singing on a Caribbean Cruise at their piano bar was fun for Jack and the passengers.

Jack with Grace Boyd

Abby and Jack enjoyed meeting Grace Boyd, Hoppy’s wife, at Park School.

   Jack has even performed with the Blackwood Quartet in Pigeon Forge, TN. Also, he’s had the pleasure of singing at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, WV where it was broadcast on WWVA radio. While performing at fairs and festivals all over the area, he admitted, “I like the local places better.”

Jack Roy, Trigger and Me (2)

His recording of “Roy, Trigger, and Me” was a popular song at cowboy festivals.

   A single released entitled “Roy, Trigger and Me”, written by Julie Bell of Byesville, was encouraged by the late Howard Cherry. Howard, being a great Roy Rogers fan, took Jack along to the festivals celebrating Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Hopalong Cassidy. Jack recalls singing the song at Park School during Hoppy Days when Hoppy’s wife, Grace Boyd, was in attendance.

Jack Elvis Dress

The Roy Rogers Festival in Portsmouth featured Jack in full Elvis dress.

   In the early years, Jack always dressed as Elvis when performing. One of his suits was made locally by Hallie Ray at the Stitchin’ Post. Today his suit from Las Vegas hangs in the closet except on very special occasions. While it was fun to dress as Elvis, his main goal has always been to sound like Elvis.

   One special time happened down in Portsmouth when the Roy Rogers Festival was in full swing. They put Jack, aka Elvis, in a big white limo and dropped him off at the town square where he entertained the crowd with popular Elvis hits while dressed in a bejeweled white jumpsuit.

Jack performing

Jack performs for parties and reunions as well as at concerts.

   His favorite Elvis song is the one that Elvis frequently ended his concerts with, “American Trilogy.” The older Jack gets, the more emotional he becomes when singing this song. Elvis sang a lot of gospel songs, too, and those are something Jack really enjoys.

Jack and 3 yr old daughter at Noble County Fair

Emily, Jack’s three-year-old daughter, got into the country act at the Noble County Fair.

   The many wonderful people he’s met have been a real blessing over the years. Locally Jack has performed with the Cambridge Singers, Lions Club Show, Golden Sixties, Cambridge City Band, barbershop groups and the list goes on. But individual performances are still his favorite. It’s been great fun.

Jack Lori Christmas

Jack’s wife, Lori, controls his computerized band quite often.

   Most of the time, the accompanying band is on the computer these days. His wife, Lori, handles the sound for him, and his daughters, Abby and Emily, have always been Dad’s girls and very supportive. They do many things together as a family.

 

Jack Luminary

Abby, Gordon Hough, Jack and Lori organize the Luminary on Christmas Eve.

   For the last three years, Jack, his wife Lori and daughter Abby have revived the Luminary on Christmas Eve in their neighborhood. Cars line the street as they pass through the lighted candles along the roadway. It’s no surprise that this family also enjoys Christmas caroling.

Jack and daughters

Jack with his daughters Abby and Emily help at the root beer stand at Pritchard-Laughlin.

   Recently, Jack retired from Columbus Gas after working there for 40 years as a dedicated employee in customer service. Helping people is what he enjoys doing the most. Today, Jack is a city councilman and volunteers at the Municipal Court in various capacities. Once in a while, a break at the golf course gives some relaxation.

Jack singing

Jack entertains at high school reunions and birthday parties.

   He encourages young people to sing and play musical instruments. Music is something you can enjoy all your life. Being able to bring a smile to someone’s face means more to him than anything. Let’s face it, Jack likes people. His performances end with the words of Elvis, “Thank you. Thank you very much!”

   Jack Marlin is always ready to sing an Elvis song.

If you would like to hear the sound of Elvis, contact Jack at jlmarlin1959@gmail.com.

Billy Jacobs Art Gallery – Home to Country Folk Art

Billy relaxes in his gallery

Billy relaxed in his gallery as he talked about his journey.

A country boy at heart describes Billy Jacobs, a man with a great variety of creative skills. Today he is best known for his rural scene paintings, which can be found around the world and at his studio, Billy Jacobs Gallery, in Navarre, Ohio. (more…)

John Glenn Grad, Chris Jones, Living His Dream

Chris Jones behind camera

Chris Jones worked behind the camera filming “I See You” with Helen Hunt.

When dreams come true, a person’s life becomes more meaningful. Each day has a purpose. Chris Jones never wanted to do anything other than make movies. He wasn’t sure what his role might be in those early years, but he loved movies. His journey from New Concord to Hollywood has been a great adventure.

Chris child

Movies and their stories caught his eye even as a child.

   About the age of nine, Chris saw “Jaws”, which stirred his imagination. A little later, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” made him wonder, “The things are not real, but look real. How did that work? How can make-believe be so real?”

   It wasn’t long before Chris had his dad’s camera on his shoulder and began filming. He and a friend might use gasoline to have a model car explode on their driveway. Fog was created using a humidifier and of course, blood was really ketchup. But Chris liked being in control of the action of the film. At one point in his early years, he had three cameras he could use.

Dad, Chris and Mom

Visited Bob, Chris, and Carol in a casual setting one Sunday afternoon.

   He credits a lot of the reason for his success to his parents, Robert and Carol Jones. “They never for a second steered me away from the process of filming. Thanks to Mom and Dad for all their help.”

Chris High School play

He played an active role in high school in movies and performances.

   Another person that always encouraged him was a high school teacher, Mary Ann DeVolld. “She was super supportive and willing to let me do things that fueled my passion for movies.” Chris made a movie instead of giving his book report, even though he said he received a B for not following directions.

   Mrs. DeVolld remembers Chris in her Media class, where he filmed and edited a video about the senior class. It allowed Chris to do what he loved as he was always talking about making films with his friends. In Mrs. DeVolld’s opinion, “I really believed that if Chris could make the right connections, he could become a serious filmmaker.”

Jones Family

The Jones Family often sang at Muskingum Alumni Weekend.

   After high school, Chris attended Muskingum College for a couple of years but then headed to a film school at North Carolina School of Arts, one of the tops in the world for film making. Here he was able to make practical application of techniques learned instead of just studying about them. Chris wanted the freedom to do his own thing.

   Even the simplest scene takes a lot of craftsmanship and design by the writers. It takes so much work and control to make each scene come alive.

Chris at film festival

Chris was chosen to represent his film school at the Tribeca Film Festival.

   While at film school, Chris wrote and did the cinematography for his own film, “Roadside Convenience”, which was selected to represent the school at the Tribeca Film Festival. Putting a film together in Chris’s eyes is pure magic, “It’s an artistic miracle.”

Jones Cowboys

Chris, Grayson, and Bob donned their cowboy hats at a Salt Fork Festival performance.

   When asked what he does in his spare time, Chris smiled, “Watch movies!” But once in a while he also takes to the ski slopes, does a little white water rafting and has begun working on the engines of motorcycles. Even the things he does for relaxation seem exciting.

I See You

   Recently he was in Cleveland shooting a thriller, “I See You”, which stars Helen Hunt. This film was released on December 6 in a streaming platform. His role this time was the first assistant cameraman, where he had to make certain he captured just the right feeling for the scene.

   It’s especially exciting for Chris to be working just up the road from where he grew up. He’s been working on other films in Ohio, such as “10 Minutes Gone” with Bruce Willis in Cincinnati for prime video and “All the Bright Places” with Elle Fanning in Cleveland to be released on Netflix.

Grey's Anatomy

   He feels so lucky to be working in an industry that he had dreams of working in as a child. Currently, Chris is working as a cinematographer/1st Assistant Camera on Grey’s Anatomy and his first episode has already been televised. Even though he spends many twelve-hour days, he loves the process. Plain and simple, Chris glows when he says, “I love movies.”

Opening 2018 Chris

Chris, with his son Grayson, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open the Salt Fork Festival.

   He’s definitely living his childhood dream. His hope for the future would be in the role of producer. Wouldn’t he be a great asset to a film with all his background knowledge? “Being on set is very exciting. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I never want to do anything else.”

   Keep living your dream, Chris!

Dance the Night Away with Cambridge Social Dance Club

Fezziwig Ball at gym

This dance group has led Victorian era dances at the holiday balls for years.

Tuesday evenings you often hear music coming from the Banquet Room of Mr. Lee’s Restaurant. This isn’t to entertain the customers over a delicious meal, but lesson time for the Cambridge Social Dance Club. If you would like to learn some new dance steps, this is the place.

Sock Hop with Elvis

Elvis even joined them for a sock hop.

   Spreading the love of dancing has been something this group has been doing for several years. They often perform at community events and spin around the floor making you wish you had their nimble ability.

Ron and Sheri 2

Ron and Sheri Warren teach others to dance at Tuesday evening classes.

   Started in 2002 by Al and Lee Mularski, the dance club was a place to teach others something that brought the Mularskis great pleasure. They loved dancing. Today, Ron and Sheri Warren serve as patient instructors. During my visit to a dance session, they were teaching the merengue, a Latin dance.

Ron and Sheri 001

Instructors Ron and Sheri Warren are dressed for the Grand Victorian Ball.

   Ron and Sheri demonstrated the basic steps of the dances first. They went very slowly adding new moves as soon as everyone was familiar with the original.  The moves they taught for the merengue included: travel, bow tie, hammerlock, and pretzel. Once they had the pattern down, couples could then make choices as to which move should come next.

Social Dance Club parade

They added their charm to a holiday parade.

   Often this group goes out to demonstrate their dance skills while they endlessly encourage others to join them. Rolling Hills Middle School volleyball team was one of those groups that found it a great social activity. Several places they have been recently included nursing homes, senior centers, and church programs. They’ve even been seen twirling down the street in a parade.

Joe and Ellen Waske 001

Joe and Ellen Waske share their dance skills at many events.

   Every year they do a benefit for a local charity that has special meaning to the group. Money raised might go to the American Heart Association or Cancer Association, but they make certain that it stays locally.

Jim and Paula Bakos

Social Dance Club President Jim and Paula Bakos shine on the dance floor.

   Jim Bakos now fills the role of president for this group. He feels dance is important because “it exercises the mind and the body.” Both partners have to know the steps, but the man leads and signals the next move to his partner through a touch, an arm movement or speaking.

Ladies 001

Ladies of the Cambridge Social Dance Club are pictured in their beautiful gowns.

   On Saturday, November 23 the group will be performing and instructing at the Grand Victorian Ball held at the Eagles’ Club and sponsored by the American Heritage Historical Society. They will appear in their beautiful Victorian ball gowns, many being made by Martha Owens, one of the dancers. Audience participation in many traditional Victorian dances will be encouraged.

Martha and Gary

Martha Owens and Gary Carpenter enjoy dancing. Martha makes many of the dresses for the ladies.

   The Grand Ball is reminiscent of Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol.” Dancers from Columbus to Cleveland to Steubenville participate in this musical event. Dances they perform will include The Grand March, Virginia Reel, Lancers Quadrille, and Spanish Waltz.

   Reservations are required by November 18 for the Grand Ball at the Eagles’ Reception Hall and can be made by calling 740-435-0400 or 740-439-4150. Cost is $25 per person or $45 per couple.

Cambridge Social Dance Club Dancing

Dancing in the street gave a Victorian feel to a Street Fair in recent years.

   On Tuesday evenings they want to instruct those who are interested in social dancing. All ages are welcome from 10 -100. You might be a beginner or want to advance to another level – there’s a place for everyone. Every few weeks they change the dance they are teaching so you might find yourself doing the waltz, merengue, or tango to name a few. The dance for November is the East Coast Swing.

   The cost of lessons is very reasonable at $6.50 for members, $7.50 for non-members, and $3.00 for students. Children, when accompanied by their parents, are free! Lessons begin at 7:00 each Tuesday night except for December. For more information call Cathy Pastre at 740-826-4081 or Gary Carpenter at 740-502-8171. Join in the fun and learn how to dance. It will brighten your life.

   Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is where the Cambridge Social Dance Club excels.

Twin City Opera House Alive with Music, Films, and Spirits

Haunted Twin City Opera House - Haunted Places in Ohio

Everything looks very similar in this historical picture – except the cars.

   Walking into Twin City Opera House is like walking back in history. On May 28, 1892, the formal opening was held for the performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Mikado” by the Arion Opera Company. All 800 seats were sold!

   Railroad excursion trains brought people from neighboring towns. While many were not patrons of the opera, all were curious to see this newly proclaimed “light of the day” as it was one of the first buildings in the county to be lit by electric light. The opening was not as grand as expected due to failure at the local generating plant, which caused the theater to be plunged into darkness.

Opera House - entrance

The entranceway still has an owl above the doorway.

   Building the Town Hall and Opera House was a politically charged issue in McConnelsville at that time. Before the GOP adopted the elephant as its symbol in the twentieth century, the party had sometimes used the owl of its ancestral “Whig” party as its mascot. That owl still adorns the keystone in the archway over the Opera House entrance.

Opera House - Marvin and Deana

Marvin and Deana Clark currently manage Ohio Valley Opry.

   Today, The Ohio Valley Opry founded by Marvin and Deana Clark in 2000 provides monthly entertainment at the old Opera House. They toured the United States for nearly twenty years as the Marvin & Deana Clark Family then returned to the area where Marvin grew up in southeastern Ohio.

Opera House- Ohio Valley Opry clear

The Clark Family Band provides great variety in their performances.

During this time on the road, they played at churches, fairs, and festivals with their four daughters. Most of the time they have played Country, Country Gospel, and Bluegrass. Marvin actually writes most of the songs that the family sings. They provide music and laughter throughout their performances.

Opera House - packed

Ohio Valley Opry frequently fills the auditorium with fans.

Opera House Sign

The husband and wife team of Birch and Sperry entertained with magic and the xylophone in the 1940s. This poster hangs in the lobby.

   A large variety of performers and celebrities have appeared at the Opera House over the years. Evangelist Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan, and Senator Albert Beveridge spoke there. The most spectacular of all were the traveling shows that would arrive by train and provide lavish productions. The tradition continues today with local, regional, and national artists now performing.

Haunted Twin City Opera House - Haunted Places in Ohio   Back in 1913, a system for showing silent films was installed. The best seats in the house were those in the “Parquet Circle,” which would be the front rows of the center section on the ground floor. Those premium seats could coast as much as twenty cents, while those in the “peanut gallery” were a nickel.

Opera House - stairs to balcony

Climb this beautiful stairway to the balcony.

   The first sound pictures using a “Vitaphone” system arrived at the Opera House in 1930. True “talkies” arrived in 1936. The theater still continues to screen recently released films, as it has done nearly every week since 1936. Price for viewing all films is a reasonable $4 per person.

Travel Channel Paranormal Show

The Travel Channel included them in their Paranormal show.

   No building this old would be without some resident spirits. Ghost stories have been around at the Opera House for over forty years with paranormal investigators spending many nights there with their special equipment. Often it is listed as one of the most haunted buildings in Ohio.

Haunted Twin City Opera House - Haunted Places in Ohio

United Paranormal is one of many groups that explore the resident spirits in the underground tunnels.

   Some say that Everett Miller, an usher there for thirty years, watches over the Opera House and has been contacted by the investigators. Or you might see ten-year-old Elizabeth peeking from the catwalk. Deep in the basement, Dark Shadow Masses have been observed by many. Spirits seem to thrive here. Come for a ghost hunt to find out more.

   It’s a beautiful drive down the Muskingum River to McConnelsville any season of the year. Check out their schedule at www.operahouseinc.com for dates and times of musical performances, film screenings, and ghost tours.

Opera House - Time capsule

Josie points to a time capsule that her dad helped develop to be opened in 2090.

   On September 21st, there will be two shows featuring country music legend, Doug Stone. Movies change each week so check out the schedule before heading to McConnelsville. The next scheduled public Ghost Hunt is December 7 and pre-registration is required.

Opera House - with statue

The Twin City Opera House can be found in the center of town near the Civil War monument.

   As you can see, the Twin City Opera House adds excitement to the McConnelsville area in many different ways. Make your choice – music, films or ghosts – and join in the fun.

Twin City Opera House is located in downtown McConnelsville along the scenic Muskingum River on Ohio Route 60-S.

Vintage Voices Ring Out in Licking County

VV Group

The Vintage Voices performed recently at Kendal in Granville.

When people join in song, their hearts and voices verify they love music. In Licking County, those who love to sing join together in a group called Vintage Voices. This mixed chorus of approximately 70 members has a special characteristic that makes them unique.

     To participate you have to have a ‘vintage voice’ – one that is at least 50 years old. They have a great sense of humor and all will tell you they are “older than dirt”. Voices from all over central Ohio join in song.

Teddy (2)

Teddy Westlake

   The group began twenty years ago in 1999 under the direction of Teddy Westlake, who loved music. Those in the group liked her methods as she let them use music so they didn’t have to memorize every song. Her plan was to sing a wide variety of types of music.

Helen Addis

An old friend from 4-H days, Helen Combs Addis, invited me to hear their chorus.

   At a recent performance at the retirement community of Kendal at Granville, the room was filled with an eager audience to listen to their rousing performance. Each season they do a concert at Kendal as well as SharonBrooke, and Chapel Grove. Teddy now lives at this retirement community, so she was an additional reason for their performance.

   When directing, Teddy said she always danced a little jig to keep time with the music. Today she is in her 90s and still danced in the audience when the group was singing. Her feet were moving as well as her body. The evening with old friends brought a smile to her face.

VV Rosemary

Rosemary Hoyt was warmly welcomed to return to the chorus for the evening.

   Another one of their members, Rosemary Hoyt, had a stroke two weeks ago and is staying at Kendal now also. It warmed my heart to see how caring they were to this member. One of the ladies took off her scarf and put it around Rosemary’s neck. Then they brought her upfront in her wheelchair at the edge of the group and let her be part of the choir for the evening. How special!

VV Chuck

Chuck makes the evening enjoyable for everyone from chorus members to the audience.

   Chuck Beck serves as their new director and knows how to make everyone feel welcome. It’s a special group where you can see the caring they have for each other. After twenty years together, they have become a second family.

VV Pianist Marcia

Marcia Brannon has been their accompanist from the beginning.

   Marcia Brannon, the pianist, has been with them from the beginning. Teddy said that Marcia plays so well that she could have been a concert pianist. Sometimes they add percussion, violinists, flutists, or whatever background music is needed.

   The evening’s program contained songs about our freedom – something we cherish. Rivers have always had a great impact on spiritual growth so the song “River of Freedom” was the perfect way to begin the evening.

   River songs continued with “Beautiful Ohio”, which fifty years ago became our state song. “Jordan River” symbolized life in this world moving on to a better place.

USA Flag

   Patriotic songs recognized all branches of the service that were present by having members stand.  The show concluded with “God Bless America”, a favorite of many.

   This evening was a celebration of their 20th Anniversary of entertaining and inspiring audiences all over Licking County. May they continue to bless others with their messages in song.

Vintage Voices is always looking for new members who love to sing in Central Ohio. No auditions are required, just a love of music and a willingness to practice weekly to attain the best vocal performance possible. For more information, contact Chuck Beck (cbeck83@columbus.rr.com).

Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival Celebrates 50 Years – August 9-11, 2019

50th LogoArtists, Entertainers, and lovers of the arts have been attending the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival for 50 years. It’s come a long way from that preliminary festival, which was held on the courthouse lawn.

Musical Group R

Entertainment at that first festival was provided by “The Group” with Mike McWilliams, front, Don Mercer, Mike Kennedy, Mike McVicker, and Dale Brenning.

   The one-day downtown Salt Fork Arts Festival was sponsored by the Greater Cambridge Arts Council with Dr. Milton Thompson the president and Don Mercer serving as coordinator. Its goal was to promote all the arts including acting, music, literature, and art. The Best of Show that year went to Nancy Lewis of New Concord for a still life. The evening was spent dancing in the First National Bank parking lot.

Sue Dodd R

Sue Dodd demonstrated her painting skills under a tree at the park at an early festival.

   August 14-17, 1969, the festival moved to the Cambridge City Park as a four-day event. It was advertised as the First Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival. That year the newspaper stated there were four tents and 65 artists. Entertainment varied from YMCA Gymnasts and Bexley Puppet Theater to Cambridge Barbershoppers and Sweet Adelines.

Jack Taylor saying thanks R

Jack Taylor says thanks to Bob Amos, Lois Craig and Art Marr who had major roles in that first Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival.

   Arthur Marr served as chairman of that first official festival with assistance from Bob and Hannah Amos and Mrs. Lois Craig. Mrs. Claude Nickerson and her committee were in charge of the artists while Bill Coffey handled the performing arts. The Cambridge CB React Club took charge of parking and patrolling. Pavlov Music provided background organ and piano music and Scott Funeral Home provided seating. It was a real community effort.

SFF Fences

In the early years, paintings were displayed on snow fences.

   The Cambridge National Honor Society and members of the Key Club helped by setting up chairs, tables and snow fences. In those early festival days, pictures by artists and student artists were hung on snow fences for display. Young artists have always been a popular and important feature of the festival.

SFF Laura and Rodgers

Pictured at a reception at the Lekorenos home are Shannon Rodgers, Laura Bates (wearing a Rodgers/Silverman dress creation) and Jerry Silverman. Photo by George Lekorenos.

   It was in 1969 that Newcomerstown native, Shannon Rodgers, renowned dress designer for Hollywood stars, gave a donation to the festival and in 1971 began sponsoring the Shannon Rodgers Award. This award was open to all artists at the festival and was voted on by the public. When this endowment ended, the award became the People’s Choice Award.

Mary Beam

Mary Beam painted a picture of the courthouse from her front porch.

   Craftsmen demonstrating their crafts at those early festivals included basket weavers, blacksmiths, ceramic artists, woodcarvers, ironworkers, gem cutters, leather workers and many more. This was to be only the beginning of many years of outstanding juried art at the festival with only hand-made pieces of art being accepted.

SFF Paula Burlingame, Sandy Carle and Bonnie Perkins - Children's Art Fair

Paula Burlingame, Sandy Carle, and Bonnie Perkins make plans for the Children’s Art Fair.

   Crafts were a popular addition at those early festivals as well. In 1971, classes in macrame, woodcarving, leaded glass and apple dolls were popular. Adults enjoyed making quilted potholders and stained glass hangings. Everyone felt a sense of accomplishment.

Lekorenos-4X5

Marie Lekorenos, local artist and passionate supporter, kept scrapbooks of those first festivals. Those scrapbooks supplied most of the information in this article.

   In those early years, the Pilot Club, an international service club of women, served as volunteers to give artisans a break while selling their wares. Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary provided refreshments on the midway selling hot dogs, ice cream, sno-cones, and cotton candy. Church groups, YMCA, and the hospital auxiliary had food stands available in the big pavilion for hungry visitors.

SFF Dick SImcox Big Band 1980

The Dick Simcox Big Band appeared several years at the festival.

   Entertainment included many musical groups as well as a performing arts group from Salt Fork Barn Theatre performing excerpts from “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”. Cambridge Community Theater also did several children’s presentations. Even the Cleveland Opera Theater came several years and performed “Barber of Seville”.

SFF Frankie Yankovic America's Polka King

Frankie Yankovic, Polka King, drew one of the largest crowds ever.

   A performance that many remember was that of Frankie Yankovic, America’s Polka King. Frankie played the accordion and had two gold records – “Blue Skirt Waltz” and “Just Because”. The crowd for this performance was the largest ever remembered at the festival.

Carol and Bob R

Carol and Bob Jones were singing at the festival years ago. Carol is now Festival Director and Bob is Entertainment Coordinator.

   Back in 1986, Bob and Carol Jones presented a musical program at the festival. Today Carol is the Festival Director and Bob is Entertainment Coordinator. Their enthusiasm for the 50th Anniversary has led to a memorial “Pedestrian Gateway” being constructed at the park at a point where most visitors enter.

Briani Gray R

Brian Gray and his wooden toys have been an attraction over the years.

   While it has been great fun to look back at those early years of the festival, it’s also pleasing to know that it still has the same basic roots. The Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival continues to be a juried festival with several artists from those early days still displaying their art.

Russ and Virginia (2)

Russ Shaffer and Virginia Price have displayed at the festival since its early years and will be there this year. Virginia just celebrated her 99th birthday.

   Entertainment continues every hour in the Performing Arts Tent or the Big Pavilion. Craft classes for students and adults are held in the small pavilion throughout the weekend. Admission and parking are still free.

   Set aside some time to join the 50th Anniversary celebration this August 9 -11. Wander through the artist displays in beautiful Cambridge City Park. Have lunch or pick up a snack as you sit and listen to some fine entertainment provided by talented vocalists and bands. Don’t forget to find a special treasure to take home with you to remember this special anniversary.

   50 years is cause for celebration! Make plans to attend this memorable occasion.

The Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival is held annually the second weekend of August in the Cambridge City Park in Cambridge, Ohio. Cambridge is located at the crossroads of I-70 and I-77. There are several exits so watch for signs leading to the festival or the city park.

Perry Como Honored in Hometown of Canonsburg, PA

McD Perry

Mr. C at the height of his career.

Small towns love their heroes, especially when they’re a big star like Perry Como. Canonsburg, PA has never forgotten Perry Como, although the younger generation might not be familiar with his name.

Como statue

This statue of Perry Como can be found at City Hall in Canonsburg.

   At the center of town in front of their City Hall, you’ll find a statue of Perry Como. When it was placed there it sang 24/7 but now it just sings sporadically. Como is dressed casually in his traditional style with slacks and sweater. Just down the street, you’ll find a two million dollar McDonald’s packed with memorabilia from locals who went on to stardom.

   Coming from a large family of ten children, Como was the first to be born in America to his immigrant parents, Pietro and Lucia Como.  He never spoke English until he was in first grade because his parents only spoke their native Italian at home.

   Italians love music so his father purchased an organ for $3 for their home. By the time Perry was three years old, he could play songs on the organ by ear. Pietro had all of his ten children take music lessons even if he could barely afford them since he made a living by working in the mill.

McD Perry the barber

This picture of the young Perry as a barber was found at McDonald’s.

   By the age of ten, young Perry tried to help his family by working after school at Steve Fragapane’s barbershop for fifty cents a week.  By thirteen, he had his own chair at the barbershop even though he had to stand on a box to cut people’s hair.

Como Church

This is the church the Comos were said to have attended.

   At the same time, Perry played trombone in the town’s brass band, played guitar, sang at weddings and was an organist at church. He also was a member of the Canonsburg Italian Band. Throughout his career, “Ava Maria” was his most requested song.

   When he was fourteen, his father had a severe heart condition, and Perry opened his own barbershop.  His goal was to be the best barber in Canonsburg. When customers would marry, they would use every treatment Perry had available in his shop while he sang romantic songs to entertain them.

Como_family_at_home_1955 TV Radio Mirror

This picture of the Como family at home shows a happy family.

   By the time he was twenty, he moved to work in his uncle’s barbershop at Meadville, PA, which was not too far from Cleveland. He went with friends to the Silver Slipper Ballroom, where they asked if anyone would like to come up on stage and perform. His friends urged him to try and director Freddy Carlone offered Perry a contract on the spot.

   But he wanted to talk it over with his father first. Since his father was an amateur baritone, he told Perry to take the chance or he would never know if he could be a professional singer or not. Financially, this was not a good move as his barbershop earned him $125 a week while the singing contract was for $28 a week.

Perry_como_1939_ Ted Weems Orchestra by Bloom

This young Perry Como is pictured when he joined Ted Weem’s Orchestra.

   He received his big break in the 1930s on a popular radio show, Beat the Band. His first recording with Ted Weem’s Orchestra on this show was the song, “You Can’t Pull the Wool Over My Eyes”.

McD Perry's bust

A bronze bust of Mr. C can be found at Canonsburg’s McDonald’s.

In 1943, he signed with RCA Victor and remained with them throughout his career. While in Canonsburg, a stop at McDonald’s is also a ‘star’ event. Here you will find memories of local stars including Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, and The Four Coins. When you pass by Mr. C’s bust,  “Catch a Falling Star” will automatically start playing.

Como golf

Pictures of Perry Como and his love for golf can be found at McDonald’s.

Perry Como loved the game of golf and in 1955 was Golfing Champion of the Garden City Golfing Club in New York. MacGregor even has a Perry Como Putter. When he wasn’t with his family or working, Perry was on the golf course enjoying his favorite hobby and passion.

McD Hit Parade

Inside the front door of McDonald’s, you will find this list of songs made popular by Canonsburg artists.

   Mr. C, as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records and had his own television show. Canonsburg keeps his memory alive through the statue erected in 1999 and McDonald’s memorabilia. If you’re ever in the area and enjoy hearing about the stars, Canonsburg is the place!

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania is located off I-79 at Exit 45 – PA 980/ Canonsburg. Watch for signs to direct you to the various attractions.

The Cambridge Singers Have a Song in Their Heart

Cambridge Singers 2017

The present Cambridge Singers often dress eloquently for their performances.

Music makes the world a happier place. If you enjoy singing around the house or while driving your car, perhaps you’d like to join The Cambridge Singers, either singing as a member or listening in the audience.

Kathy Turner, Cambridge Singers director

Kathy Antill, the director, brings experience and new energy to the group.

   The unique sound created by The Cambridge Singers sets them apart from traditional groups. This wonderful group of singers is the oldest continually operating six-part harmony chorus in the state. Recently Kathryn Antill took over the helm of directing this elite group.  Tom Apel accompanies them on the piano.

Singers Fred Waring Award 001 (2)

This 1955 Waring Award was the beginning of “The Cambridge Singers”.

   It all began with a group called “Musigals”, a group of married women who loved to sing. Then in 1965, they decided to add some men to the chorus for a special show. It was suggested that they enter the Fred Waring Sacred Heart Program Choral Competition by sending in a tape for critique.

Singers Fred Waring Trophy 001 (2)

The Fred Waring trophy still brings a feeling of pride and accomplishment.

   They won first prize and a beautiful trophy in the mixed ensemble category over a field of entries from all over the United States and Canada. Their award-winning rendition of “O Sacred Heart” was heard on 875 television and radio stations.

   With that kind of success, they drew up a charter for the group, and officially became “The Cambridge Singers” in November, 1965 under the direction of Donna Shafer Blackwood. Their first concert under that name occurred at Easter of 1966 in The First Presbyterian Church.

Singers Salt Fork Lodge 001 (2)

Sometimes the chorus harmonizes outside Salt Fork Lodge

   This chorus has sung every kind of music and entertained audiences around the state. Their performances have included: AmeriFlora, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Miss Clayland Pageant, and Barnesville Pumpkin Show.

Singers Carnegie Hall 001 (2)

The chorus had a happy time at Carnegie Hall.

  In 1991, The Cambridge Singers performed at Carnegie Hall during their 100th-anniversary celebration accompanied by the Manhattan Philharmonic. This talented group is proud to have been invited back, and hope to make a repeat trip in the near future.

   In the lifetime of the chorus, there have been over 130 community members who have participated with eight different directors and three accompanists. They practice each Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church. 

Marge Stover

Marge Stover, back center, has been with the group from its beginning.

   One member, Marge Stover, happens to be the only charter member of the group still performing. She shares with her family a great musical background and was pleased when asked to join the group. Marge not only has a beautiful voice but has helped with every aspect of the singers at one time or another from costumes to set design.

Singers Mayor's Award 001 (2)

The late Mayor Sam Salupo presents former Director Jim Whitehair with the Mayor’s Award about ten years ago.

   Costumes are of great importance and they are pleased that the Kiwanis Foundation and Rotary Club have given them grants, which they used for costumes. The Rotary Club has also given a grant for music in honor of the late Dr. Quentin Knauer, who sang in the chorus for fifty years. The chorus sincerely appreciates all the support they receive from the community.

Singers Go Patriotic 001 (2)

The Cambridge Singers added some choreography to this patriotic tune.

   Each year, The Cambridge Singers have a spring show and one at Christmas, both of them being at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in downtown Cambridge. The chorus has performed at nearly every Salt Fork Festival and their Christmas appearance at the Guernsey County Senior Center plays to a standing room only crowd.

The Cambridge Singers

The Cambridge Singers performed at the 48th Salt Fork Festival.

   While memorable performances are their main goal, members feel the group is an extended family, who gives them support during troubled times. When attending the Tuesday rehearsals, all troubles disappear for two hours as they harmonize in song. Music heals the mind, body and soul.

Singers Children 001 (2)

Children of chorus members take part in the annual Christmas program.

   This group has a special interest in encouraging young people to become involved in the world of music. Each year they present several scholarships to area youth. The prestigious Rigel Award is given in memory of Everett “Red” and Mary Ann Rigel, both long-time members of Cambridge Singers. This honors a community member who promotes and advocates music, music education and the importance of the arts in all walks of life.

   If you have an interest in joining The Cambridge Singers or have other questions about the group, contact any member or call Janet Teichman at 740-638-2220 or Gayle Roberts at 740-680-1723. They will welcome you with open arms and a song in their heart.

   The Cambridge Singers’ wish is to promote music and the musical quality of life in our community. Most of all, they love music.

Richland Carrousel Park Features Hand-Carved Animals by Carousel Works

Carrousel Park Entrance

Two bronze horses guard the entrance to Richland Carrousel Park. In the summer, pink rose bushes surround the building.

Riding the carousel, or merry-go-round as it is often called, has always been a thrill. But usually, this was only possible at a fair or carnival event. In Mansfield, you can ride the Richland Carrousel any time during the year…for only $1.00! This is possible because the carousel is inside a building in cooler weather, with sides that open during the summer months.

Carousel Art and Dan

Carousel Works’ owners, Art and Dan, tell their story surrounded by their creations.

   Wanting to provide communities with a touch of the past, Art Ritchie and Dan Jones formed Carousel Works in 1986. Their goal was to repair old carousels and build new wooden carousels at an affordable price.

   Art became interested in carving back in grade school. He first began carving covered bridges in his basement in Connecticut. When someone brought him a valuable antique rabbit to refurbish, they asked him if he could make something similar. That began Art on his journey to refurbishing antique carousels and making new ones.

Carousel Seahorse 2

A colorful seahorse is one of their latest creations.

   Due to his excellence at carving beautiful wooden animals, he especially needed help with restoration. That’s when he contacted Dan, a friend of the family, to help with restoration and finances. Soon the pair moved their business to Mansfield – a central location to many major cities in the United States – where they created their first complete carousel as Carousel Works.

Carrousel Kids of all ages

Rides on the carousel are enjoyed by people of all ages.

   Richland Carrousel is the first hand-carved carousel since the 1930s. Used as an idea to spur downtown development, the pavilion was opened in August 1991 when cost was 50 cents for a ride. This carousel measures 80′ X 80′ X 30′ tall at its highest point.

Carrousel Paintings

Above the carousel, there are paintings that depict various local attractions.

   All 52 figures were designed, carved and painted by Carousel Works of Mansfield in the style of G.A. Dentzel, a revered carver from the early 1900s. Music for carousel riders is provided by a Stinson Band Organ, made in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Carrousel Fun

Children carefully choose their favorite horse or animal to ride.

   Here you’ll find 30 horses but also four bears, four ostriches, four cats, four rabbits, a goat, giraffe, lion, tiger, zebra and a mythical hippocampus ( part horse, part fish). The inside animals go 3.71 mph, while the outside animals travel 6.77 mph. Children and adults enjoy choosing which animal they will ride. Or maybe you prefer to ride in a chariot!

Carousel Rich smoothing

Rich has been constructing carousel animals for 28 years at Carousel Works.

   Richland Carrousel is only one of the many carousels that have been built or restored by the amazing artisans at Carousel Works. Their work can be found coast to coast in nearly sixty places such as Kentucky Horse Park, Denver Zoo and Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Carousel Ashley handpainted flowers

Our guide, Ashlea, hand paints each flower individually so each is unique.

   Most of the Carousel Works’ creations include carousels where handicapped can ride easily. The horse in front of each of the chariots swivels and the chariot seat flips up to accommodate a wheelchair. Everyone gets a chance to experience the thrill of riding on the carousel. 

Shawshank Soda

Shawshank Fans can pick up a bottle of Andy’s Root Beer or Red’s Strawberry soda.

   Don’t forget to stop by the Richland Carrousel Gift Shop and concession area for inexpensive gifts and great treats you won’t find anywhere else: musical carousels, toys, a Ladies Boutique and Old-Fashioned Shawshank Soda – Red’s Strawberry and Andy’s Root Beer.

Carousel Magic Horse

Ashlea holds the book that tells the story of this magical horse in “The Secret of the Carousel” written by Art’s granddaughter, A.R. Blakely.

   First Friday is Family Fun Night with five rides for $2. They always have special food that kids enjoy such as hot dogs, corndogs, cookies and popcorn. Hours are from 4:00-8:00 on the first Friday of every month. Join them at the Carrousel for a child’s birthday party or just for a night of enjoyment.

Carousel Animals

The detail on each of the Carousel Works’ creations makes them extra special.

   Richland Carrousel Park is open from 11:00-5:00 seven days a week every day of the year with the exception of five major holidays. Plan now to take the whole family for a ride they won’t soon forget. It’s full of old-fashioned charm in a fun, modern setting.

You have to grow older, but you don’t have to grow up!

Richland Carrousel Park is located in downtown Mansfield, Ohio at 75 N. Main Street. From I-77 take exit 104 west, which is Route 30.  Follow Route 30 all the way to downtown Mansfield.

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