Mu­sic and road­trips

The Covington News - - Living - BETH ROWE COLUM­NIST Beth Rowe may be reached at opieorowe@ att.net.

I fi­nally get a chance to write about some­thing I am very pas­sion­ate about. Now don’t let your mind start won­der­ing, ‘cause it ain’t what you’re think­ing and be­sides, this is a fam­ily friendly pa­per, you know. There’s lots of things I like to do when and if I have any ex­tra time which rarely hap­pens. One thing that doesn’t re­quire any ef­fort is lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and mu­sic af­fects peo­ple in dif­fer­ent ways.

I’ve al­ways had a deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion for all kinds of mu­sic and I was blessed with the nat­u­ral abil­ity to play piano. My par­ents en­rolled me in piano lessons as soon as I started school and I con­tin­ued un­til ju­nior high school. By that time, my piano teacher had al­most given up on me be­cause I was bored with play­ing the se­lec­tions she chose to help hone my skills. My prob­lem was I tend to play by ear, so if I heard it I could play it, but at that age, all I lis­tened to was rock and roll and that’s what I wanted to play. By high school, I had signed up for cho­rus and there, un­der the direc­tion of Mr. Tony Rucker, we learned to sing Diana Ross and Barry Manilow along with some old clas­sics and stan­dards. I also learned to ap­pre­ci­ate clas­si­cal mu­sic and once at­tended a per­for­mance by Atlanta Sym­phony Orches­tra and that was a unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

Through­out it all, coun­try re­mained what I loved the most and to me, if it ain’t coun­try it ain’t mu­sic! Along with al­bums by AC/DC, Jour­ney, Reo Speed­wagon, Air Sup­ply, For­eigner and James Tay­lor, I had an even big­ger col­lec­tion of coun­try mu­sic by Fred­die Fen­der, Char­lie Daniels, Wil­lie Nel­son, Way­lon Jen­nings, Hank Wil­liams Jr, Crys­tal Gayle, Donna Fargo, Anne Mur­ray and many more.

As I got older coun­try mu­sic was the only thing I lis­tened to. In the early 90’s, I heard Rhubarb Jones play a song by a new coun­try artist. I couldn't help think­ing how tal­ented he was and that he was fol­low­ing the tra­di­tional coun­try sounds of Merle Hag­gard, Ge­orge Jones and Conway Twitty. From the first time I heard Tracy Lawrence singing ‘Sticks and Stones’ with his coun­try twang and deep bari­tone voice I be­came a big fan. Tracy has been singing coun­try mu­sic for 20+ years now and one of his most pop­u­lar hits is ‘Find Out Who Your Friends Are’ and he con­tin­ues to come out with some of the best there is in coun­try mu­sic.

One year we went to Opry­land for va­ca­tion and en­joyed see­ing all there is to do in Nashville and have re­turned sev­eral times. Opry­land is no longer there but there is still plenty to do in Nashville, es­pe­cially dur­ing “Fan Fair’ or ‘CMA Mu­sic Fest’ as it is now called. We’ve been go­ing to ‘Fan Fair’ since 1998 and look for­ward to it ev­ery year. My daugh­ter and I have been sev­eral times and re­ally en­joy our time to­gether and this trip was no ex­cep­tion. Sev­eral of my friends have told me I should write a book, but some things that hap­pen in Nashville are bet­ter left in Nashville, and I trea­sure my friends too much to spill the beans.

Ev­ery year our trips are spe­cial, fun and mem­o­rable but this year was a real doozy. I rented an econ­omy car that would be good on gas since prices had gone up so much and when I went to pick it up, they took me to the car and I al­most had sec­ond thoughts about the whole trip. It was new, roomy and re­li­able and loaded with all the bells and whis­tles but it was short, squashed up and kinda re­sem­bled a space­ship. My daugh­ter fell in love with the car af­ter she drove it most of the trip and even named it. About half­way through our trip we fi­nally fig­ured out how to make the rear wiper go off so we re­ally were a bunch of nerds in the nerd­mo­bile.

We talked all the way home and laughed and have al­ready planned our trip for next year so if you’re look­ing for some­thing fun to do next sum­mer, tune into a coun­try sta­tion and head north to Nashville — there’s much more to Nashville than just coun­try mu­sic!

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