Michael Martin Murphy, Ken Spurgeon and Skip Gorman

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas enjoy a teaser from Michael Martin Murphy, Ken Spurgeon and Skip Gorman for Lone Chimney Film’s new “Home on the Range” movie. Next catch up with Marshall Allen Bailey and his Saturday morning show on High Plains Public Radio, Western Swing and Other Things. Then enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with WaKeeney’s “Christmas City of the High Plains”.Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at agpromosource.com.

(Frank Chaffin) Good Wednesday morning to you. I’m Frank. (Deb Goodrich) I’m Deb. (Frank) And this is Around Kansas, just a couple of days before Christmas. (Deb) Before Santa Claus comes. Do you remember watching the TV and watching the progress of Santa, as the radar tracking him in the sky? I wonder when that meteorologist started doing that? (Frank) Well, it was on radio, too. (Deb) Did they? (Frank) Actually, I was around before television. [Laughs] You’d listen to the radio and they have a little gong and say, “Santa Alert. Santa is now at such and such, and such and such.” (Deb) Really? (Frank) Of course, then with the invent of television on the big scale they started doing that. I am that old, yes. [Laughs] (Deb) Do you remember the cold war story about the guy who defected from Russia at Christmas because he knew that the guard would be down because it was Christmas? He was able to get through and defect, do you remember that? I would have to look that up because that was a really cool story about this guy who thought, “If I just can do it on Christmas night. There won’t be many people working and there’ll be not someone trying to shoot me down.” [Laughs] Which was true. (Frank) You know, there’s also the World War I story on Christmas Eve when in the trenches there was a ceasefire. But the thing is the Germans were singing Christmas carols, the Americans were singing Christmas carols, and both sides realized, “Hey, we’re singing the same songs.” So they came up out of the trenches, they all got together and exchanged stories and everything else. Then after Christmas they didn’t want to fight anymore. So the generals came in and replaced every one of them so that the war could resume. (Deb) Yes. It’s just a wrenching story. We’re marking the anniversary, of course, a hundred years since World War I. That Christmas truce, it’s a heartbreaking story. You know, during the Civil War similar things happened. There would be, of course, they speak the same language, essentially the same, northern and southern. It’s essentially the same; we have some of the same words. But they would be across the riverbanks and sing, and they could hear each other. They would call back and forth, they would trade things, give each other Christmas gifts. Yes, that happened. Of course, then the other Christmas story when you talk about wars when George Washington burned, was it Trenton? (Frank) Yes. (Deb) Is that where he arrived on Christmas Day, across the Delaware and caught the British asleep and hung over? Yes that worked for us, didn’t it? (Frank) Yes. (Deb) Yes, nothing like Christmas and war. [Laughter] (Frank) Let’s leave the things more peaceful here. Anyway, well that’s the magic of Christmas. (Deb) It is. That’s exactly right. Those stories are really special. Of course, we talked last week about the songs like White Christmas of course, and I’ll be home for Christmas. Especially playing it for boys who have a wife at home, serving in the military, Christmas time. Yes, a lot of our traditions come out of those things. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Civil War. That’s one of my favorite carols; it’s so beautiful and so meaningful. Yes, there’s a lot of connections there. Of course, I can draw military history connections with just anything. [Laughter] (Frank) Anyway, did we [Laughs] mess up your Wednesday before Christmas? (Deb) I’m in tears, yes. (Frank) No. These are things that actually happened. They’re not really sad things, they happened. (Deb) They’re meaningful things. Yes, there’s a difference between sad and meaningful. It can be meaningful and not sad, right Frank? (Frank) Right. (Deb) Okay, let’s go. We’ll be back in a minute.

(Frank) And we’re back. (Deb) Speaking of poignant songs, Home on the Range. (Frank) [Singing] (Deb) It’s even more poignant when you sing it, Frank. (Frank) [Laughs] (Deb) We’ve been updating you along as Ken Spurgeon and Lone Chimney Films guys have been working on the Home on the Range documentary, and the time has come. The middle of January, the premiere will start and we will scroll those dates across the screen and we’ll keep updating as we get other dates. It’s going to be phenomenal. The clip we have today is actually taken from some of the interviews that I did on set with Michael Martin Murphey, and with Ken Spurgeon. I think this is going to be bonus material on the DVD. It’s a real bonus; you’re going to love it. (Frank) I mean, the song was written so that his wife-to-be would feel good about coming all the way to Kansas and marrying him. (Deb) Isn’t love great? (Frank) And she didn’t come. [Laughs] (Deb) Love is propaganda. (Frank) She said, “I don’t think so.” (Deb) We got war and Christmas, love and propaganda. Is this a great country or what? You’re going to love this. I’m so proud to share this with you, so proud to be involved on any level with these guys and this project. (Michael Martin Murphey) Here is a song that connects us with nature, connects us with God, and connects us with gratitude to just be alive and be in a place. When I went to Brewster’s little cabin there, something snapped inside of me. This is not just about Brewster; this is not just about me. This is about every person who ever sat down alone and looked out at an inspiring scene or was surrounded by an environment that made them feel like God was speaking. This is about that experience. (Ken Spurgeon) When Brewster Higley, I can’t exactly know his thoughts, but when he wrote the song, when he wrote the lyrics, I don’t think life had been very kind to him up to that point and time. He was hoping to find a home. He was hoping God would give him one more chance to find a home. It was a song of prayer, of hope; it was a wow at everything that he saw. So, and you know, I’m one of those weird guys, we talked about historical places being so significant, but like musicians have said, and other people have said, I’ve wanted to go there by myself. I’ve wanted to walk in there, and sing by myself, think by myself, and just get a sense of what he felt, and you can still feel it today. You can go there today, and you’ll still get a sense of what he felt, especially at night. So, it’s a beautiful song, and it’s a beautiful wish or prayer. (Skip Gorman) Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.

(Frank) We’re back again. This is Around Kansas in case you just didn’t know. (Deb) Still Around Kansas. We’re still Around Kansas. It’s great when we started Around Kansas and we’re still Around Kansas and it’s still good fun. You don’t know what comes with that experience. (Frank) Yes. (Deb) You get to do all the fun people. You get Marshall Allen Bailey. Oh my gosh, what a hoot he is. (Frank) Again, we keep going back to my childhood, which is shortly after dirt was made. I grew up down in Newton, Kansas and of course, the radio stations were in Wichita. Almost all of them had live western bands that would perform in the morning and all of that. It’s really kind of cool that the tradition is still around. (Deb) So you grew up listening to Bob Wills? (Frank) Oh yes. (Deb) Of course, Asleep at the Wheel was kind of a new Bob Wills’ band. I love Asleep at the Wheel. Marshal Bailey plays this stuff and just a mishmash of really great western swing and other things. Sometimes they’ll throw Bing Crosby in there. Whatever he takes the notion to throw in. Then you got all these corny jokes between him and Cowgirl Janey. He’s a great showman and he’s just a great ambassador for Kansas. Kansas Grassroots. He’s the real deal.(Allen Bailey’s Grandpa) This is Allen Bailey’s Grandpa. Views expressed by my grandson on Western swing and Other Things do not express the views of the staff, management and all the other ya-hoos around public radio. And they definitely don’t express the views of his family. I don’t know where he come up with that junk anyway. Durn little nut! (Frank) That’s a pretty unassuming introduction for a show that has been on the air for 27 years garnering numerous awards along the way. Western Swing and Other Things is broadcast every Saturday morning on High Plains Public Radio reaching an audience in five states, in addition to the online listeners. Hosted by Marshal Allen Bailey, and yep, he is really Dodge City Marshal, and his wife, Cowgirl Janey; the music is lots of western swing and lots of surprises punctuated with some admittedly pretty corny jokes. It’s a winning combination as its longevity proves. Allen was born in Oklahoma but moved to Cimarron, Kansas, as a child. An accomplished musician, he taught himself to play guitar at the age of 13. A mere year later, he was playing dances professionally. He now plays a number of instruments, including the bass guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, tenor banjo, and piano. He is a member of Partners of the Prairie, a group of cowboys who tour the country and perform cowboy poetry, stories, and lore to delighted folks as far away as Germany. He is also a sought-after emcee where his larger than life personality makes any event more fun. In 2014, he was inducted into the initial group of the new Wild West Walk of Fame in Dodge City. He was in fine company with Buck Taylor, from Gunsmoke, Johnny Crawford, from The Rifleman, Brent Harris, Marshal of Boot Hill Museum, Dr. RC Trotter, Dodge City Icon and rodeo promoter, Harry Vold, famous rodeo stock contractor, “The Duke Of The Chutes”, Justin Rumford, rodeo clown, Wes Sander, stock contractor, John Lehr and Nancy Hower, star and producer of the Hulu series ‘Quick Draw’, Jule Hazen, world champion steer wrestler, and Boyd Polhamus, champion rodeo and announcer. Allen is a 2004 inductee into the Kansas Western Swing Hall of Fame, a 2009 inductee into the Western Swing Society of the Southwest Hall of Fame, the 2010 Disc Jockey of the year for the Cowtown Society of Western Music and recipient of the 2012 Western Swing Guild Award of Appreciation and the 2014 Academy of Western Artists Award of Appreciation. He was a nominee for the AWA’s 2015 DJ of the Year. His art reflects the same themes–western landscapes, cowboys and critters. Among his most popular paintings are those depicting historic scenes, like Ham Bell’s livery stable in Dodge City. Allen is incredibly proud of serving as Dodge City’s Marshal and treats that duty respectfully. And despite what his Grandpa says, we figure he’s pretty proud of Allen’s accomplishments as well.

(Ron Wilson) Howdy, folks. I’m Ron Wilson, poet lariat. There is one element of Kansas life which is found in the stereotypes that people have about the state of Kansas, and there’s an element of truth to it folks. I’m talking about wind. This poem is entitled Blowing in the Wind. The railroad train stopped at a station out West. Out stepped a city dude, in bowler hat and fancy vest. The wind was a howling, as Kansas winds sometimes do, and off went his hat as one particular gust blew. “This wind is just horrific,” the Easterner said. “Is it always like this?” he wondered with dread. So he looked around and what caught his eye, was a Kansas cowboy who was waiting nearby. He approached the cowboy saying, “Young man, I say, does the wind clear out here always blow this way?” “Nope,” said the cowboy. “Thank goodness,” said the dude, but his relief was short-lived with the comment that ensued. For the cowboy offered this further correction, “You see, out here the wind blows half the time in the other direction.” Happy Trails.

(Frank) And we’re back again, and of course, we’re by the tree in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. I must say, they need to turn the heat up a little bit. It’s a little bit chilly. (Deb) We can’t afford it. Did you pay your taxes this year? (Frank) Oh yes. (Deb) I don’t know if I’ve sent my in. Maybe when they get mine they’ll turn up the heat a little bit. (Frank) That’s it. (Deb) It’s all my fault. We can’t have schools and heat too. Roads, schools, heat; you got to pick your battles man. (Frank) And wear a sweater next year. (Deb) That’s right. Wear a sweater. I’ve got my fur over here, you can– you look good in fur Frank, I look good in fur. We got a great Christmas story for you right now. WaKeeney who has the best light display between Kansas City and Denver, and if you’ve not been out to see it, you’re going to have to. It’s just a couple minutes off the interstate, and WaKeeney has a special place in my heart, because Dr. Jake is the vet at the WaKeeney Sale Barn, they’re at the Zimmerman’s home. Our good friends the Zimmermans have the Sale Barn. It’s so funny because I’ll tell people, my girlfriends in Topeka or back in Philadelphia, “I’m going to the Sale Barn with Jake” “Oh, what are you selling?” and I’m like, “No, livestock sale,” “But what does he do,” I’m like, “He’s the veterinarian. So, we won’t even talk about what he does in the Sale Barn,” and I get to go, “He’ll be mine Tuesdays,” because good help is hard to find, Frank. He’s got me, let’s stay out of it. (Frank) WaKeeney, it has the best light display between here and that Kansas City one. (Deb) It’s beautiful. (Frank) Does that include the Plaza? (Deb) Yes! (Frank) Okay. (Deb) Each year, WaKeeney is magically transformed into a holiday wonderland. The county seat of Trego County has been known as the Christmas City of the High Plains since 1950. The idea began with a couple of businessmen and the town has turned on the lights ever since. The one-of-a-kind display features nearly 7,000 twinkling lights, more than twice as many lights as there are people in Trego County, 1,400 pounds of fresh greenery, 1,100 yards of fresh greenery roping, and approximately 3 miles of electrical wiring. The Christmas Tree Lighting is always held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. The holiday begins with at the courthouse square, the center of the town’s activities any time of year, but particularly special during the Christmas season. The focal point is the magnificent 35-foot tree of fresh greenery in the middle of the intersection at the southwest corner of the square. The tree rests under a canopy of heavenly blue lights. Plus a four-square block area around the tree is draped with fresh greenery, handcrafted wreaths, bows, and bells, and, of course, more lights. This annual tradition is considered the largest Christmas tree and lighting display between Kansas City and Denver. And where did the unusual name of Wakeeney originate? It is the combination of two names — Keeney and Warren. James Keeney, a land speculator in Chicago, purchased land at the site of modern-day WaKeeney from the Kansas Pacific Railway in 1877. He and business partner Albert Warren formed Warren, Keeney, & Co., surveyed and plotted the site in 1878, and established a colony there in 1879. The town grew quickly, but crop failures drove settlers to leave in 1880 almost as fast as they had come. The Volga Germans revitalized the area upon their arrival to the high plains.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at agpromosource.com.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.