One of the Valley’s longtime entertainers is back in the Valley with his newest attraction, Hippie Dances. James Marvell, was a member of the Warner Brothers' 60s Band, Mercy, that topped the Billboard and Cashbox charts in the late 60s second to the Beatles' song "Get Back.” Mercy had the million selling classic "Love Can Make You Happy" at number two.
After singing with Mercy, James and a friend formed The Country Cavaleers, The Country Cavaleers had hair down to their waists and cowboy hats and sang country music. Marvell played a rebel guitar, which became a trademark for him. Their appearance caused quite a stir in the country music world where long hair was not acceptable. A 1971 clipping from the Country Music Association explained the purpose of the long hair and mod clothes was to bridge the generation gap in order to get their message across.
Unlike many other groups playing in the 70’s, Country Cavaleers’ message to youth was, ”Stay off Drugs.” Marvell and Good had witnessed firsthand what happened to people in the music industry such as Jimmie Hendrix, when they became involved with drugs. They wanted to warn the youth of the dangers of drugs.
A world-class, bloodless bullfight is scheduled for the Winter Texan season’s Grand Finale on Sunday, Mar. 2 at the Santa Maria Bullring in La Gloria. The Grand Finale will feature Cesar Castañeda and Enrique "El Cuate" Espinosa to determine who is the best in the competition for the Golden Bull Trophy.
Casteñeda is a popular matador who holds all records of triumph in previous fights at Santa Maria Bullring. “El Cuate” is one of the highest paid bullfighters on the circuit. He was seriously injured in Puebla two years ago, but has since recovered and will be making his American debut in Santa Maria Bullring.
“These two world class superstar matadors have both won symbolic ears and tail in previous performances, and when it comes down to the grand finale, the fans will be the jury as to which matador they prefer based on the performance,” said Santa Maria Bullring owner Fred Renk. This is done by applause and awards demanded of the judge. The fans will determine which man will be the grand triumfador of the Winter Texan Season in 2014, Renk said.
The third annual benefit for Children’s Haven International, an orphanage in Reynosa that serves 62 children, was once again a huge success. A sit down dinner and show held at Mission West, played to a sell-out crowd. The show featured the talents of Branson performers, John Sager, Jackson Haney, Jeff Gordon and Gordy and Debbie Wensel.
Robert Ferguson, who acted as emcee, told the audience all of the performers donated their time and talents for the benefit of the orphanage.
The first entertainer was John Sager who sang “Believe,” “ Amazing Grace,” his signature song, “Unchained Melody,” “One Pair of Hands,” and “Hallelujah.” Sager was recently named Male Vocalist of the Year at the Valley Star Awards Show held Feb. 15 at Mission Bell Resort. He has also been named “Entertainer of the Year” twice in the Valley Star Awards. Back home in Branson, John can be found performing at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner Sunday through Wednesday from 2 p.m. until closing time. Tuesday through Friday he will be at Jackie B. Goode’s Uptown Diner from 2 p.m. until closing.
The Men of A-Chord will perform in a combined concert on Friday, Mar. 7 at Trinity Worship Center. Joining them in concert will be the Rio Grande Valley Band, Sweet Adelines and the Senior Ambassadors. Each group will perform for about 20 minutes in this special, one show only “Music for All Ages” concert. Showtime is 7 p.m.
Tickets are $7 for the combined concert and may be purchased from members of the choral groups and band. However, this is always a sell-out event. So, plan to purchase tickets early.
With the theme, “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” there were roses in quilts, wall hangings and wearable art all throughout the 2014 Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild Show. The quilt show was held Feb. 14-15 at the McAllen Convention Center with hundreds of quilts, small and large, wall hangings, pieces of wearable art, art, innovative projects and challenges on display.
Thousands of visitors walked the halls where the displays were set up to view the crafted items, many of which followed the rose theme.
The most coveted award – Best of Show – was awarded to Gerald Brauer, who created the huge “Amazon Star,” featuring concentric rays radiating out from a multi-colored star pattern in the center. This quilt also earned first place in the Large Bed Quilt Division.
Karyn Heaney earned first place in the Art & Innovative Division first place with her “Les Belle Fleur” while second place was awarded to Sharon De Garimore, Patti Dybdall, Vicki Guerra and Janey Thompson, “A River Runs through Our Village.” Kathleen Carrizal-Frye, took third place with “My Mexican Christmas.”
The Winter Texan Fiesta, to be held Saturday, Feb. 22, promises to be an exciting event featuring Valley performers with music and songs representing a variety of genres from Rock n Roll, Classic Country, Bluegrass, 50s & 60s favorites, and a tribute to the “Man in Black” himself, Johnny Cash. The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce rolls out the red carpet for Winter Texans at this annual appreciation event by providing a great lineup of popular performers, free admission and free box lunches – while 3,000 lunch tickets last.
The event will once again be held at Leo Peña Placita Park, located on Conway Avenue in downtown Mission, across from the H-E-B store just south of the railroad tracks. Bring lawn chairs or cushions.
Rich Bellert, known for both his serious and humorous cowboy poetry, will be emceeing the event. The show begins at 12:45 p.m. with a welcome from Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas and other city dignitaries.
Performing this year will be the Golden Era Rock & Roll Band consisting of Marcel Guillemot, who plays the rhythm guitar and is also the band’s lead singer. Butch Grossnickel plays bass guitar, Tom Kimbro, is on drums and Bob Reed plays lead guitar. All the members sing, doing harmony complimenting each other. They specialize in rock & roll from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
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