It’s been a sad week, at the same time it’s been a very patriotic Fourth of July. The sad part is that our dear dear friend Francis Hahn died on the Fourth of July. He was tremendously patriotic, was in the Fourth of July parade in his hometown of Mapleton, went home, had a hard time breathing, and passed quietly away at 6 p.m. We will miss this dear friend very very much. He was a champion in trying to get the music licensing agencies to actually pay the songwriters who have their original songs sung in small venues. They charge a lot of money to allow the songs played, however they know not what songs are played, or what songwriters they are collecting for since they refuse to allow that ‘truth’ to be acknowledged. Francis was a songwriter, for Johnny Cash no less, and a performer, his last performance was with us at the little Oak Tree in Anita. We will miss him dearly.
Ben McClure did a remarkable job performing at his concert at the Oak Tree on June 28. It was also his first ‘Record Release Party.’ His new album is remarkable, and came out the day of his concert. He had 50 albums when he walked into the Oak Tree, he had none when he left. It’s called “Movin’ Forward’ and is without a doubt one of the better ‘new’ CD’s out by a young person (Ben is 23) that still retains the ingredients of what ‘real’ country music was all about. Ben will be back at the Oak Tree, playing his fiddle behind another music preservationist, David Green from Avoca, Iowa. David has that ‘knack’ for keeping the original ‘sound’ in his country music. His family’s oral tradition goes all the way back to his great great grandfather. David’s concert is July 12 at the Oak Tree in Anita, doors open at 6 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m. Like Ben McClure it is advisable to sometimes reserve the best seat in the house at 712-762-4363.
We’re losing another ‘local’ outlet for old-time country music, a staple for the agricultural state of Iowa. The Corn Crib Restaurant, at the I-80 interchange at Shelby, Iowa, is discontinuing their Friday evening jam sessions. The last one (was) on Friday, July 5, beginning around 6 p.m. The owners are selling the business due to one of their members having cancer. It is a sad day when this kind of ‘music sharing’ is no longer. We need all the support we can get. So much of our beautiful America is losing because of the hate-filled dialog of some politicians. Stay with the ‘truth’ it will always be the way.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of our dear dear friend, Francis Hahn. We will miss him dearly. Our daughter Bobbie Lhea was ‘texting’ him in the daytime of July Fourth, but didn’t hear anything back from him, and was wondering if he was busy. Today she texted him one last time. “We miss you Francis.”