Center photo: Daryl Schiff, Wilmore Opry Chairman. At left & right: Crowded streets in Wilmore on Wilmore Opry evenings.
Photos by David Rose.
Dan & Linda Winter
29 December 2004
What a difference a day makes. Sounds like a song, here in the smack dab middle, of the good ole U.S.A. What a neat spot the Wilmore Opry is in. If you want to go see and hear a show in Mexico, it is the same distance as Canada. If you want to see a west coast show, it will be the same distance as the east coast. Each state has it's good points, and this is one of ours. We feel blessed being able to live in this great country.
As we start into the winter months, here at the Opry, the old saying goes: "if you don't like the weather today, hang around and it will change tomorrow". That saying is so true this time of year, as that is what it has been doing the last month or so. 'A day does make a lot of difference', even though its only 24 little hours. The sunshine is strong today, I think we will take our work outside and get some sun while we repair and prepare some lights for the Dinner Opry Show in January.
We will have more details next week on the Dinner Theatre, also the names of the entertainers, along with a preview of the evening.
As I look out the window at the sun, I think of all the freedom we have!
What a blessing to be part of these freedoms in the U. S. A., and a "Huge Thanks" to our men and women overseas who help keep it that way. Our prayers are with you.
Our prayers are also with the families that lost relatives in the earthquake in Asia. There is a lot of hurting with the 52,000 plus that have perished. Say a prayer, and you folks that might be able to help their families in some way, that would be good also.
God bless and Happy Trails to all, until we meet again.
22 December 2004
This last week we went to Texas on business but we also were able to spend time visiting with friends and family in Dallas. Some people asked about the Opry shows in 2005. They said they would like to see some of the shows. They also told us about some friends of theirs who are entertainers and want to be on one of the Opry shows. One entertainer and his band live in Corpus Cristi. We told them we have a lot of fun lined up for 2005 and that the way to get on the Opry is submit a tape of their music and songs to us for review.
We had a bunch of fun while we were in Texas. It had been over a year since we were there. It was nice to get away, but it is always good to be back home in Kansas.
The Opry will have a lot of local entertainers along with "distance entertainers" when our regular shows start up on the first Saturday of March, 2005.
We will tell you after the holidays about the entertainers for the Dinner Theatre for January 22nd, 2005. There will be local and distant entertainers in the dinner show also. There will always be a strong effort to balance the entertainers on all Opry shows.
The Wilmore Opry will have new blood in management for the Wilmore shows. This is exciting because they have some great ideas for a lot more fun, along with great music. The managers of the Wilmore shows will be from our local area. We will tell you more about this later when all plans are in place. We think everyone will be pleasantly surprised with what they will add to the shows.
We are sorry we were unable to have the shows in December 2004 and February 2005 as this seemed almost impossible for us, considering what we had to be involved with this time of year and early next year.
We hope to have it fixed so the Wilmore Opry can have a free Christmas show in December 2005 and a regular free February 2006 show.
God willing, we are heading out to Branson, Missouri, to see our grand and great grand children on the first of January 2005.
We hope everyone has a great New Year and a chance to know the good feeling of helping someone who might be hurting.
15 December 2004
Well, the Opry is all winterized for the winter until Spring (the first Saturday in March at 6 pm) except for the Dinner Theatre in January.
The great food, atmosphere and the travel thru time with music has gotten us a little anxious, but I guess we will have to just wait until Jan. 22nd. In the meantime, we are heading out to Dallas to see our daughter and Linda's brother and his wife.
While we are gone, if you need a ticket or Information about the Opry, please call Vanita Blundell at 620-582-2542. She will take your name and telephone number down and we will call you when we return home.
8 December 2004
The Opry is getting real excited about some great things that will be happening in 2005.
First of all, there's the commemoration Dinner Theatre with The Free Staters, which will be a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience in Wilmore. There are still some tickets left. If you miss this special Opry Jan. 22 at 6 pm, you will miss an 'awesome' evening!
The next exciting thing happening in the Opry will be in March: Vanita Blundell will be taking charge of the Opry Variety Show and she will be a new Opry Board Member.
We will also tell you about another new Opry Board Member in the near future who will be giving Vanita a hand with the Opry Variety Show. Linda and I will still be at the Opry to knock out a song or two. We welcome the help which will give us available time for new Opry growth thats just around the corner.
The line up of entertainers will amaze you in March.
The Special Guest in March will be Rob Northcutt and his three piece band. Rob has a great voice and is multi-talented. He is a young man from Kansas. Rob has played at the Grand Ol' Opry's Ryman Auditorium and is booked months ahead. He usually plays for one to two thousand in the crowd in his regular shows. We booked him a few months back for the Wilmore Opry.
We have had a lot of entertainers, more than usual, calling to book a show on the Wilmore Opry. Some of these performers have played on Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Alabama, and South Carolina Oprys. Others play in Branson, Missouri, while others are members of Nashville's Grand Ol' Opry and play there often.
The Opry is working on a plan for 2005, to have some of these entertainers for some Wilmore Opry special Legends Road Shows.
We can have the Legends Road Shows in Coldwater or Greensburg for audiences of 400 or more. For even bigger venues, Pratt will house from 500 to 1200 for one show. This would work well and would help us to build the Opry's Hurting Fund, as a portion of the proceeds from these shows will go into the fund as a result of having some fun and music in our area.
This is something Comanche County and surrounding counties have come to depend on and are proud of. This is just another extension of what the word American means: thinking about our neighbors. We are also proud of the Ministerial alliance and the health dept. being among the folks who think of their neighbors as friends and give them a helping hand in hurting times. This certainly is what builds strength and character. Most folks we know in this county and even the surrounding counties seem to be strong in this area. This sure makes us feel right at home.
You can bet there will always be a fun, free Wilmore Opry. As the opry grows, we will always remember why it started. Remember life goes by awfully fast not to have a little fun and help someone who might be hurting. We all have to work to make a living, no choice there, but we do have a choice to have some fun and to be a good neighbor.
There's a ton of folks who know Daryl Schiff, the Opry's Chairman. Daryl is known in this county and surrounding counties not only because he is Martina McBride's dad (and I am sure he is proud of that) but because Daryl Schiff and Gene Winter have thousands of friends and fans who have been to the Wilmore Opry to see and hear Daryl and Gene pick and sing. Daryl and Gene also play at other spots around in the counties.
Daryl and Jeanne Schiff have been real friends and have helped the Opry a lot, as Daryl did again last week as he once again gave the Opry his profit on some cords and a mike. They are a real blessing to the opry.
By the way, it looks like the Medicine Lodge Heritage Center should be finished in the spring of 2005. This should help the opry, as Wilmore won't have to have two shows in the same night, which has always been a little tricky to manage. There are more and more people wanting to hear the opry shows as folks tell other folks about them, so these two houses should soon have ample room for all at the Opry and Revue Shows. The Medicine Lodge Heritage Center will hold a crowd of about 450 people, while the Wilmore Center can handle a crowd of 250 people.
We hope to see you at the Wilmore Special Dinner Theatre on January 22nd, 2005. Please mention the show to your friends!
The Free Staters Will Play At The Wilmore Opry's Dinner Theatre
On January 22, 2005!
THE FREE STATERS
From left: Jonathan Goering, Betsey Goering & Ryan Mackey
Photo courtesy of The Free Staters.
1 December 2004
The world famous Free Staters are coming to Wilmore Kansas, to our little Opry for a special Dinner Theatre on January 22, 2005!
If you haven't got tickets to this fund-raising event to help the hurting via the Wilmore Opry Charitable Fund, be sure and get yours now as we only have about 50 left.
This will not only be a fun candlelight dinner and show, it will surely be an awesome, "once in a lifetime" Wilmore event as we travel back through time with music and songs to the mid-eighteen hundreds. What a trip!
24 November 2004
The news this week for the Wilmore Opry is slim because of the holidays. Next week there will be some great news to share with you about the Opry. We hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving with their friends and family.
17 November 2004
Well, 2004 has been a good news song for the Opry, we have had a ball !! It has been even a better year than 2003, even though 2003 was a bunch of fun. The crowds started June 2003 and have continued each month. The crowds have given the shows a lot of excitement, and a great place to visit with friends. We can watch a fun show and help a neighbor. How good is that? The Wilmore Opry's "ghost writer" will keep you updated on the Opry's plans through the winter.
Speaking of good news, I guess most all have heard the good news of Martina McBride's fourth time winning the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Award. She now sits with the great of greats of Country Music. There have been only a few singers, like Loretta and Reba, who have won that award four times in a row. We are real happy for Martina, she is a 'real down home person'. Martina has helped a lot of folks since she has became a star, and has sang her heart out. She has given thousands of folks a lot of joy listening to her entertain. I am sure her mom and dad, Daryl and Jeanne Schiff, are real proud of her. Martina, the Wilmore Opry is proud to know you and salutes you on your win.
Comanche county and surrounding county entertainers and performers, tune up and hone your songs this winter and bring them to the Opry this spring. We're gonna have a ton of fun! No competition, just a bunch of good music and a little laughter.
We will see you at the January 22, 2005, Dinner Theatre at 6:00 pm, and the first Saturday of March 2005 at 6:00 pm.
By the way, some folks thought we had spelled Theatre wrong. The way we spelled it is 'Live Theatre' - the other way you spell theater is like a 'movie Theater'. We thought we would clear up the Theatre, since we had a couple of folks question about it.
To all our friends, we have had a super year, we're looking forward to 2005, thanks to all for a great time!
10 November 2004
The wildest ride in life sometimes helps us to make a better choice in doing things, as we travel down lifes highways. Last Saturday night Opry we were watching and listening to the show and all the varied entertainers. There were performers from 6 years old to 93 years old. We thought of the humble beginning of the Opry and how we had mainly local entertainers 'which was good', but the dream of the Opry of course, was for everyone, anywhere who wanted to have fun in music and a little laughter with friends that could join in. The Opry is real proud of all the great talent that has graced the stage in the last, almost, 2 years.
As we set there listening to Jerry Ferrin, the Opry's featured entertainer Saturday night, we thought about all of the hundreds of entertainers who has been on stage and had a lot of fun and got to know a lot of new friends in the past almost 2 years. Jerry Ferrin, a former Wilmore resident, is a real entertainer with his vocal range, stage presence and guitar playing. Jerry has not only given the Opry some fun on stage, but he has given Comanche County and the Wilmore Opry so much of his time with the in-depth work he has done on the web pages. There was a ton of folks that were so happy to see him. We were happy to see Jerry a part of the stage family of the Opry. The Wilmore Opry recognized Jerry Ferrin's contributions on stage last Saturday night after his performance. He was presented with a plaque showing our appreciation for all that he has done.
Above photo: Presentation of a plaque of appreciation to Jerry Ferrin at the 6 Nov 2004 Wilmore Opry.
From left: Vanita Blundell, Jerry Ferrin, Linda Winter and Dan Winter.
Photo by David Rose.Hope you had a safe trip home, Jerry!
It was such an honor to have Walt Smith and his family at the Opry. He is a former Wilmore resident. He has a great voice! Many folks remembered Walt from years past.
We were happy to see Charles Bain and his wife at the Opry. Charles is a great singer. He amazes you! Charles is a graduate of South Central High in 1964.
The entertainers Saturday night were: Vanita Blundell, Sheryl White, Linda Crowe, Mike Crowe, Jennifer Johnson, Alexa Blake, Walt Smith, Nancy Smith, Brandi Morris, "Minnie Pearl", Charles Bain, Wendy Monroe, Mary Fry, Linda Winter, Dillion and Haley Unruh, Dan Winter and Sarah Unruh. Last Saturday night's line up of entertainers are from all over Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona and, of course, Comanche County. That is the reason it was called 'Homecoming'.
We are all so proud for the fun we had Saturday night. The only thing that has changed in the Opry in the last 2 years is the great talent we have and the vast amount of friends we have from everywhere.
The Opry will have a Dinner Theater on January 22nd, 2005. We will not have a show the first Saturday of December, January and February. We want to visit with friends and family in other states.
To take care of tickets, entertainers and the show we have to be here. It is a full time job. We have some super shows lined up for the spring. They will simply amaze you. We will place an ad in the newspaper for the Dinner Theater for January 22nd.
We will be there for the Dinner Theater Show in January 2005. Have a nice week and be nice to your neighbor.
03 November 2004
This Saturday evening is ' Homecoming' for the Opry. All of the folks who got tickets will be in for a treat and a bunch of fun. Jerry Ferrin will be the featured guest, other guests will be Walter Smith and Charles Bain. All are from Comanche County. The Been Theres will be there along with other entertainers from our surrounding counties and beyond. The outstanding talent Saturday night will make you happy you picked up your tickets early, for we have been out of tickets for a week or so. Come on out and have a little fun with your friends and meet some new friends. Bring a smile and come expecting to Enjoy!
27 October 2004
Above photo: Heather Shelley, photo courtesy of Phillip Shelley.
Last Saturday evening, October 23rd, we were answering e-mails for tickets, entertainers and information about the Opry. We got a call about 10:30 p.m. from Phillip Shelley, who was in South Dakota. Phillip told us that Heather Shelley had just won the Regionals for the Colgate Country Showdown. You could hear all the excitement in the background from Heather winning. Heather is now headed to The Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida for the National Finals. It will be on January 29, 2005. The purse will be $100,000.00. What a blow out night it must have been for the Shelleys!
Naturally, the Wilmore Opry will be rooting for Heather. She is an outstanding entertainer who has sang at The Wilmore Opry the last three shows. Heather blew the crowd away in Greensburg at the Twilight Theater with the Wilmore Opry show. She was one of the great entertainers that night at the Opry. Heather is a beautiful gal with a warm personality. Heather and her family are very friendly and mixed with the entertainers and the Opry audience. They said they had a lot of fun. They are a nice addition to the Opry family. (View photos of the Twilight Theater/Wilmore Opry show at Heather Shelley's web site.)
As we were thinking of the big family in the Opry we thought about what one man said about the Wilmore Opry last week. When we invited his family to the Opry, he said, ' Oh thanks, but no thanks'. He told us the Wilmore Opry belonged to Wilmore, not the town where he lived. We assured him before we left that the Wilmore Opry was created for all of us, not only in Wilmore and Comanche County, but for all surrounding counties and anyone that wants to be a part of a big family and have fun with music and comedy. The Opry also loves to think about one another and give a helping hand to those who might need it.
The Opry is having a Homecoming Show November 6th. It will be a fun filled evening of great music, songs and comedy. A lot of talent including local and homecoming talent, also Jerry Ferrin, Walter Smith and Charles Bain. Be sure and get your tickets if you want to see this last show of the season. Until then, Have a great week!
20 October 2004
The Twilight Theater/Wilmore Opry Show in Greensburg, Kansas, was awesome, many in the crowd said last Saturday night. It was a fun show with a Elvis-type introduction: the spotlights were scanning the audience searching for Vanita Blundell, our emcee. The show started with high energy with the crowd and entertainers. Not far into the show, the electrical breaker system to the foot lights and guitar amplifiers blew, which affected the band and some entertainers.
While we were rearranging the schedule to fit the outage, Vanita kept the crowd entertained. It wasn't long till we were rolling again. The electricians worked very fast to give us temporary service to the amplifiers. The show continued with just overhead stage lights and spotlights, it was a real hoot, a lot of fun!
Everybody was still in high spirits, because the show never stopped. The show went on to have some of the best entertainers that we have seen or heard anywhere.
The Opry's sound system in that ol' Twilight Theater sounds great! It was so easy to "set sound". The entertainers were really excited because it was fun and so easy to sing with the good sound the theater has because of the acoustics they designed back in the days it was built. The atmosphere was awesome! It seemed like we had stepped back in time with electronics added.
The entertainers had their own dressing room, and a little party backstage, while the show was going on. The Greensburg Chamber of Commerce and The Twilight Theater supplied trays of finger food and soft drinks; Vanita and Jim Blundell also brought soft drinks.
The entertainers could hear the music great backstage, so they didn't miss a thing.
The Twilight Theater and City of Greensburg laid out the 'Red Carpet' for the Wilmore Opry Family. They couldn't have made us feel more welcome. We felt like we were at home in Comanche County.
The performers for Saturday night were as follows: Wendy Monroe and Sarah Unruh from Greensburg; Vanita, our emcee, from Wilmore; "Minnie Pearl" (Myrna Bumgarner), Velma Basnett and Mike & Linda Crowe from Coldwater; Crystal Williams from Abbyville; Andrea Petrowsky from Pratt; Micah Thom from Medicine Lodge; Jena Wedman from Leon; Bayley Hartman from Kansas City; Sue Gaddis from Phoenix, Az; Sheryl White, 'on sound', from Haviland; and Dan & Linda Winter from Wilmore.
The featured 'special band' was Generations, the Opry folks always love the great sounds and good feeling of spirits the band gives us. The band members are: Dixie Mowbray from South Haven; Leslie Brazel from Winfield; Brett Billiter from Atlanta; Rick Schiff (Rick flew in from Chicago for the Twilight / Wilmore Opry Show); Sara Trillo from Ark City and Kevin Wills from Winfield.
At left: Heather Shelley, photo courtesy of Phillip Shelley.
The Twilight Theater and Wilmore Opry's 'Special Guest' was Heather Shelley, who literally blew the crowd away with entertainment. (View photos of the show from Heather Shelley's web site.)
All of the performers gave the audience an evening of exciting fun, and outrageous talent that we won't soon forget. The 30 minute intermission of visiting and laughter also added a bunch of fun. The Opry promised a big- big show and the performers gave the crowd just that.
Watch for the Opry's dinner theater ads!
We hope you've enjoyed this week as much as we have.
13 October 2004
The Wilmore Opry News wasn't going to be available this week because of the preparations for the Big Wilmore Opry Show at the Twilight Theater in Greensburg on October the 16th, 2004.
However, when we thought about the November 6th show and all of the local talent who used to live here and will be performing on the show, we decided to write this week's news. Our performers for the show sang and played in Comanche, Kiowa and Barber counties. The Opry tickets go pretty fast and we knew the folks in the tri-counties would want to get their tickets early for this special show.
At right: Jerry Ferrin, at a 1984 Ferrin family reunion, poses with a photo of his great grandfather, Loren Ferrin.
Featured as the Opry's Special Guest on November 6th will be Jerry Ferrin from Tucson, Arizona. He plays multiple instruments and has quite a voice range. Jerry will simply amaze you. We had the privilege of meeting Jerry and hearing him sing and play last winter when we were visiting in Tucson, Arizona.
Jerry is the Opry's and Comanche County's web master for the Comanche County, Kansas: History & Genealogy web site. He donates all of his time. Jerry's historical roots and family ties are in Wilmore. Jerry grew up on a farm homesteaded by his great-grandparents five miles northeast of Wilmore.
At left: Walter Smith, from the cover of his "Sermons in Song" record album.
Walter Smith is well known for his amazing voice and has sang for many functions in our tri-counties. He and his family used to live in Wilmore. Walter is also a Special Guest of the Opry. Linda Crowe will be accompanying Walter on the piano, which is another of Linda's many talents.
(A special CD edition of Walter Smith's record album,
Sermons In Song, will be available for purchase at the November 6, 2004, Wilmore Opry, with the profit from the sale of the compact discs used to benefit the Wilmore Opry's charitable fund. Copies of the original 33 1/3 r.p.m. record albums will also be sold to benefit the Wilmore Opry's charitable efforts.)
Charles Bain is also another great singer who will be performing. He graduated from South Central High.We had the pleasure of meeting and hearing him sing at a high school reunion this past summer.
There will also be other local entertainers, and 2 or 3 from a distance. We will be telling you more about them later. We will place an ad later about the Opry's up and coming Dinner Theater after the Greensburg Show . Hope you have a great week!
A little anticipation, a lot of enjoyment, fun and high energy is the only way to describe last Saturday's Wilmore Opry Shows. The afternoon show's band members were detained a bit, they barely got to the Opry to set up and run thru a couple of songs with our special guest Heather Shelley before the show. Heather was there to give the audience just a taste of what is to come in the Twilight Opry show in Greensburg. Along with a super lineup of super entertainers. By the way, all the 400 tickets are gone for the Twilight October 16th show.
Back to the October 2nd Wilmore Opry shows. The afternoon band and Heather gave great music, songs and fun to the audience with a lot of professionalism. Some of the band members and Heather had never practiced or sang together. It didn't take long and they were rockin and rollin. Daryl Schiff even had a joke for the audience. The afternoon audience was a little rowdy: they were whoopin' and hollerin' along with a lot of hand clappin'. Heather was running in high gear and maybe overdrive before the evening was over. It's no wonder Heather is a sought-after entertainer.
It was a real treat to kick back and listen to the rich sound of country music and watch the band and singers. What Fun! Band members this month were Daryl Schiff, Gene Winter, Mike Green and David Fasgold, their new featured band member. Justin Rugg was also a new member on drums. Jean Schiff worked the sound board. It was sure good to see Jean and Daryl back at the Opry after their trip away to Nashville. The afternoon of enjoying the band and Heather Shelley let us have a little fun before kicking in the evening Opry. It was quite an energy boost watching the show in the afternoon.
Vanita Blundell, emcee, kicked off both shows with a lot of fun, laughter and giving away of prizes. Vanita and Minnie have become Wilmore Opry icons. They are well loved by the Opry family.
Heather Shelley was on the air and live in the studio of KNSS radio in Wichita and 19 other affiliate stations that hit 5 states. We, Dan & Linda Winter, were live and on the phone at the same time representing the Opry in Gene Countryman's hour long show called, 'You're live and on the air with Gene Countryman'. We were taking calls and telling folks some of the happenings of the Opry. Heather finished the last half hour talking of her new song she co-wrote with her brother-in-law. While Gene played the song on the radio, they talked of her heavy schedule the rest of the year, including her appearances at the Wilmore Opry. She also has won the Kansas Colgate Country Showdown and is moving on toward the nationals. KNSS connected Heather Shelley's web site and the Wilmore Opry Tickets web page to the Gene Countryman web site. What a fun time for us here at the Opry to have so many friends and help folks and live out a dream of a fun filled time, not only in our own lives, but in those of a multitude of friends.
The entertainers were in such high spirits and giving us such awesome vocals and great music, from the 10 year olds on up. It was good to have Zack Ellis and Chris Metzger back on the show after a while away. Ollie and Allen from Hutchinson haven't performed in a while at the Opry. We were happy to see the Wilmore Twins, Dillion and Haley Unruh, back at the Opry having fun with their song. Cindy Offield from Coldwater got the audience barking like a dog with the song "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?".
Cinda Dienst from Pratt hasn't performed at the Opry for several months. She got the audience howlin' like a coyote with "It's My Night To Howl". This was also one of Minnie Pearl's best nights to howl. The crowd just loves her!
The audience also loves Jennifer Johnson from Wichita with her great spirit and beautiful voice We have missed her a lot! Jennifer has been real busy lately. We were glad to have 15 yr old Jena Wedman from Leon on the Opry in October. She kept the audience going in one of her songs with group participation. She has a great voice and a lot of fun!
This was not only a great time for the audience and entertainers, but it was such an enjoyable and exciting afternoon and evening for us as we packed up and headed home after the show. We were thinking what a great country we live in that we can have such a place that we can go and have a little fun, laughter, good music and visit with our friends and neighbors. What a day and night it was!
We won't be writing next week's Opry News as we will have a lot of preparation for the Greensburg show. We will tell you all about it the following week. Have a great week!
29 September 2004
The Wilmore Opry October 2nd Showtime is fast approaching. Last week we told you of the Country Music Revue happenings at the Opry. This week we will tell you of some fantastic entertainers scheduled for our evening Variety Show at 6:00 pm Saturday. The Reeves Brothers from Clearwater, Ks are favorites with the Opry crowd. They will give us some of their good ol' banjo, mandolin, guitar and bass pickin'.
Cinda Dienst from Pratt, Kansas, will be there to give us some more fun, she hasn't been able to get to the Opry in a while. Saturday is her "Night to Howl", Pratt style.
Jena Wedman - "the Cowgirl from East Wichita" - will be here this weekend to give you a rip-roarin' good time. Jena always has a lot of fun with her songs.
Everyone will be happy to hear that the The Wilmore Twins, Dillion and Haley Unruh, will be back at the show to have a little fun with their song and please the crowd.
Micah Thom - 'The little gal with the big voice' - will also be here this time with her great voice and songs.
Ollie and Allen from Hutchinson will come riding in to the Opry with their great country style 60's and 70's songs. Their guest will be Patty Lundemo.
The "Kiowa Cowboy" will be here Saturday, we always enjoy his pickin', grinnin' and singin' when he can get over to the Opry.
We are excited that Jennifer Johnson, from Wichita, will be at the show. Jennifer has entertained at the Opry in times past. She is another crowd pleaser with her awesome singing. 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' Jennifer hasn't been able to be at the Opry for a while and we are certainly looking forward to her performance.
Zack Ellis from Coldwater and Chris Metzger, from Wilmore, will be at the Opry this month with their fun comedy. The crowd always loves their comedy and Ray Stevens style in songs.
'Look out' - here comes "Minnie Pearl". She will show up at the Opry to give you stories about that good ol' family fun and trouble that seems to fall our way.
We have a super surprise guest that will give you a taste of her good music that has won the Colgate Country Showdown.
Don't forget Daryl Schiff and Gene Winter's Country Music Revue at 2:00 pm.
On Saturday evening we will have 12 different great entertainers. The Opry Variety show will have a lot of fun, laughter and entertainment for everyone. Both shows will be outstanding in performers and a lot of fun.
22 September 2004
The October 2nd afternoon show at the Opry will be something that will make you want to drop what you are doing and join the Country Music Revue for a fun filled Saturday afternoon. It will prove to be quite a hoot! Vanita Blundell will kick off the show, and who knows where that will lead. Vanita will be the emcee for the afternoon and evening shows.
The shows this month will again amaze you with the rich country sound!! Daryl Schiff will be on an electric acoustic guitar, Gene Winter on lead electric guitar and Dale Robinson on drums. We believe Dale could play in any band and not miss a beat, not to mention his great vocals. Mike Green gives you that great country voice and plays bass.
The show has a special featured band member this month, David Fasgold, who plays a mean electric guitar that has the 'Awesome' style and sound of a steel guitar and a hawaiian steel. You will love it!
The Country Music Revue at the Saturday afternoon Opry, on October 2nd, will also have an unbelievable young surprise guest singer, she will leave you yearning for more. She has won first place in the Country Music showdown 2004. You don't want to miss this show it will be loaded with outstanding talent and a bunch of fun.
We will be telling you next week about some more awesome entertainers that will be on the Opry's future shows, and some of the Opry's evening Variety show Entertainers for October 2nd, which will include another gal that has won the Colgate Country Showdown in another state this year also.
The afternoon and evening at the Opry will leave you driving home after the Show, in a light and up spirit from the fun, visiting and being able to help our communities with the donations. The awesome talent that we are able to hear seems to leave us a lot fulfilled, as we don't have to go to the city to hear great music, comedy and songs. These are always the plus's in the show. We share some time with friends Opry night.
By the way, we are not only appreciative of all that help in the Opry, but of all the folks that donate to the hurting fund and the fund that pays the rent, accounting, legal, tax, cleaning and keeping up the show. Even though we are a non-profit family and give it to the hurting, it's just the way the law reads, we have to pay taxes on some things. And that's ok, because the Opry has been able to help Comanche County in the past and still does. The Opry is starting to help our surrounding counties now and it sure feels good to be a good neighbor.
The Wilmore Opry started with a dream and a prayer, and with stage materials that were placed on a credit card, with a strong belief and a vision the dream would come true. The Opry is so thankful for the multitude of folks in the Opry family that have helped the Wilmore Opry to run in the black, while helping others in the last almost 2 years.
We love being a part of the Opry family and able to give gifts of friendship also in prayers and laughter. The very one that we appreciate the most for the Opry is our Heavenly Father. Without him we believe nothing would be much fun or work out very well.
15 September 2004
We were approached last week about some changes in the Opry. Our reply was that we have been watching the Wilmore Opry go through a few changes in 2003 and 2004. We feel they have been for the good! We have listened to our Opry family, which also includes the audience, those who help with the Opry and the entertainers. We have changed a little from time to time. The local talent and distant performers have constantly improved while keeping what the Opry is all about: fun, laughter and that good ol' family feeling, along with helping the hurting folks.
Although the Opry has changed in small and various ways, the Wilmore Opry will always keep a free family show each month and help the hurting. That is written in our by-laws and they can never be voted out by the board. What we do love is not only sharing with all the folks that come to the Opry in Wilmore, but we also love to take the show to other communities to share an evening of fun and music with them.
Speaking of change while staying the same: The Opry will be doing business in Wilmore in the future. Your tickets will be available at the same outlets in all the towns.
If you want to entertain on the Country Music Revue at the Opry, call Daryl or Jean Schiff at 620-886- 3293 or 620-886-3608.
We have found the travels back and forth from Coldwater to Wilmore doesn't work as well for us, especially the week before and after the Opry although we have had such fun in 2003 and 2004 in the shows, meeting new friends, enjoying old friends and watching the fun on show nights.
We have such an exciting line up for shows for the fall of 2004.
The Winter, Spring and Summer of 2005 line-up of shows will really amaze you! We are really excited about what's in store for the Opry in the months ahead.
Get your tickets while they are available for October 2nd. Our tickets are all gone, but you can call us and we will try to get some tickets for you at one of the other outlets. Don't forget your Greensburg Twilight Theater tickets while they last!
This has been a great week. Hope your week has been a good one!
08 September 2004
The September 4th Saturday night Opry had to be one of the best shows the Wilmore Opry has produced (sounds like past writings). Many said it was the best show they had seen. The entertainers not only had fun working their stage presence, but all the entertainers nailed the crowd with the passion they gave in their songs.
It was quite an exciting evening from the 10 year old entertainer to the 92 year old performer. The entertainers told us it was so easy to give their best because of the close family feel of the show and the relaxed atmosphere. When we do have a glitch in the show it's not stressful. It just makes an opening for a little more comedy. We are real proud of the professional style of the Opry's entertainers, including the Opry's Emcee, Vanita Blundell and Myrna "Minnie Pearl" Bumgarner, who everybody loves. Professional entertainment comes from the passion and fun they put in their songs.
Speaking of professional entertainers, Fred Voelker of the 'Dodge City Wild Bunch', really grabbed the crowd with his fiddle playing of the 'Fox Chase' and 'Dill Pickle Rag'.
It was the same with the song that Joe Coyne wrote and sang: 'Saturday Night Wilmore Opry'. Joe has had the song copyrighted. Joe is also one of the Wild Bunch. The Opry is real proud that Joe took the time to express in a song how he felt about the Opry. He also wrote two songs for his grand-daughter Lacy Jade's new album.
Speaking of Lacy, she brought the house down with her performances as she ended the show. Lacy spotlighted 'Ron Grimes' on the guitar with an instrumental number of the 'The Beverly Hillbilly Breakdown'the crowd loved it. It was amazing!
Lacy Jade ended the show just before Happy Trails, with her new hit single that is coming out, 'The Ring' . All we can say is WOW!! That gal took us and the audience back a step. She is simply amazing in stage presence and the awesome passion she has in her songs. We are proud to have Lacy as a new member of the Wilmore Opry. We hope to have her back in the near future.
By the way we gave the line up of entertainers of the September 4th Wilmore Opry show. It was in last weeks news in the papers we write for, so we won't repeat them this week as we don't have the space.
We have an outstanding line up of shows for the fall. Also don't forget to get your tickets for the Big Wilmore Opry Show at the Twilight Theater in Greensburg on October the 16th, 2004.
01 September 2004
The Saturday night Opry in Wilmore will have an exciting recording star by the name of Lacy Jade on stage. This gal was one of the 'Nashville Stars' this past year. The shows were televised across the U S and around the world. She is a outstanding 21 year old performer. Lacy has a hit single out called 'The Ring' that has been the spotlight song coast to coast on Bill Mack's Top Ten Country Countdown. Lacy's songs are also played on other radio stations in Texas and Oklahoma. She is coming out with an album soon.
Her friend, the famous songwriter Ron Grimes, co-wrote the song 'The Ring' with Lacy. Ron will appear on the Wilmore Opry Saturday evening, playing guitar for Lacy. Ron Grimes also has written and co-wrote songs with the well-known
LeAnn Rimesand other Nashville Stars. Ron has a recording studio in Dallas, Texas. He works in Dallas and Nashville.
By the way, Lacy Jades grandpa is Joe Coyne of the Dodge City Wild Bunch band. The Wild Bunch will be performing at the Wilmore Saturday night Opry. We are looking for an exciting fast-paced evening of fun.
The shows line-up for this Saturday will be Vanita Blundell , 'Emcee'; Payton Whitfield, 11 yrs old; Alexis Blake - 10 years old; Wendy Monroe - 23 yrs old; The Reeves Bros. - 11, 12, & 15 yrs old; The Dodge City Wild Bunch; Andrea Petrowski - 16 yrs old; Velma Basnett; Myrna 'Minnie Peart' Bumgarner; Dan & Linda Winter - and , of course, the Opry's Special Guest's this month are Lacy Jade and Ron Grimes.
You won't forget this exciting grand ole Wilmore Saturday night of fun.
We are rolling toward our second year of fun country of variety shows.
If you haven't been yet, come on out, it's guaranteed to take away the blues, even though someone sings one or two blues songs in most shows.
The tickets are all gone in all six towns where they are distributed except for a handful in Protection for the September 4th show. They will probably be gone when this writing comes out, but we have a waiting list if you want to leave your name and telephone number in case someone cancels their reserved ticket.
Doors open at 5.15 pm, show starts at 6.00 pm. - Happy Trails To You Until We Meet Again.
25 August 2004
We were driving in from Dodge to Medicine Lodge last week, after visiting with Fred Voelker and his wife Allie. Fred is one of the old time famous Bob Wells Texas Playboys and a member of America's Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame. Fred is also a member of the Wilmore Opry. Fred has been in and out of the hospital lately. We're glad to say he is doing better.
Well, we finished our trip to Medicine Lodge, for we had been asked to sing in Daryl Schiff and Gene Winter's grand opening show for a local motel in Medicine Lodge. We had written about it in the paper a couple of weeks ago. We got to Medicine Lodge for the 3 to 4 pm show. After the show we went to Schiffs music store to pick up a replacement mike for Vanita Blundell which the Opry had ordered, and then intended to head on home to Coldwater. While we were there, Daryl got a call from Jeanne saying that Martina, John, Delaney and Emma McBride had just rolled into town in their tour bus to surprise her dad and come to their 5 to 6 p.m. show.
The McBrides were supposed to visit with Daryl and Jeanne Schiff, then head out, but they had gotten to Medicine Lodge early to see the 5:00 p.m. show. We, the Winters, then left the Music Store and headed back to the show. As we sat there waiting for the show to start, in drove Martina, John, Delaney and Emma McBride.
While we were visiting with Martina and John at the show, we asked her to sing a song or two. She told us, "If you want me to." Naturally, you know what our answer was: "YES"! John McBride tweaked the sound and music and it was great! The crowd didn't want Martina to stop singing.
She delivered 3 songs before she was finished. Martina sang one song with her dad, Daryl Schiff. Gene Winter sang harmony back up with Martina on one song. I'll bet he was in "hog heaven".
It was not only a nice surprise for Daryl and Jeanne, but we were all happy we got to hear her sing and visit a little. The McBrides have a short break in their heavy tour line up with Alan Jackson. They have extended 29 more shows this fall on top of extra shows that Martina has been scheduled to perform by herself.
We did invite Martina to the Opry while we were in Medicine Lodge. She said she would be there in the future when scheduling permitted, but that her schedule is so heavy right now. Martina said she felt fortunate that she had time to see her Dad play and sing this time. When Martina gets to the Wilmore Opry it will be worth the wait.
Martina's voice and stage presence is still super, no matter if that gal is under a metal carport wearing jeans and a tee shirt, or on an elaborate stage wearing outlandish gowns. We have seen and heard her perform both ways.
Be sure and read next week's paper. We will tell you about a surprise young recording artist that will be in our Sept. 4th show. Her grandpa sings and plays on the Wilmore Opry from time to time. He is also a member of the Wilmore Opry. Also, she is bringing a well known Dallas and Nashville songwriter that writes for a famous Nashville star and others. He will be accompanying her on the guitar at the September 4th Opry in Wilmore.
Also don't forget to get your tickets for the Big Wilmore Opry Show at the Twilight Theater in Greensburg on October the 16th, 2004.
18 August 2004
Last week a lot of folks approached us with a lot of excitement about the Opry. They said they would like to have monthly tickets to the regular shows and also tickets to the special shows in the future. They wanted to be on the Opry's ticket list.
Last week we were thinking while we were working on tickets, for the September Show and where the Opry was in entertainment and sound a year and a half ago versus now, and we were pleased. We have not only kept the fun and laughter in the shows, we have continued to improve the talent, including the local regulars that seem to be perfecting their songs and still keeping the fun in their performance. We are certainly happy with all the talent at the Opry this year. It brings We are also proud of our sound. We usually don't have any problems, with sound any more. It has become a lot of fun for us at the Opry sound board, and we are also very fortunate to have Jeanne Schiff to run the sound for Daryl Schiff and Gene Winter's Country Music Revue at the Opry; Jeanne has a lot of experience with sound for a band. This makes for a lot more enjoyment at the Opry.
We are real excited about all of our fall shows including September through December, with all the fun and super, super, talent and outstanding guests that are lined up. We are also real excited about the Opry having a special show at the Greensburg Twilight Theater. This is a show that will not only help the Opry build their fund, but will help folks to enjoy life a little better and take away a little hurting. It will also be another extension of our counties, to work together to be good friends and share with one another.
That's what the Opry has done in Wilmore for the last year and a half and in Coldwater in the Veterans building three times so far this past year.
Just like the Opry mixed and shared in music and songs, in Medicine Lodge at the Peace Treaty.
Daryl Schiff and Gene Winter have been spreading the Opry connection in music and songs also with our neighboring counties to the east. There is so much fun meeting new friends and seeing old ones. We have a big, big show lined up for Saturday, October the 16th, at Greensburg. There will be a ton of fun, with some of the greatest talent the Opry has to offer coming together for one big star studded night. The Twilight Theater will hold a comfortable 400, with very comfortable seats. The stage is tall and wide, it will have a lot of room for the entertainer's.
This will be one of the best shows you will see at the Opry. This is a fund raiser, get your tickets early as the 400 seats won't last long at $6.00 per ticket. We will be running an ad reminding you of a night out with the stars at the Twilight Theater in Greensburg.
We will tell you more in detail about the Opry Twilight Show and the time, next week in our ad, and also where tickets will be available. And of course the Opry will be in Wilmore the first Saturday of each month.
11 August 2004
The August 7th shows at the Opry were a cool place to hang out. The afternoon started out with great anticipation because of the two new shows and the big tour bus that brought a bus load of folks from Wichita and East Kansas, including one lady on the tour who came from Arizona.
Daryl Schiff and Gene Winter ' The Hitchiker ' kicked off their Country Music Revue at the Opry with a lot of energy and great songs. Along with Daryl and the Hitchiker, this month was Mike Green on bass and vocals from Medicine Lodge, Kansas, and Dale Robinson on drums and vocals from Denver Colorado. They had heavy applause from the crowd, with their music and cut up on stage. During the middle of the show, just before intermission, they had a surprise guest, Carolyn Roth, of the 'Roth's'. She told the folks on the bus they were headed to a Country Grand Ole Opry style show, only a lot smaller, in Western Kansas. They were all excited and couldn't wait to get there. Then Carolyn announced in the middle of the show that they were having a blast and were planning a return trip.
The Gerstner family from Medicine Lodge, Kansas gave us a surprise appearance on the show with a piano number and a song.
The afternoon country Revue and evening variety Opry both were full houses and a lot of fun all through the show's.
Both afternoon and evening shows will have great guest appearances all thru the upcoming fall months.
The afternoon show at the Opry moved quickly into the evening show with the setting of sound for the next set of entertainers, including picking up, cleaning and getting concessions ready for the next show.
What a show the evening Opry was. It was a mirror show to the first in the sense it was a lot of excitement, great talent and comedy. One show was a band and one a variety. The music and vocals were great in both shows. Jean Schiff was on sound for the afternoon show.
The Opry's evening entertainers were as follows and gave a great performance, and we had fun with ours.
Vanita Blundell, emcee, from Wilmore, Kansas
Payton Whitfield from Pratt, Kansas
Linda Winter from Coldwater & Wilmore, Kansas
Zack Ellis from Coldwater, Kansas
Katie Lenertz from Coldwater, Kansas
Wendy Monroe from Greensburg, Kansas
Chris Metzger from Wilmore, Kansas
Myrna Bumgarner, 'Minnie', from Coldwater, Kansas
Ollie Self from Hutchinson, Kansas
Allen Kurtz from Hutchinson, Kansas
Cindy Offield from Coldwater, Kansas
Bayley Hartman from Kansas City, Kansas
Casey Fetters from Pond Creek, Oklahoma.
Dan Winter from Coldwater & Wilmore, Kansas
Crystal Williams was the Opry's special guest for the evening, she is from Hutchinson, Kansas. Crystal is loaded with great talent as the rest of our Opry performers are also.
We do our songs for fun, but we love to showcase all the youth and other folks talents. It makes such a great evening as the entertainers and helpers give to us by giving of their time. I think that is where the fun spirit and warm family feeling comes from in the Opry. The afternoon and evening was a day we won't forget soon.
September Opry tickets will be available Thursday the 12th of August.
04 August 2004
The folks who got Opry tickets to the August 7th shows will be in for a treat. The early 2:00 show will have a lot of fun with a full band, a lot of great songs and maybe a little dancing in the southeast corner of the Opry. The evening 6:00 show will be a lot of fun also. We have amazing talent from all over including Kansas City, Oklahoma, Hutchinson, Pratt, Comanche County, Kiowa and Greensburg. Both shows should have some fun for every age.
Some of the Opry's entertainers performed for the 1964 Coldwater Alumni at the Veterans Building last friday night. It was a nice evening and a lot of fun.
We spoke last week of the Opera in Wilmore back in the early 1900's and what the people working on the Comanche County, Kansas: History & Genealogy web site are finding out in their research. They are sending us more information all the time which they will be adding to the web and history pages later on.
We spoke of the 'Grand Ole Opry' being in a early Opera Theater in one of their early buildings, including a church, named later, the Ryman Auditorium. The shows started in 1925, known as the WSM Barn Dance. In 1927 there was a program on Radio coast to coast known as an evening at the 'Opera'. At the end of the Broadcast a man by the name of DeFord Bailey, a country and blues man, playing a harmonica and a regular entertainer at the WSM barn dance, Saturday nights, was asked to do the ending songs by the host of the Radio Opera. The host then announced at the end of the broadcast, "From this day forward the evening at the 'Opera' will be known as the 'Grand Ol' Opry ".
What seems to be a lot of fun to us is the excitement of where we started the Opry in Wilmore, Ks. The town had an Opera in the early days, that we knew nothing about until now. The similarity of the Wilmore Opry and the Grand Ole Opry is the Comedy, Country and Variety that they both started with. It gives a lot of fun. Wilmore Opry is small compared to Nashville's, but we probably have the same fun here in the center of the heartland. It also gives us a chance to share.
Don't forget the Opry time Saturday.
28 July 2004
The Opry has had some more fun this past month seeing the new items Jerry Ferrin has put on the internet. Shirley Brier has found some items about Wilmore in our history of Wilmore and Comanche County. If you look at the Opry news or the history of the Opry and scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see Wilmore has a history of Music and Song, among other things. In the early 1900s Wilmore held Operas as well as movie's from time to time. They are digging in their research to gather information on where the Wilmore "Fisher's Opera House" was located.
Some say they thought it was where the Opry is now, behind the old Alpha Hotel and corner store. Which would have stood across the street from Chuck Metzgers building. "Years ago there was a lumber yard on that side of the street before the tornado in 1949." while another said they thought it might have been north of town in the old brick grade school. Who knows, maybe they had movies and activities at both places. But that is what researchers like Bobbi Huck and Shirley Brier do: gather information, check the accuracy and authenticate the facts. Then Jerry installs it in the historical electronic library of today. As I looked at some of the items Jerry sent, I thought how great it was, the folks come from far and near to see the Opry Show or just to have fun and celebrate music and visit in Wilmore. Even a hundred years ago, in the early 1900s, it looks like Wilmore, Kansas, has always been a sharing and fun loving place.
One item Jerry sent to us, that Shirley had sent to him, was about a special train that came to Wilmore and Coldwater, from a lot of the towns, from the east, in 1915, to celebrate a special day, and there were more later that came to Comanche County and Protection, as well as Wilmore and Coldwater.
What seems fun is the similarity between the Wilmore Opry and the Wilmore Opera.
The Wilmore Opry's signature phrase in the 2000s is: "A fun place to spend an evening each month with old and new friends, along with a lot of music, songs, and comedy at Wilmore's little Opry."
The Wilmore Opera's signature phrase in 1917 was: "A delightful entertainment as only artists and unbounded enthusiasm can give".
Opry's originated from Opera Houses as did the Grand Ol' Opry, which used to be in a old Opera house. Country and comedy changed it to 'Opry'. We will tell you more about the early Wilmore Opera later when we have more news.
Don't forget to get your tickets to the Show.
21 July 2004
The Opry has experienced some nice things the last two weeks. Folks have read and heard about the two new shows, Country and Variety that we are having. We have talked to folks that have just now heard about the Wilmore Opry. Some of them have read it on the World Wide Web and in newspapers. Others heard from friends of theirs. There will be new folks coming to see the Opry Shows for the first time from little towns all around us. Its always nice to meet new friends.
Local folks might want to get their tickets before they are gone. There will only be 200 tickets for each show, to give more space between the seats and walk around room. There will only be 400 seats in both shows. This should make the evening a bunch more fun to give more elbow room.
Some of the Opry's local youth and entertainer's from the Variety Show will be doing a private show in Coldwater, for a group of school Alumni in the last of July.
Daryl Schifff and 'Hitchiker' Gene Winter will be playing for a business Grand Opening in Medicine Lodge. This will be an outdoor event. This should be a lot of fun.
We will also be taking our Variety Show on the road, to the Greensburg Twilight Theater in the middle of October. We will be advertising when these shows will take place. This Show will be a fund raiser to help Greensburg and also to help in our newly founded fund, to help our entertainers from a distance with gas. Prices are so high, It's our small token of thanks to help with a little fuel. I'm sure it will help a little. The Opry's family of entertainers does so much and gives of their time, not only in driving, but gives of their time and talent for free, and helping others is always their concern. We feel this is the least we can do. We have wanted to help with some fuel for quite a while. We think it's time to give other folks flowers, 'So to speak', also.
That's what the Opry is all about helping those who are hurting and helping those folks who loves to help others. As the old saying goes ' Pass it On' and that also is what the Opry has always been about, Passing it on to others and having a lot of fun doing it.
We are working on some great shows for August 7th. Watch for our ad next week in the paper's telling times, dates and the line up of shows.
14 July 2004
The Opry has some exciting things happening lately. Last week we said we had a couple of things to share with you. The Wilmore Community Center is expanding! There will be enough extra room to store chairs, tables, concession items, the sound system and a much needed dressing room for the Opry. The Wilmore community and the surrounding communities are thankful for
Geneva Pepperd'sgenerous bequest which has made this possible. We will miss her. She was a nice lady.
Geneva was able to be at the Opry last spring before she was called away to her heavenly home.
Everytime we have a show we not only thank our heavenly Father for such a nice building to have the Opry in, but we are certainly proud of our two friends Ronn and Linda Lytle who did so much for the finances of the Center. Ronn and Linda helped to spearhead the Community Center, with a huge donation and of course we are proud also of all the folks that donated to make it possible. It is just a fun place to have a gathering.
We have two other things to share with you about the Opry that is real exciting to the Opry family. Daryl and Jean Schiff, Dan and Linda Winter have talked to folks in the crowds in the last year and a half. We sort of polled the audience about the kind of music and sounds they liked.
Real country music compared to variety music. We found out it sways to country music more in one show, then maybe another show folks like variety music more. It seems like about half likes just country and half likes variety music over the months of checking. So all of us have come up with a real good and exciting solution we think. To give the audience the chance to choose the music and sounds they like best.
There will be a real Country Music Show, starting August 7th at 2:00 pm. The show will last one and three fourths hours to two hours including intermission. There will be special guest on this show with a full band in August. In the months ahead there will be single entertainers, a small band and a full band at times. This show will be instruments and vocals.
Daryl and Jean Schiff will be in charge of the Country Music Show with a gospel song or two.
There will also be a Variety Show at 6:00 pm starting August 7th. The lengths of both shows will be the same. This show will have blues, country, pop, rock, comedy and gospel. This show will be CD's and live vocals with instruments at times. Both Shows will have Guest appearances.
Both shows will be giving their best to give the audience an afternoon and evening of fun. We are certainly proud of not only our county, but of all of our surrounding counties that make this evening of fun possible.
The two new Opry shows are a gift we are giving to our audience.
The July 4th celebration at the Opry took place Saturday July 3rd and what a fun night it was. There was a packed house. We were all celebrating our freedoms and remembering our men and women overseas who help keep our country what it has been for the last 228 years. We pray more soldiers will be coming home soon.
07 July 2004
The Opry had some exciting surprises. It started with the ' Wahoo Chili Peppers'. They had a spread of food that would tempt anyone. They had an outstanding display of the raffle cabinet and the snack bar was decorated with banners, it seemed to be a hard place to stay away from with the smell of that good food.
There was a spirit of good feeling in the Opry Saturday night. Many came for a little fun and they were there to help the present day people who are hurting and also to help support the research for cancer.
How could you go wrong with a line up like that? To share in this life seems to be the greatest feeling around. When we do something 'only' for ourselves, the good feeling goes away shortly. It seems to last forever when we add others to our list to help.
Saturday night there were a lot of new songs along with some favorite oldies. We had a return of the comedy team 'The Been Theres'. They were a smash hit with the crowd. The Opry audience always comments on the beautiful sound of Linda Crowe's horn. We are sure proud that Mike Crowe is up and running again. Mike thanked the Opry family for all the prayer support for him when he was sick. The crowd always loves Zack Ellis and Chris Metzger with their comedy Ray Stevens songs. They were back after a few months off, as a lot was going on at school.
Five young performers of the Opry family were in a talent contest at Harper County sunday evening. I imagine that was a hard contest to judge. The five that went from the Wilmore Opry were outstanding and there were fourteen in all in the contest. We weren't able to make it, but Daryl and Jean Schiff went to represent the Opry.
Daryl and Hitchiker 'Gene Winter' brought a new drummer Justin Rug from Kiowa, Ks. He was on the snare with brushes. They gave us that rich country sound with new songs.
The Opry got another surprise when Barry and Victoria Ward showed up with tickets to watch the Opry. Daryl Schiff and Dan Winter asked Barry to play and sing a number on stage. Barry chose a patriotic song and talked of our freedom in the USA.
Most folks know the Wilmore Opry has had several performers on stage in the last year and a half that have played at Opry's in Ks, Mo, Ok, Az, Tx and Tennessee. Daryl Schiff has played at Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee Oprys. He has played twice on the Grand Ol' Opry, in 1998 and 2002. Gene Winter has played at Texas and Kansas Oprys, Fred Volker has played on the Grand Ol' Opry and is in the 'Fiddler's Hall of Fame' and the list goes on of Opry entertainers that have played at the Wilmore Opry.
Barry Ward also is another accomplished entertainer. Barry is in the Western Music Association. He has played in Kansas, Wyoming, Las Vegas, Nevada and at Carnegie Hall in 2003 in New York City. Barry will return this year for another concert at Carnegie Hall. He is a great entertainer and has a great stage presence. You can turn your radio on here in Kansas and hear Barry sing. He has come out with a new album. Barry and Victoria Ward have a warm family feeling about them. We certainly enjoyed them and are happy they are a new addition to the Opry family.
We are proud of our new sound man, 'Jake'. He is a young man from Burlington, Ok. This will give Mike Crowe and Dan Winter some free time to do other things in the Opry. Welcome aboard, 'Jake'. Many, many folks at the Opry said this was the best and most fun show last Saturday night. There was such excitement and good spirits all evening long.
It was good to see Mike and Lynda Cooley back as they have been involved with their grandkids in the past. Kids are fun, but they keep you busy sometimes.
What a blow out night, you didn't want it to end. By the way, all the facts aren't in yet about a couple of things we wanted to share with you about the Opry. We will try to have them next week.
Dan and Linda have been running and involved in getting things ready for Saturday's Show. Be sure to read next weeks news, There are a couple of exciting things going on that are connected to the Opry. We will write about them next week. Remember the "Wahoo Chille Peppers" will be at the Opry Saturday evening.
30 June 2004
Have you ever been awakened by something that removed all the pain life seems to give at times? Last week was spent by Linda and I helping and praying for those hurting and those at the end of their natural life. As I awoke one afternoon last week, after Linda and I had laid down for a short rest from being on the run all day. Linda had awakened before I had and I heard her singing in the next room, "At Last" by Etta James , with such passion that give me the feeling there was nothing but blue skies and calm flowing rivers and a 'new life'. She was using her song to ease her pain from all the folks she knew was hurting. That feeling was transmitted and it was the most powerful song.
23 June 2004
I think music was created in life to give us not only joy, but relieve the pain and suffering that we sometimes might have. What a good renewing of strength that song gave after seeing and hearing about all of our hurting friends in our county and surrounding counties. I laid there while Linda was singing and felt so good about the music and friend's that we have been involved with in the Opry. I was very thankful for all the joy and fun the Opry family has been associated with.
Last week Linda Hart called for a number of attendance in 2003, at the Wilmore Opry, that she will be putting in the Kansas magazine. As Linda Winter and I started counting shows and attendance for 2003 we were amazed and happy as it was somewhere around 4,700 to 5,000 folks, including new and repeat attendance. That number doesn't include 2004. If you have attended the Opry you 'are' one of the Opry family, and you have helped create all of the help that has been given to the folks in all of our counties.
As I still laid there thinking and listening, I realized the Opry has been more than a dream. The huge Opry family has helped a lot of folks. We have a lot of fun in music, comedy and visiting with friends. If only a fourth of the Opry family felt as good as I did when I awoke, it would be a great amount of happy folks.
Linda and I are really excited about the July 3rd Opry and working with the 'Wahoo Chili Peppers' and the 'American Cancer Society'. Let's all join in and help fight this thing that is taking our friends and families.
They have found a lot of cures, our son Bruce was cured of bone cancer, our daughter Felicia, of skin cancer and Linda Winter from skin cancer. There are a lot of cures for cancer, but there are more to be found. One way to help ease the pain is come to the Opry and have some fun with music, laughter, visiting with friends and get a little food from the 'Wahoo Chili Peppers'.
We will have quite a night!
The Opry was approached this month by the folks who help with the 'Relay for Life' to operate concessions for the July 3rd Opry. All proceeds from concessions will be given to help with the fight against cancer. The Wilmore Opry is happy to be partners with them next month, to help the American Cancer Society. After all, that is what the Opry is all about, joining forces with those that help others. We are going to try to make this a yearly event in July.
16 June 2004
The rest of the months in concessions, the proceeds will be used for the Opry hurting fund.
In the July 3rd Show at the Opry, there will be something for everyone. There will be new entertainers, new songs and some regular performers. This will be a fun holiday show. Will tell you more about it later. Don't forget the show starts at 6:00 pm.
09 June 2004
The Saturday evening Opry Show had a star studded line up of entertainers and stars in the audience. Most folks said it was the most fun show the Opry has had.
The evening started with a Elvis type entrance of our emcee, 'Vanita', being showered with a spotlight and music. What followed was a lot of comedy and laughter including a couple of gliches on our part of running sound, which added to more laughter and fun. The evening went on to have some of the best talent and entertainment the Opry has seen.
Vanita surprised the audience when she welcomed some young stars in our crowd. They had front row seats with Jean Schiff, their grandmother. Stevie Schiff, Marty Schiff's daughter, was having fun with her cousins Emma McBride and Delaney McBride,' Martina's and John's daughters'. Delaney and Emma were stars in Martina's Christmas Tour 2003. They are quite the singers and actresses.
They all came to hear their grandpa, Daryl Schiff pick and sing. Martina was unable to be there as she was doing her show, out of state, at the same time as we were having our Opry. Martina, John and Marty are doing a nice job raising their daughters. They were quite the little ladys and seemed to be enjoying themselves at the Show. The Opry was certainly proud to have them as part of our family.
We were happy to see Bobbi Huck at the Opry. Bobbi has volunteered so much of her time, along with Jerry Ferrin, for our county's history. We got to meet Alice Bergeman and her husband from Tucson, Arizona, and other family members. We have visited with Alice on the phone and finally got to meet her. Alice is the mother of Jerry Ferrin, the Opry's web master.
The spirits of most all the folks saturday night was riding high with a great family atmosphere. We had a surprise when Linda Crowe invited Jerry Allen to fill in for Mike Crowe for their Comedy routine of the 'Been There's'. Linda and Jerry created quite an applause from the crowd.
The eight member 'Wind Chimes' from Larned, Kansas had quite a stage presence and we enjoyed their songs.The mystery entertainer was Mike Green from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Mike use to play with the Shiffter's Band when Martina and Marty were with Daryl. He is a good Bass player and singer. Mike, Daryl, Gene and Dale made the Opry band Rock!!
We listed the other entertainers last week. The performers from far and near were loaded with talent! Kent Little ended the show just before Happy Trails, with a song that brought heavy applause and shrills from the crowd followed with a great spiritual. What a show!!!
We promised we would tell you about Opry family happenings this week. Vanita had family that came this past week; also Jim, Vanita and Jeff hosted visitors of Dan & Linda Winter's, Howie and Andrea from Arizona.. Gene and Bobby Winter and Velda and Charles Botts also had family up from Texas this past week. Dan and Linda also had family from TX, AZ, CA, and MO. Linda's sister, Sue Gaddis, sang a duet with Linda. Terry Stewart, Linda's nephew helped with sound.
Daryl and Jean Schiff had a family reunion with all the kids and family in Sharon, Kansas. Martina and John McBride and Marty Schiff were at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Martina McBride won the female vocalist of the year and the 'Humanitarian' of the year award, as most all know. We were all happy about that. Martina, Marty and John returned to Sharon, Kansas, after the 'Vegas' show for a familly reunion. Martina, John, Marty and other family members, including their familys, had a lot of fun with inside and outside activities.This was a week to remember!!
02 June 2004
The Opry in 2003 was a lot of fun for a bunch of folks, what started out to be fun for one hundred folks, grew to quite a few hundred of us by the early summer of 2003. That's when we went to two Shows. We were counting entertainer's and folks in the audience the other day. We keep records of the names of all the people that have been to the Opry, including performers, and now in 2004 it is into a few thousand. There are some folks that come every time and others that rotate months, with new friends each month. Most all Shows have been full to packed houses, including our double Shows a night. The Opry has had 26 shows in 15 months including Coldwater and Medicine Lodge. it is more than a show to most all folks, The Opry is a fun place to go to see and visit old friends and you get a chance to meet new friends in surrounding counties, with good music and comedy. How cool is that! With the times we live in we need all the friends we can get.
We have a few Opry performer's that haven't been here for a while and three new entertainer's. This will be quite a Show. We have some good Opry family happenings to tell me about next week.
We will give you the names of the perfomers now as we promised last week. 'The Been There's', Mike and Linda Crowe, with their great fun comedy and Chris Metzger and Zack Ellis with more great comedy in songs. They're all from Coldwater, Kansas. Then , in music and great songs, Wendy Monroe from Greensburg, Kansas; Chelsea Horner from Hugoton, Kansas; Kent Liittle from Coldwater; Dale Robinson from Colorado and on drums. Cinda Dienst from Pratt, Kansas. Don Mckinney is scheduled to be here from Wichita, Kansas. We have a surprise guest also, we will give his name next week. I will say he is good and sings and plays the guitar and bass and was the member of a well known band. He will be part of the Opry Band this month.
We have two new entertainers: A 13 yr. old girl, Baylie Hartman, from Kansas City and also a 16 yr. old girl, Sarah Unruh, from Greensburg, Kansas.
This will be a show you won't forget any way soon. See ya Saturday evening.
26 May 2004
The Opry has had a few of its Opry Family members, including some members from other counties, preparing for out of state guests. Jim, Vanita and Jeff Blundell will have their daughter and sister Jennifer, from Mississippi, here for a few days. It will be a surprise for Jim's birthday.
Other guests coming to the Opry will be Linda Winter's sister Sue, and her son Terry, also Sue's daughter, Andrea, and son in-law, Howie, from Arizona; Linda's brother, Danny and sister in-law Linda from Texas; Dan Winter's brother Sam and sister in-law Rena from Texas will also be here.
The Opry also has two new entertainers from Kansas in our June 5th Show, with the return of our outstanding local Singing and Comedy performers. We have a Super Show lined up. We have been real busy preparing for guests and the Opry. Next week we will have the names of new entertainer's and of our local entertainers who haven't been on stage at the Opry for a few months as well as one performer from Colorado who hasn't been to the Opry for a while.
20 May 2004
The Wilmore Opry had a phone call last week. It was about a talent show in July for the youth. The talent show has picked a few of the many young folks that have been on the Wilmore Opry in the last year. The talent scout will be calling in the next week or so. Keep your 'message machine' on. They will call some of the youth that were 'vocals only'. This talent show isn't a contest of musical instruments, that will come later. There will be a nice cash prize for the winner. Just another step to more singing and fun in the future. We never know sometimes who is in the audience watching and listening to the show. So keep your voices and instruments tuned and you could be a Nashville or L.A. Star.
In the meantime never lose hold of 'fun and passion' in your song's. These two important items not only grabs the audience, but gives you and the audience a lot of fun. It also catches the eye and ear of the talent scout. In the meantime everyone keep the fun rolling. The Wilmore Opry, as most folks know by now, is not for a select few, but for all to have fun and help one another in our county and surrounding counties.
We have a great show lined up for June. We will tell you about it next week.
13 May 2004
There was quite a turn out for the May 7th shows. The early show had a good audience. The evening show had a few more folks. Vanita Blundell opened the shows by introducing Joey Riley and the band. There seemed to be a lot of response from the audience. The seven piece band was loaded with talent. Joey Riley made up a number with himself singing both parts of Willie Nelson and George Jones. He has been blessed with a lot of talent. Joey played the fiddle with someone from the audience holding the bow solid, while Joey moved the fiddle and played a fast Orange Blossom Special. The audience loved it.
Joey Riley called up Hitchiker (Gene Winter) on stage to do a Waylon song. It was great. Then Joey The crowd in the May 7th show made a lot of noise letting us know that they loved the Joey Riley Band. We could have listened to their playing and singing all evening long. Those faces that Joey makes really brings the house down with laughter. He almost looks like a cartoon character at ti called another guest up on stage, Fred Voelker, who is in the America's Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame. Fred used to be a Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys fiddle player. He is 92 years old and still going strong. The crowd really loved him.
Scott Riley ( Joey's brother ) who played bass, has been blessed with a great voice also. Kaci Bays, had an outstanding voice an sings with Mickey Gilley and is one of the 'Urbanettes' at the Branson Theater with Joey and Scott Riley. Everyone loved Kaci's Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline numbers. Larry Prater was on steel guitar. He has been with Joey since Joey was 12 years old. Larry played at the Wiley Opry near Dallas that Joey and Scott Riley's parents started several years ago. Gary Cornelius, was on drums and use to play with the 'Kendells' for a number of years. He is originally from Wichita. Gary Myers, was lead guitar, the bands regular emcee. Jason Martin, was on keyboard. This band really lit up the stage. It was an evening to remember.
Through harvest and summer we are going to have only one show. Most of our Opry family and entertainers are involved in farm and harvest work. Get your tickets for our regular Opry show for Saturday June 5th. The show starts at 6 pm. They are almost all gone. Great new talent along with some of our regular entertainers. See ya at the show for some more great music, songs and fun!!
05 May 2004
The afternoon May 1st show had a little surprise with some cancellations of three performers onthe last day. Some of the audience cancelled also with flu and colds.
Many folks said it seemed like it had been two months since they had been to the opry but they said it had only been a month. I think most of us feel that way. I really think its the package of the Opry that makes us feel that way. Where you can go and have fun, visit with friends, listen to good music and laugh at comedy. The free Community gathering doesn't stop there. The Opry gives all money that has been donated to our county and surrounding counties to help make this a better world in our little corner of the Globe.
We were able to readjust the show Saturday afternoon for a lot of fun. By evening the show was running full steam. And what a show it was! The only thing missing now was Vanita Blundell. She had to take some South Central High Forensics Students to Salina, Ks. Doug Swonger, our fill in Emcee from Kiowa, Ks, told the audience he sure did miss her smilin face and country humor. Doug is a real good friend of the Opry and is always ready to give a helping hand. We are very fortunate to have Vanita and Doug as Opry family.
The Opry will be back to one show on June 5th, at 6pm, through the summer, due to harvest and farm work, as a lot of the entertainers and the Opry family help with work on the farm.
Special guests this month on the Opry were the Reeves Brothers from Clearwater, Kansas. Jonathan, Michael and Ryan are 11, 12 and 15 years old. They played mandolin , stand up bass and banjo. They were quite the performers. Their stage presence and pickin' really grabbed the audience. Hope to get them back soon. We will advertise and let you know.
Cindy Offield did her debut song on the Opry. This was Cindy's first solo performance and she did a good job. Chelsea Horner was back after a few months off. We were certainly happy to have Chelsea's great sounds back. Andrea Petrowski, a special guest from Skyline High in Pratt, also blew the crowd away.
We are always happy to have so many of our youth on the Opry showing their talent.
Jake ( the sound man from Kiowa Ks ) filled in for Jean Schiff and Mike Crowe. Jake gave the Opry entertainers some good sounds all evening long. All the regular performers were in great voice and having a lot of fun as usual. Last week their was a misprint on the day of the Joey Riley Show (those things happen sometimes). Instead of Saturday, the Joey Riley Show in Wilmore will be on Friday May 7th at 3 pm and 7 pm. There will be 2 shows.
28 April 2004
There is a bunch of folks, including us, looking forward to our May Opry Shows with a lot of excitement growing as time gets closer. The Wilmore Opry May 7th Shows will be the Joey Riley Comedy Production from Branson, Missouri. Tickets for the evening show will soon be gone.We still have tickets for the afternoon show. They are $15.00 until MAY 6th and 20.00 at the door on MAY 7th. This would be a great Mothers Day present for those who like Country music and a Lot of Comedy. Hope this is a good week for all. See you at the Shows.
21 April 2004
A lot of the Opry family got to spend a Sunday evening Pickin', Singin' and Grinnin' in the country near Oxford, Kansas. Jim and Deanie Schiff had a welcome sight of food and soft drinks for all the ones that showed up. Many were invited and there was still a bunch of folks that came out. We first went to a mini-concert at the United Methodist Church in Oxford. The Generations Band gave us a lot of gospel songs that we really enjoyed. After church services we went to the country and really spent one of our most fun evenings we've had in a long time. They treated us and Vanita Blundell like we were family. Those guys and gals can really pick and sing. We could of stayed there into the night we were having so much fun. The food, refreshments and friendship were matched to the music and songs. The Opry has really expanded the friendship in our Counties, that was talked about while we were there. You know I don't believe we can have too many friends in this life. We then headed home around 6 p.m. The 2 1/2 hour drive home was a lot of fun, we were still singing on the road home. That was surely a great day in the life of a lot of folks including us. The family's there said they couldn't wait till they could come back to the Opry.
Don't forget to get your May 7th tickets before they are gone!
13 April 2004
BOB WILLS Band Member Plays Fiddle
With The Wild Bunch On The Wilmore Opry Stage
A tip of the hat to band member Fred Voelker of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, who were known as Bob Wills and the Light Crust Doughboys when Pillsbury hired them for radio commercial's in the 1930s. Fred has also played on the Grand 'Ole' Opry. He did a morning radio show in the 1930s and 1940s in Oklahoma City. Fred has won countless trophies and awards thru the years, He is in the America's Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame, and now plays at the Wilmore Opry from time to time with the Dodge City Wild Bunch. Fred still plays from one to four times a month at a variety of functions.The crowd still enjoys Fred, onstage at 92, what a life!!
The special guest performers in our April 3rd show were the Dodge City Wild bunch; Kristina Brewer from Leon, Ks; Cinda Dienst from Pratt, Ks; Jena Wedman from Medicine Lodge, Ks; Casey Fetters from Pond Creek, Ok and Helena Trask from deep in the heart of Texas.
07 April 2004
WILMORE OPRY GEARING UP FOR MORE FUN
The Afternoon and evening shows was a bus load of fun at the April 3rd Wilmore Opry.We had a tour bus, 'Jim and Cindy Tours', from Wichita again to see the show. Among the passengers were Opry friends that had been on the tour bus last month to the Opry. Another was a good friend of ours, Mozetta Shoenecker, she brought six friemds of hers from Wichita. A smaller bus from Dodge City brought another friend of ours, Geneva Peppard, and friends. Mozetta and Geneva used to live in Wilmore, it was a surprise and quite a treat to see them. We were happy that Joanie Cline brought Florence Booth to see the show. It was good to see yet another bus load of Opry friends from Ashland. The Opry was filled for both shows and ready for some fun. It was a great evening of music, songs, comedy and a little laughter.
We had five performers that came this time from Leon, Ks, Pratt,Ks , Medicine Lodge, Ks , Pond creek, Ok and another Gal from down Texas Way. About 800 miles south of here, I believe she said. This gal got a standing ovation in both shows.The new performers ' blew our doors off ', one performer at a time. They were good! The Opry regular performers that were at the Show seemed to be in super spirit's as they spread their joy and fun, that they felt in their songs, to the audience. All of the performers seemed to feel right at home on the stage Saturday.
There is not only great talent in the Opry, but I do believe we still have that Good neighbor feeling we started out with 13 month's ago and 22 Show's later. I do believe there is no greater 'feel' in life than to give of one's self. That is what the Opry is about. There are a number of reasons why folks come to the Opry I'm sure, but the one I hear most is that good down home and Family feeling they feel when they watch the Show's and visit with an old or new friend before the Show and at break time. We sure do thank our heavenly Father for that.
We spent the day Saturday, setting up systems , lining up music, doing 'little last minute things' and doing sound checks with performers. By the way, say a prayer for Mike Crowe. Mike and Linda weren't able to make it to the show's because Mike was sick. We will be happy when they are back.
Even though we were short handed, we had fun all day and evening long. We have revamped our ticket system to handle the crowds better.
Don't forget to get your tickets to the Branson Show that's coming to the Opry in Wilmore May 7th, while they are still available. Our Opry's M C and hometown gal 'Vanita' will kick the Show's off by introducing the Joey Riley Show. The Opry received a complimentary video tape from Riley Productions this past week, of the life and shows of Joey Riley. As I watched the tape I began to get more an more excited for May to get here. These Tickets would likely go for two to three times as high in Branson or the city. Riley Productions cut them real low for the Wilmore Opry, get them while they last. When they're gone, they're gone. You will kick your self if you miss this show. See Ya There!
25 March 2004
WILMORE OPRY'S FUN TIME'S ROLL ON
This past week has been loads of fun, even with the extra work we are involved in. With the Opry's upcoming Show's April 3rd,we have plenty to do and it always seems to be Fun. We thought when we asked Daryl and Jean Schiff and Vanita Blundell if they would like to handle Entertainer's, 'which by the way do a great job'.
We thought, well we can get some things done in Wilmore we have been wanting to do. The good Lord knew we had more fun around the corner instead. Our extra time will be spent getting the word out about the May 7th Shows, coming from Branson to the Wilmore Opry.
Look for the Opry Ad this Week in the News Paper, telling about the Riley Production's show coming to the Wilmore Opry. I bet this Show will give you more Fun and Laughter, with Great Music than you have had in a while. Tell your friends and neighbors,you won't want to miss this one. But of course we always have fun at the Opry.
Joey Riley has a show on P A X -T V and Riley Production's will have a Show this fall on C.B.S. They are bringing their Band, Comedy and Show From Gilley's Theater in Branson, Mo. to Comanche Co. in Wilmore.
Dan has made all the arrangements while Linda is handling tickets in Coldwater and Daryl Schiff in Medicine Lodge for this show. If you have a neighbor or friend who doesn't have the money to buy a ticket, but would like to go to the Show and you have an extra 15:00 you're not using, bring them along and I bet you will both have a ball.
If we fill the seats, other entertainers from Branson will follow, I have been told. Just another way to bring a little fun and excitement to our county. This should be cool and a lot of fun. Riley Production's will be donating to our "hurting fund" in Coldwater at Peoples Bank. We were talking the other day, not only the fun and good music that's at the Opry, but the good feeling with Opry friends and family. We are always in a hurry for the next Show. By the way the April Shows have a super line up. We have four new entertainer's. The Opry regulars have great songs along with new one's. Hip Hip who-ray! The Been There's ' return with their comedy. The Opry will have one Big tour bus and two small bus's which will make packed house's for both shows.
Check out our instant Ticket News on the web at www.tinyurl.com/ys8tv.
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Put on a Smile and Head out to the Opry this Saturday April 3rd, see you there.
The MAY 7th SHOW is coming to the WILMORE OPRY from BRANSON,MO 'The JOEY RILEY SHOW' direct from MICKEY GILLEY'S THEATER. Riley Productions is on TOUR Thursday's and Friday's this spring, and back at the Gilley's Theater Saturday thru Wenesday. Look for their tour dates. They will be at the WILMORE OPRY for two shows 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. MAY 7th. Their band has Super Music, Songs and Comedy. It is one of the hot shows in Branson.They even have Rave reviews from the Tour Bus Folks.
Get your TICKETS while they last at only $15.00 a seat for this Event. This time you won't have to drive so far to see a Branson Show! Just another part of what the Opry is all about: helping life to be better for all and bringing some more fun your way
25 March 2004
Well here we are with another great day in Comanche County! It is so great, as we often think, to live in this great land of ours, 'America', where we can live free.
We promised the names of the entertainers from our last show. They really gave us some good entertainment.
Vanita Blundell opened the show followed by little Micah Thom from Pratt. Next were Dan and Linda Winter from Wilmore, who now live in Coldwater; Duane Boyenton; John Gamblin and his Wife from Tulsa, Oklahoma; our singing Comanche County Commissioner Velma Basnett; The Theis Brothers, Sam, Frank, Ken, Phil with their sister Dee from Cunningham, KS; Wendy Monroe from Greensburg, KS; "The Wilmore Twins": Dillion and Haley Unruh; The Kiowa Cowboy, Doug Swonger, from Pratt,KS; Peyton Whitfield; The Generations Band: Dixie Mowbray, Leslie Brazle, Rick Schiff, Sara Trillo, Brett Billiter, and Kevin Wills from the Wellington, KS, area; then Daryl Schiff and 'Hitchiker' Gene Winter from Medicine Lodge, KS. Ending the show was The Opry Gang singing 'Happy Trails'. What a show!
Don't forget our April 3rd shows starts at 2:00 to 4:15 p.m. and our evening show starts at 6:00 to 8:15 p.m. with 15 minute intermissions. See ya there!
17 March 2004
This week has brought some questions to us about the Opry. Some folks think we have dropped out of the Opry. We would like to clear that up. We are very much still involved strong in the Opry. We work with setting up the stage on show nights and tear down systems after the shows. We assist Daryl & Jean Schiff and Vanita Blundell is any way we can. Linda Winter is still on the board and Dan Winter is the Vice-Chairman of the Board. As most of you know Daryl is Chairman. Daryl and Jean book the entertainers. They have been a real blessing to the show. It is a pleasure to work with Daryl, Jean and Vanita. Vanita does all of our scheduling once the performers are booked. We always look forward to the big night. If anyone needs tickets Dan and Linda handle them for Wilmore and at a distance.
Wilmore Opry ticket outlets in Pratt, Medicine Lodge, Coldwater, Protection and Greensburg have tickets also. Dan and Linda also handle the tour bus scheduling. We had Jim and Cindy Tours booked early last fall 2003 for the March show in 2004 at the Wilmore Opry as a Mystery Tour. Jim asked if there were other sights here close by to see and we pointed him to Protection to the Stan Herd Museum, Lake Coldwater, Coldwater Airport and also to the mural painting in Wilmore. Dan also pointed them to Dave's Pizza, Comanche Bar and Grill and the Supper Club in Coldwater for dinner. Jim and Cindy said their crowd really enjoyed the Opry. They have booked April and May shows which are in the Sunday edition in the Wichita Eagle travel section. They are not advertised as Mystery Tours, but are advertised as trips to the Wilmore Opry.
Jim told C and M Tours about the Wilmore Opry and they have now booked with us for August 2004. We also have Sept 2004 booked.
Fun is what we want to always keep in the Opry. Remember our friends and neighbors in our county and our surrounding counties. We are one big family. It makes us stronger as we work and have fun together. We will give all the names of our last Opry shows performers next week as this writing seemed to take precedent. By the way the Opry news didn't get in The Protection Press last week. We send all our news together to all four papers at once. There was a glitch in the e-mail as Pro Press was doing some switching of some computer items. It was our fault: we should have checked to see if it got there, but we didn't. We will check this week to see if it gets thru. You can tell your friends that read The Protection Press that they should be able to read the Opry news this week. Sorry for the inconvenience. We have outstanding shows lined up for April 3rd, 2004. Tickets are gone in most towns for both shows. Look for our ad this week in the papers.
11 March 2004
Well it is sure good to get back to Kansas, although we got to sing a little while we were gone. We had a great vacation while we were out in Arizona and the weather was great. It was in the 60's, 70's and 80's while we were there. We got to see the family in Phoenix and in Tucson. We also got to meet Jerry Ferrin in Tucson. Jerry has made all the web pages for Comanche County, Kansas: History & Genealogy with the help of Bobbi Huck. Jerry has also made the web pages for the Wilmore Opry. The multitude of donated hours they have spent building the pages and gathering information might surprise us. Our hats are definitely off to both of them.
We got to sing and visit a little while we were in Arizona. We went to the Legend show with Elvis, Ol' Tom T and Miss Peggy Lee. We had to miss their March 4th show as we had to get back to set up for our March 6th shows at the Opry and what an Opry it was. We had a couple of surprises that wound up to be a lot of fun. That seems to be the joy in the show, when something might come up, turning it into some great entertainment or a little fun. The Opry is one big family which makes it so easy and fun to sing your song, tell a joke or just visit at intermission or before the show. In the first show we almost had a full house as a few had cancelled because of flu and colds. The second show was a packed house. We had a big tour bus from Wichita in the matinee show. They are booked again next month so you might want to get your tickets early for the April shows. Everyone we talked to said the shows was our best yet, but they tell us that every time. I think that's good!
We had entertainers from all over the state of Kansas and two from Oklahoma. We had a super band also a fun group of brothers and a sister that did some Statler Bros. songs and routines. We had great entertainers and talent last saturday at both shows. Entertainers ranged from 6, 9, 11, 13, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's,60's and 70's. We will give you the names of the entertainers next week as we are running out of lines. Having Daryl and Jean Schiff and Vanita Blundell helping with the show and performers has helped us a bunch. Have a great week!
12 February 2004
The night of the Opry turned out to be a great evening for visiting and enjoying music with a little Minnie Pearl comedy.
The show was on schedule from 5 to 7 p.m. The entertainers gave a great performance. We really had some excellent talent at the show. They came from Greensburg, Coldwater, Wilmore, Medicine Lodge, Pratt and Kiowa, Kansas, as well as from Oklahoma. The ages of the entertainers were 5, 9, 16, 24, and up. We had a great turnout considering the weather. We still had 200 plus in the audience even with our cancellations. The Opry really had a good sound Saturday night, The Opry family in concessions and tickets kept the evening running smooth as usual.
After the show a lot of the Opry family went to the Ranch House Cafe and had a lot of fun and laughter and good food. We can't wait for the March Shows with all the great new Talent and Fun that is planned along with our regulars
We will be making a trip to take Vivian Ruth out to see her daughter and sister in Phoenix, Az. for a visit. We will be back in plenty of time for the March show set up.
If you can't get thru to us you can also call Vanita Blundell for tickets at 620-582-2542 .
Have a great week! The Opry news will be back in a couple of weeks.
Don't forget to get your March tickets!
04 February 2004
For all the folks that have Opry tickets for Saturday's show, it's time for some fun music and a little excitement. It's an evening I don't think you will forget any ways soon. We have a good line up of youth entertainers and regulars. Their voices will amaze you. New songs and a lot of fun with old and new friends.
March 6th, 2004, will be a super kickoff time for the Opry. We will have two shows with super talent. Take your pick, a matinee from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. or an evening show, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Be sure to call Daryl and Jean Schiff, ' Martina's parents ', if you're a regular or a new act and want to perform at the Opry.. They have a list and it needs to be sorted for Vanita Blundell's show schedule. The regulars and the youth will have a place at the Opry. Be sure to call!
This upcoming year is exciting to all of us for what is being plannned. Will tell you more in our next week's Ad and our weekly Opry writings. Can't wait for show time!! See ya there!
Dan and Linda Winter have asked Daryl and Jean Schiff to take charge of entertainers and the Opry shows.
Daryl Schiff will be Chairman and Dan Winter will step down. Dan will take Linda Crowe's chair as board member. It will be a year next month since the Opry begin. Linda Crowe asked to resign as a board member so that she would have more time to work up her numbers for the stage and have a little more fun. Linda and Mike Crowe will still be a big part of the Opry. Linda Crowe and People's Bank and Insurance have done a lot and still do a lot for the Wilmore Opry.
Daryl and Jean Schiff have a lot of positive idea's for the Opry this upcoming year in music and fun. Their goal is like ours, to try to have good entertainment and fun and to promote our youthful entertainers..
20 January 2004
The Wilmore Opry Dinner Theater last Saturday in Coldwater was a huge success!
Vanita Blundell and all of the Opry family that helped really outdone themselves.
Mary Monroe assisted Vanita in organizing all the servers to get the food out from the kitchen. The meal was served in record time with dessert following. The atmosphere all evening was that of friendship and just a good ole time. The food was delicious.
Then it was show time! We had comedy and a lot of great music. We even had a little animated Hank Williams, Jr., that was about 2 feet tall. He stood on a stool and gave us a lot of laughs with his 2 songs. The show started with Vanita Blundell welcoming everyone. Doug Swonger and Cindy Offield surprised Vanita and Dan and Linda Winter by pinning them with a corsage. Thanking them for what has been done with the Opry. Then little nine year old Micah Thom really punched out her 'Walking after Midnight' and later with a great 'Down Time'. Walt Lenertz and Duane Boyenton followed with their countryfied pickin. Casey Fedders from Oklahoma, a teenage gal, really amazed us with her two spirituals. That gal really can sing! Doug Swonger followed with some good songs and later did a comedy routine with Cindy Offield as 'Cash and Carrie'. Minnie Pearl dropped by and really gave us some good laughs. Then here comes Dillion and Haley Unruh with Daryl Schiff playing the guitar with the twins singing 'I'm Little but I'm Loud'. The audience really loves those twins. Then Linda Winter surprised Dan Winter ( Blues Man ) with a song to celebrate their 40th Anniversary this month. The song was 'Turn me on'. Daryl Schiff and Hitchiker ( Gene Winter ) then finished the evening with their rich country sounds followed by 'Happy Trails'.
We asked Daryl and Jean Schiff if they would like to help with the entertainers and the operation of the Wilmore Opry. It has become a double full time job ( still a lot of fun ). We can't take care of everything now like we use to with tickets and all. We will be taking care of tickets as usual and other Opry involvement. Daryl and Jean said they would be more than happy to help out as they are very much a part of the Opry already.
We asked Vanita Blundell if she could help us out by doing the scheduling of the performers. She graciously accepted. Vanita needs the information early on from Daryl and Jean to make her schedule.
We have more to add about Daryl and Jean's help in the Opry. We will tell you all about it in next week's Opry News.
Look for our ad in this weeks paper.
14 January 2004
The Opry Dinner Theater tickets will be gone by the time this news hits the streets. Just a few days until show time. We are real excited for what we have planned. The atmosphere that is planned will be great. There will be a place to dance if anyone cares to kick up their heels. We will have a variety of music and entertainers. We have a special guest from Oklahoma. She is a fourteen year old gal that has a beautiful voice. We also have some comedy and a special little guest who is a 'Hank Williams Jr.' impersonator. This guy nails the songs. I do believe he will give you a lot of entertainment. The entire evening should be a lot of fun! In next week's news we will have a list of all the performers. We will tell you of our exciting dinner show happenings in next weeks Opry News. See you there!
08 January 2004
The telephone has been ringing this past week with folks wanting to know where the Dinner Opry show was being held.We have run ads,but they said they read the news but didn't see the ads. Most folks saw the ads,but there were several who didn't.
The Wilmore Opry Dinner theater show will be at Downtown Coldwater at the Veterans Building on main street. There is more room in the Veterans Building than there is in the Wilmore Center for this function.The Opry will be back at Wlmore Feb. the 7th for our regular show
The dinner in Coldwater will start at 5:00 pm. on Saturday, January 17th, 2004. Vanita Blundell will cook the evening meal.The performers will be serving the meal. We will have pork loin, smothered chicken, winter vegetables, a salad or two, rolls, potatoes au gratin, coffee, tea and water. For dessert there will be Black forest cake topped with whipped cream and cherries. This will be a candlelight dinner with a lot of fun and entertainment planned.
If you have any questions call Dan and Linda Winter at 620-582-2606, 620-582-2631 or email us.
The last day that tickets will be available unless they are sold out is Wednesday, January 14th. If you haven't got your tickets you may want to get them before they are sold out.
--Watch for our Ads next Month-- See you there !!!!
Wilmore Opry News Archive - 2003
A fun place to spend an evening each month with old & new friends
at Wilmore's Little Opry.
Want to help support the efforts of The Wilmore Opry?
Please make your check payable to The Wilmore Opry and send it to:
The Wilmore Opry Account
101 East Main
P.O. Box 727
Coldwater Ks, 67029
Phone: (800) 889-9887 or (620) 582-2166
Fax: (620) 582-2209
More News About The Wilmore Opry
Wilmore Opry News - Dan & Linda Winter's Web Page Dan & Linda have created their own web page about the Wilmore Opry and update it regularly. Check it out!
Wilmore Opry Shows & Events Another webpage created by Dan & Linda Winter, also updated regularly with photos and news items.
Hard times forgotten at Wilmore's opry "Dan Winter dreamed that an open amateur variety show might lift his town's spirits. Now western Kansas is singing the Wilmore Opry's praises." The Wichita Eagle, 20 July 2003.
"Wilmore Opry's monthly shows pack plenty of entertainment onto small stage", The Hutchinson News, July 4, 2003.
Dallas Wilson's website, www.wilmoreks.com, features a PowerPoint presentation of Wilmore Opry performers.
Wilmore Opera House, 1915. A collection of advertisements for 1915 shows at Fisher's Opera House in Wilmore.
Wilmore Opera House, November 17, 1917 "An evening with the Osceola Pooler Concert Company"
Background Sound: Original Jelly Roll Blues by Jelly Roll Morton
This RootsWeb website is being created by Jerry Ferrin with the able assistance of many Contributors. Your comments, suggestions and contributions of historical information and photographs to this site are welcome. Please sign the Guest Book.
The following www.digits.com "hits counter" started counting on 26 October 2003.