Sunday, March 21, 2010

It was informal and it was fun

By R.D. Hohenfeldt
Managing Editor
What better way is there to start a bluegrass concert series than to find a group of friends who like to get together and play and sing old songs, put them in front of a country church congregation and turn them loose?
That's how Macedonia Baptist Church began its season of monthly bluegrass offerings tonight when Harold Rowden and Friends took the stage.
Rowden told me years ago in an interview that he started playing music back in the early Fifties, shortly after Bill Monroe began playing. With that amount of experience behind him, Rowden is a solid and respected fixture in the local bluegrass jam sessions. For years he had a family band, The Rowden Review, that recorded.
For tonight's concert, Rowden assembled a group of his jam session partners and they played an hour's worth of good ole-fashioned gospel songs.
In addition to Rowden on rhythm guitar, the group comprised Fred Allison, guitar; J.D. Fritchey, mandolin; Cecil Goforth, resophonic guitar and harmonica; Lonnie Goforth, banjo and guitar; Jerry Rollins, guitar, John Perdue, fiddle, and the Reverend David Scudder, pastor of the church, on stand-up bass.
A little past midway through the concert, Jimmie Allison, flatpicker and vocalist, showed up.
They sang songs like, "When They Ring Those Golden Bells," "I Heard My Mother Call My Name in Prayer," "Come and Dine," "Family Bible," "Hallelujah, I'm Ready."
Highlights for me were "Uncloudy Day," an instrumental by the Goforth brothers on banjo and harmonica; the great tenor singing of Fritchey on several songs and the closing a capella number, "O, Lord, Don't Leave Me Here."
But every song was a gem. Rowden conducted the concert like a jam session, giving each of his friends chances to sing throughout the hourlong performance. It was informal and it was fun.
The next concert will be at 6 p.m. April 18 with Bob Hammonds and Wildwood. The concert is free; an offering will be taken. A dessert fellowship will follow the music.
To get to the church house, go north of Rolla on Highway 63 for 5 miles from the interstate, then turn right on Old Highway 63 at the rock quarry and go a couple of miles. You'll see the church house on the right.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bluegrass gospel concert series announced

Macedonia Baptist Church will host a series of monthly bluegrass gospel concerts beginning Sunday evening, March 21, with a performance by Harold Rowden and Friends.

All concerts will begin at 6 p.m. at the church building located on Old Highway 63 north of Rolla. The concerts are free; an offering will be accepted.

Dessert fellowships will follow each concert.

Here are the other performances:

April 18--Bob Hammonds and Wildwood

May 16--The Link Family

July 18--Iron Mountain

Aug. 15--The Kellys

Sept. 26--The Martins

To get to the church, go north on Highway 63 from Interstate 44 for 5 miles, then turn right at the rock quarry. Go do Old 63 for a couple miles and you'll see the church house on the right.

Come out and visit. You'll have a good time.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Here's another place for St. Pat's pictures

Here are some more St. Pat's Parade pictures and the unveiling of the Solar Car. These are photos by Bob Phelan, so they put mine to shame. I hope you'll scroll down and look at mine anyway.

Sunday Sermon in Song

Wayne Bledsoe played a new song by Larry Stephenson this morning on Sunday Morning Sounds and said he was going to feature Stephenson's new CD on the Thursday night show. Tune in at 7 p.m. on KMST, 88.5 FM, or online at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Pat's Parade 2010 was the "Best Ever"

Saturday morning was cold in Rolla, but townies and Missouri S & T students bundled up and lined Pine Street from Sixth Street to the campus on Twelfth Street, and around the corner. to watch the St. Pat's Parade.

My wife and the two dogs stayed in the car, parked at the corner of 11th and Pine. The view wasn't the best, but the crowd there was thin enough she could see the parade through the gaps between the people. I think she got as big a kick from watching the parade watchers as she did from the parade.

I wandered around taking pictures, but watched most of the parade standing on Twelfth Street in the midst of a group of students who kept me laughing. Several of them were from Mizzou and one girl was from Missouri State. They were surprised at the size of the St. Pat's Parade and the amount of participation from the community.

In this and previous posts, which are below this one, are photos taken at the parade today. If you weren't there, I hope these photos (poor as they are, for I've never claimed to be a good photographer) will convey a little of the spirit of Rolla and Missouri S & T.

I recommend you make plans to attend the 2011 parade, and if I were you, I'd try to get in the midst of a bunch of students. They're mighty fun to be around.

RHS Marching Bulldogs in St. Pat's Parade

Several area school bands performed in the parade. Shown here is the Rolla High School band. In another post are the Cuba and Salem bands. There were a couple other bands in the parade, too, but my camera battery ran down and I didn't get them.

More bands in the St. Pat's Parade

Also in the St. Pat's Parade were the Cuba High School Band and the Salem High School and Salem Junior High School Bands.

More St. Pat's Parade photos

Here are some more photos from today's St. Pat's Parade. From the top, hula hoop girl, one of several political candidates in the parade, students carrying a carved cudgel, donkeys and dogs decked out for St. Pat's.

St. Pat and his Court

Here's St. Pat and his court, in a cart pulled by students, emitting a green fog. How would you like to walk behind that?

Still more St. Pat's Parade photos

Here are some more photos taken at the St. Pat's Parade in Rolla today. From the top, a South Central Missouri Shrine Club clown, a few of the Korean War vets, a beautiful old pick-up truck restored to advertise a soft-drink company, fraternity members carrying their carved shillelaghs, a Shrine Club biker, an old John Deere, sorority girls, bagpipers and the color guard.

(I apologize for the quality of these photos. I never was worth a darn as a photographer.)

Floats in the Rolla St. Pat's Parade

Theme of the parade this year was something about games, so all the floats depicted some kind of game.
I think that's true. Some of the floats were a mystery to me. Perhaps they were depicting games with which I am unfamiliar.
I recognized Scrabble, Monopoly, Operation and Battleship.
Maybe you can figure out the rest.