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An important piece of my life

There are four very special, very wonderful men who I am lucky enough to be able to call my friends and I get to see them for the first time in three years tomorrow down in Portland Oregon. Why three years? They're professional musicians who tour around the country and world, have been in a couple of Disney/Pixar movies and who just haven't been out to this part of the country in a while when I could get away from work.

 
They are, collectively, Riders in the Sky. From l-r: Woody Paul "King of the Cowboy Fiddlers", Joey "The Cowpolka King", Ranger Doug "The Idol of American Youth", and Too Slim "The Man of a Million Titles".


Back in 1995 I was just getting ready to start my sophmore year of high school and was going through a period of pretty severe depression. I was getting beat up at school for no reason other than I was a bookworm/nerd. I hadn't smiled or laughed in I don't know how long and my folks were pretty concerned about me. I was down in the basement in late May or early June just flipping through TV channels when I came across the old show Prime Time Country on TNN. Tom Wopat (Luke Duke) was the host at the time so I decided to watch for a bit. There were three cowboys on the show (Woody wasn't there that night) singing a song called Miss Molly. Halfway through the base player (Slim) started playing his face and I laughed for the first time in at least a year, maybe more. The next day I went to the music store and bought one of their CDs. And that's the start of the next 13 years with the Riders.
I met some fellow fans online and we started the (then) unofficial Cyberpal fan club. I'm still secretary of the group even though we aren't nearly as active as we've been in the past. The Riders made us an official group on our 10th anniversary last year. I wasn't present at the time, but the president and vice-president of the club were and I got a full report and pictures from it. 
So whenever I have a bad day, I just want to relax, need some support and don't feel like relying on CSI or another TV show, I grab one of the 30 CDs I own - and its about to be 32 - and put it on to listen. I know all the songs by heart and can sing along for them all. I've been to 27 shows in 13 years, 28 tomorrow, and I don't think I'll ever be tired of seeing them perform live or listening to their music.
Like I said, just four very special guys who gave me a special gift. They've heard the story too. It's always so much fun to get to see them. My dad and I are leaving tomorrow morning for Portland and coming home Thursday. The trip is just for the concert. :) I can't wait.

Their web page    www.ridersinthesky.com
The Cyberpal page    www.ritscyberpals.com

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Aug. 14th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
I really enjoy this group, so thanks for sharing your story. :) Music can have a very powerful effect in our life and I am glad that this group made such a difference in yours.

I hope you have a fantastic time at the show!
lexxiescott
Aug. 15th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
I don't know how much you've gotten to talk with them after the show, if at all, but they are all just total sweethearts. :) I really do love 'em.
alixsinclair
Aug. 14th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
I really enjoy this group, so thanks for sharing your story. :) Music can have a very powerful effect in our life and I am glad that this group made such a difference in yours.

I hope you have a fantastic time at the show!
lexxiescott
Aug. 15th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
Hey, just got home. :) They ended up cancelling the show because of wildfires in the middle of the state. *sigh* But they might reschedule.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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