Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Letters to the Editor

October 29, 2013

Rathbun Country Music Theater is better than Branson

(Continued)

Drat! How had I not heard of this place? It’s Southern Iowa’s best kept secret.

But the Dickerson’s will live on. There are CD’s, of course, and a website www.countrymusictheater.com and Dickerson’s email address of willisdickerson@gmail.com. The rest of the group isn’t retiring. They all of have their own gigs. It just took the Dickerson glue to bring them together.

At the risk of leaving out some of the musicians, I’ll mention just a few that stood out for me: Lonnie (Lonzo) Erwin, sax and guitar. Lonzo performed the crowd favorite, “Oh Danny Boy,” all the verses, in a rich, deep baritone that brought tears and a standing ovation. Peggy (Sue) Wardenburg on piano and guitar did a great Connie Smith, “Once a Day.” Steve Head on fiddle, with his old “unknowns,” was a crowd favorite. (You gotta have a fiddle in the band.) David Pitt on guitar and piano did Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley on the piano better than Lewis or Presley combined. Mitchell Dickerson, grandson of Willis and Faye, is an up-and-coming, make-the-devil-pay-his-due fiddle player. Of course, Grandpa Willis, on lead guitar, is a Nashville-class musician. Faye Dickerson, a musician herself, is the business end. Together, they have put together a mean music machine.

I gotta a feeling I’ll be hearing Willis Dickerson again. He’ll be around playing here and there — in church, guest appearances, helping out the would-be owners of the Rathbun Country Western Theater get started; or, no doubt, in heaven — county music heaven.

Jesus likes a little pick’n, too.

Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at (319) 217-0526 or email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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