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Carol Perkins: Grandson Luke & his rich KY musical ancestry

A visit to the Opry to experience what his great-great uncles Lonzo and Oscar had been a part of for years. In Edmonton and the Hornet's Nest Pickers where Luke learns that, in Metcalfe County, students and faculty are close friends. A private visit with Greg Martin of the Headhunters. An idea for a book. And a visit with Lavon Lile and Glenna. And more.
Next earlier column: Carol Perkins: Dog sitting Winston, Part II

By Carol Perkins

During our oldest grandson's visit with us, my goal was to make it a "local talent" week. He has been playing guitar for several years so a little more inspiration never hurt anyone! After picking him up at the airport, Guy and I took him to the Friday night Opry mainly because I wanted him to experience what his great-great uncles, Lonzo and Oscar had been part of for years.

Saturday night I discovered that the Hornet Nest Pickers were playing at the Barren County Extension Office's 100-Mile Potluck, so I made some Old German Honey Cookies with local honey and off we went. What fun! Immediately, I found people I knew in the crowd and sat with my classmate Janet Dilley and her husband Albert. For more than two hours, our local guys played dozens of songs and threw in three John Denver hits! When I explained to Luke that the band consisted of our superintendent, a middle school principal and assistant principal (and girls' basketball coach), two high school teachers, and three alumni, he was impressed. "That wouldn't happen in Austin," he said. "Teachers don't mix with students." There were nearly a hundred people there and almost as many dishes.

Next, the Headhunters were home so I asked Marla (one of my former cheerleaders) if we might visit with Fred and her at the practice house. What a fun afternoon! "Do you know how many people would love to be able to sit down and talk to Fred?" I told Luke. Fred is so personable and is blessed with such a sense of humor! At my request, Fred played a drum solo. Luke was thrilled! Just as we were leaving Richard drove up, but he was on an important call and we had to get home. I wished we had had time for Luke to have met Richard, but maybe next time.

That night we met with Greg Martin (Headhunters) and his family. Greg and I are connected through an aunt marrying an uncle, etc. He graciously brought a special guitar and then left it with Luke to play while he was here. Who would do that? While Luke practiced what Greg had taught him, we all caught up on Edmonton news. Greg shared Headhunter stories, and I suggested that the band should record all this information and put into a book. "It would be a bestseller." My hope is that Luke will be able to see them on stage.

The next day I had scheduled a visit with Lavon Lile and his wife Glenna. Lavon has been in the music business for decades, playing on weekends with his band. He was a part of the Nashville publishing scene for years and still pitches songs. Famous artists have requested songs from him, and many were recorded. I first met Mr. Lile when he was a guest on Susan and Carol-Unscripted. I knew him as Benny and Marty's father and of his musical background. His most popular song "MRS Degree" recorded by Crystal Gail is still played on the radio. I knew he had stories about Lonzo and Oscar's early days that I didn't know. "I think there should be a plaque in the courthouse yard honoring them," he said. I agreed. They were the first local group to "make it big" in country music. We visited his studio filled with pictures of artists with whom he worked or played on their records. He could write a book, too.

Our area is blessed with musical talent. I wanted to give Luke a taste of local color to take back with him to Texas. As we drove down the Glasgow Road, I pointed to the high school on the hill. "You can live with me and go to high school here and maybe play with the Hornet Nest Pickers." He, like his grandpa, rolled his eyes. "I'll have to find my own group in Texas."

This story was posted on 2017-08-10 04:47:00
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