The Mary Lib Saleh Library in Euless, Texas
Jon Rutherford, Charlie Carey, & Mike Brown
in a free concert
Thursday September 8, at 6:00 PM, Library Theater
Gray Bartlett is New Zealand’s biggest selling guitarist both on record and in concert. He has performed alongside artists such as Tom Jones and Kenny Rogers. As a promoter Gray has toured a wide range of artists from Pavarotti, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Tommy Emmanuel, Ringo Starr to Slim Whitman.
Gray, along with Brendan Dugan, was introduced to Texas audiences in the 1980s at Fort Worth’s International Country and Western Music Association Awards Festival, Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue, Country Crossroads, Pioneer Days, Billy Bob’s Texas, White Elephant Saloon, Bill Mack radio Show, That’s Country on The Nashville Network, and a benefit show for the Euless Police and Fire Association.
Having logged more that 50 years in the music business , Gray shows no signs of slowing down and believes music helps keep him feeling young.
“Music is the greatest gift our planet has. It creates a longer and happier life. It re-energizes, restores faith, gives rise to great passion, and makes you happy. Music is better than most medicines for re-charging the batteries,” he has said.
Gray, who has been very busy touring with his newest album, Private Conversations, agreed with enthusiasm when I asked if he would consider performing again in Euless. Here is a snapshot from the Euless Police & Fire Benefit Show some years ago.
From L to R: Gray Bartlett, Brendan Dugan, Dorothy Hamm, Roxane Atwood, Carol Stevens, Norma Jean, and fireman Cole Brown.
Jon Rutherford is a popular country singer and platinum songwriter whose first album, Tonight’s ON Me, on the AMG Country label in Austin, TX, charted in Australia, Germany, and the Netherlands. His single from the debut album, Taste For Texas was in the top ten for four months on the Swingin’ West radio show in Fairfield, CT. Host Mike Gross, an award winning DJ devoted to Western swing music, loved Taste For Texas and said it will continue in permanent rotation on the show.
In 2014, Jon’s song, Cinderella Dream, with Jon doing the vocals, was used in the soundtrack of Red Wing, a movie filmed in Whitewrite, Texas, staring Luke Perry, Bill Paxton, Breann Johnson, and Frances Fisher.
Jon was a regular on the late Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue where he has been the recipient of their Entertainer of the Year Award. More recently, Jon has had the honor of opening for some of his country music heroes including the Gatlin Brothers, Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, Clint Black, Mel Tillis, John Conley and George Jones.
For the record, Euless Police Chief can sing!
So says the headline of a The Dallas Morning News article.
A tall, soft-spoken man with a gentle smile, Mike Brown has been a law enforcement officer for more than 35 years, spending 26 years in Euless, Texas, followed by four years as chief of the University of North Texas Health Science Center Police Department in Fort Worth. He returned to Euless as chief in 2006 where he has served since.
But in his free time over the years, Mike has been a fixture at area concerts that featured his favorite singers and songwriters, artists like Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson, Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Tom Russell… the troubadours. So it’s little surprise that Mike, also an accomplished musician and vocalist, would hone his own musical craft to the point of eventually amassing an impressive collection of original, homegrown songs of his own.
Mike knows what he likes, and he doesn’t find a lot of it in contemporary popular music.
“I’m a storyteller,” he says, describing his music as being “on the folk side of country”. But on his new album, Just A Little, the listener will hear styles that run through the Americana spectrum from folk to honkytonk, and from bluegrass to blues.
Does Mike plan on making the transition from policeman to Texas troubadour?
“I’m too old,” he chuckles, “I would like to stay with what I’m doing unless they run me off.”
So, the citizens of Euless, Texas don’t have to worry about their police chief riding off into the sunset on a tour bus, but they can certainly boast that their city might just have the finest singing peace officer since Andy Taylor of Mayberry!
From Fort Worth’s Casino Beach & Skyliner Ballroom to TV shows such as Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, Donald O’Connor, Della Reece, and Mike Douglas…from sharing stages with Chuck Berry, Conway Twitty, Fats Domino, John Conley, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Chanel, Jerry lee Lewis, and Johnny Rivers among others…from playing lead guitar in Gary Lewis and the Playboys Band, to playing guitar and keyboards as a studio musician in California, to Willie Nelson’s first Dripping Springs concert, to a Vietnam USO tour in the 60s, Charlie Carey’s guitar has taken him around the world and back. He currently lives a much quieter life in Fort Worth where he has some business interests, still plays occasionally, and still travels, but mostly for pleasure these days.