By Linda Emley

History doesn’t have to be some big event that happened 100 years ago. That’s because it is any moment in time that has already happened.
The great historian Carl Becker once said, “History is the memory of things said and done.” Some days are more memorable that others, but history is made every day of our lives.
History is going to be made in Richmond this Saturday night when people of all ages are going to get together and enjoy a night of jamming to live music
The Thomas F. Eagleton Center will be rocking for the monthly music jam, and this girl might even enjoy hearing some good old country songs.
I grew up in the days of rock and roll and never listened to country music, but it does grow on you when you hear it live and feel the emotions that make country music songs so popular.
There is a music jam on the fourth Saturday of every month at the Eagleton Center. Saturday, Nov. 23, the Ray County Historical Society will be hosting this music jam and the concession stand, so I will get to be a part of the fun.
The show starts at 6 p.m. and will run until 9. We will be selling raffle tickets for a quilt that was donated by Florence Williams and I promise there will be a few more surprises Saturday night.
There will one empty chair sitting on the stage at Eagleton because one of our favorite musicians, Leo Smith, is now playing with the big boys in heaven. We will miss Leo but he will never be forgotten.
He played with some of the big guys in Nashville and I’m working with his wife to put together a story about his life.
After attending some of these music jams, I decided I needed to learn a little more about what makes country music so popular. The County Music Hall of Fame has been in Nashville, Tenn. since 1961, and there have been 121 people or groups inducted. Only 15 have been women.
Jimmie Rodgers was the first performer inducted into the Hall. He’s known as the Father of Country Music, “the man who started it all.” I was pleased to see that one of my all time favorite singers, Elvis, made the list in 1998.
I was a little confused why he was there until I read what they had to say about The King. “The consensus around Nashville in the mid-to-late 1950s was that Elvis was bad for country music, that he had in fact almost killed it; in truth, he was very good for a younger generation of country musicians, giving them potential access to broader media exposure than their predecessors had enjoyed.” Since I like Elvis and Johnny Cash, I guess I’ve always been a country fan and did not know it.
The December music jam is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 28. You will not be disappointed if you come and share the fun with this group of musicians. There is no charge to attend or perform, but we will take donations.
All donations will be used to support the Ray County Historical Society and our battle of Albany Reenactment that is coming in October of 2014.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “History is not history unless it is the truth.” The truth is you will be surprised how much fun you can have at the our music jam in Richmond. Please give me a call at 776-2305 if you have any questions.

You can also reach Linda, to talk or share history stories, by email. Her address is Linda is manager of the Ray County Museum.

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