Sunday, April 5, 2009
Pogo The Medallions Madras Madness and the plight of Ray Whitley
above: Nora Marion receives a copy of "Madras and Madness" from Medallion Shawn McElrath to be given to Dad
Swingin' Medallions play in the Swamp for thousands at the Swampfest...while the City of Waycross's patron saint, Pogo, the possum philosopher looks on from the Water Tower. Pogo is credited with such quotes as:
"We Have Met The Enemy and he is us"
"Where ever you go, is where you are"
"We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity."
I had planned to take my ninety year old father somewhere he had never been and that was to a concert featuring the Swingin’ Medallions in downtown Waycross. However, Saturday morning my father had a bout with dizziness we took him in to be checked out and after running a battery of testes, he seemed to be alright but we decided against the concert. Nora Marion and I went for a couple of hours and came away impressed with how well the band catered to a crowd of several thousand that represented every age group and race. The Medallions had music for everyone and I think they played every song on their latest CD, “,Madras and Madness.” Something that I had never seen the band do was to engage the very young that were attendance at the concert. The band invited on stage with them all the toddlers in attendance. Twenty or so took them up on the invitation and were soon rocking on stage with the band to “Brick House.” I am sure it was an experience the kids will never forget.
The band gave us a CD that we could give to Dad, presented above to Nora Marion by band member, Shawn McElrath. I’ll be interested in getting Dad’s review after he listens but I think he’ll enjoy many of the great cuts on the CD. We were grateful for the great service we got at Satilla Regional in Waycross for my father. A little disappointed that he didn’t get to see the band he had heard about for forty years but judging from the crowd’s reaction to the band, they’ll be back.
We end this posting on a bit of a downer but thought that we should share because maybe we can collectively do something about what you read below:
Hello to all, my name is Tom
I came across your blog through a google search for a man that I met recently. I'm involved with a ministry that brings food for the flesh and food for the soul through the word and music. At a homeless shelter in Gainesville, Ga I met this man playing guitar and singing to the other residents there. Through conversation I learned two things about him (other than being homeless). First he is very nearly totally deaf, and that his name is Ray Whitley; besides being an artist in his own right is author of many hits for such greats a the Tams, Billy Joe Royal, Tommy Roe, The Swing Medallions etc. Just thought you guys would want to know . I wish I knew how to post on your blog.
Note: I have responded to Tom and will be in touch with him over the few days. Hopefully, we will come up with some ideas that will help Ray. Ray Whitley gave us some of the greatest songs of our youth. Maybe we can give something back to Ray.