Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 28, 2012

Opry sounds come closer to home

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — A longtime band very familiar with Garvin County is hoping to bring the musical sounds and good old fashioned fun of an opry show closer to home.

In fact, the Memory Makers band, familiar in recent years to opry fans in the Ada area, plan on holding an opry event here in Pauls Valley next month with the hopes the interest is out there to keep it going well into the future.

There will be a small admission fee as this first installment of an opry show here is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the county fairgrounds in Pauls Valley.

Leading the charge for the show are band members Woodie and Becky Hill, who live in Maysville and serve as music and worship leaders at a church there.

Their hope is this opry show here in Pauls Valley can continue on a regular basis, while also giving local folks a chance in the near future to showcase their talents.

“We want to put on an opry type show, basically the same format as the Ada Opry,” said Woodie. “We want to bring the type of format to Pauls Valley.

“There’s a variety of musical styles with an opry show,” he said.

“We’ll start out with the band and three guests performing. At some point, if we get this going, we’ll have open auditions. If this takes off in Pauls Valley we’ll have auditions.

“We’re hoping the interest is here and Pauls Valley can support something like this.”

Hill describes an opry type show as more than just a concert as there’s “some discussion on stage, some jokes, bantering around with the crowd and then a band performing, doing songs.”

As members of the Memory Makers band, the Hills say the group is rich in musical history, tastes and variety with several vocalists and harmonies.

Their sounds include classic country, country, gospel, bluegrass, folk, ‘50s/‘60s rock, southern rock and blues.

Another member of the band is Paul Pratt, who’s had plenty of ties to Garvin County for some time.

Pratt and his wife Sondra make their home in Maysville. He once served as the band director for schools in Maysville, Elmore City and Stratford. Pratt is currently the music director at an Erin Springs church.

With most together for several years now, other members of the band are Joe Mays on percussion, Wayne Morton on steel guitar, Randy Rogers on guitar, Cindy Rogers among the vocalists and Ben Lawson on the fiddle.

If the opry show does create a buzz and bring plenty of people out, then future shows will most likely include auditions for singers to join in on stage.

“Garvin County, and Oklahoma in general, is full of talented people,” said Becky Hill.

“There’s not a place for them to perform, to showcase their talents, unless it’s at church or a few other places,” he said.

“Being a part of wholesome family entertainment is what every performer wants to be a part of. This is an opportunity for local talent to perform occasionally.”

As for Woodie, he thinks singing is something that’s just a really good thing to do.

“God must like singing because there’s a lot of talent out there,” Woodie said.

Both added a concession stand will be available at the county fair barn when the opry show gets started on Nov. 10.