OSU & My Red Dirt Roots
When Monica Taylor enrolled at Oklahoma State University in 1989, she decided that she’d better find some people to play bluegrass and country music with in the evenings. Thanks to Brett Franzman – one of Stillwater’s great banjo players and guitar pickers – she found herself right, smack dab in the middle of the still young Red Dirt Music scene.
The bluegrass and folk band, The Wayfarying Strangers, that she played and sang with were on the schedule for Jimmy Lafave’s Musicians Reunion Jam …The Red Dirt Rangers, Tom Skinner, Greg Jacobs, Randy Pease, The Medicine Show… and of course, Jimmy LaFave. What a night!
Earlier in the evening she met another man who has since always been on her mind and in her heart:
“We were running over a few tunes at Pam’s (Hartman) house – One of these Trains, Fox on the run, Ready for the times to get better, Route 66, Boulder to Birmingham were a few we played. Our band was made up of Brett on banjo and swingin bluegrass guitar, Mark Mars on guitar and slide guitar, and me and pam vocals and guitar, bass, and 3 part harmonies… The others in the band said that a friend of theirs who was a great songwriter was expected to come around for a visit …. he knocked on the door.
“The door opened and standing in the doorway was a man with a big, vibrant smile and curly brown hair and lots of whiskers. His rough voice had ‘country’ all over it and his beautiful blue eyes just twinkled… ‘Hear there’s a new girl singer in town… came to meet ‘er. My name’s Bob Childers… what’s yours?’
Childers sat down, listened to their practice, and then played a few tunes for the girl with a big smile on her face and in her heart.
That kindness- the going out of his way to make a young girl feel ‘not so nervous and so very welcome’ was Bob to a T. I’m so thankful that he came by that night before the show and listened to us… and then played some of his tunes. Like so many others around me, I miss Bob and love him dearly.” — Monica
Here’s a video of Bob with lots of friends joining him on the song he wrote about Woody Guthrie… Monica and Don Morris on the right. from left: Terry Ware, Brad Piccolo, Steve, Chuck Dunlap, John Cooper