Photo: The Jive Tones are from left: John Weigel, Linda Licht, Tiffany Gauntt (standing in back), Jody Ryan (on drums), Laura Licht and Joe Starr. Photo by Jive Tone performer Susie Lower. See the performances during the Bye Bye Blues tribute to Bob Murphey event at the Texas Blueberry Festival on June 13 in the Regions Bank hospitality room.
Those who attend this year’s 26th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Brookshire Brothers will be surprised and delighted when they attend the Bob Murphey entertainment event that will be held in the Regions Bank community room.
Originally conceived as a storytelling contest in tribute to this famous local humorist, this year’s event has come back to its original inspiration—Bob Murphey himself.
“As time passes, many people do not know or remember who Bob Murphey was,” said Susie Lower, event producer. “Festival organizers thought it was important to reacquaint the public with this remarkable Nacogdoches humorist by seeing and hearing him tell the stories that made him famous utilizing videos and tapes provided by his daughter Reba Jane Gayler."
Bob Murphey was born in Nacogdoches in 1921, grew up to study law and in 1954 served both as Nacogdoches County and Nacogdoches District Attorney. At one point in his career, he was appointed Sergeant At Arms for the Texas State House of Representatives where he picked up much of his humorous take on politics in addition to developing his hilarious stories regarding just about everything else in life. He became a speaker much in demand at banquets and conventions all over the country and even made some appearances on television as a guest on shows such as “Heehaw” and the “Grand Ole Opry.”
Titled, “The Bob Murphey Bye Bye Blues Show” this year’s presentation is designed to replicate the old “tent” shows which used to be common in this region with a blend of his humorous anecdotes, vintage music and a bit of vaudeville all thrown into the mix.
Music and songs will be provided by the “Jive Tones,” combined with piano and vaudeville produced by Lower and Pat Harris. Those who enjoy a bit of nostalgia will love the songs sung by the “Jive Sisters” featuring Linda Licht, her sister Laura. and Tiffany Gauntt who sing in a style reminiscent of the Andrews sisters of 1940’s fame, backed up by band members John Wiegel, Jody Ryan and Joe Starr. Beginning with “Sentimental Journey” it promises to be a wonderful trip into the past when local people made their own entertainment which included humor, music, theatricals and dancing for those whose religion wasn’t against it.
Shows begin at 11 a.m. and repeat at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., designed to play when the day gets warm and people want to go somewhere cool and have fun as well. Hosted by Regions Bank in their comfortable, air-conditioned hospitality room - use the Pilar St. entrance - attendees can take a break, sit down, and cool off, with a free lemonade or water and relax as they watch the show.
The room will also feature a variety of Bob Murphey memorabilia on display, including his boots, hat, spittoons, pictures and articles recalling his amazing career which resulted in bringing his brand of East Texas humor to the entire country.
About the Texas Blueberry Festival
The 26th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Brookshire Brothers is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 13 in historic downtown and Festival Park. The free admission, family-friendly event is a delightful day of the America you dreamed still existed.
As the only state-sanctioned blueberry festival in Texas, this delicious annual event attracts more than 19,000 attendees and offers a variety of activities that folks of all ages will enjoy.
Go to www.TexasBlueberryFestival.com for more information about the attractions, live entertainment, contests, vendors and tasty treats.
A Friday night Blueberry Bluegrass Concert in the Park presented by Rex Perry Autoplex will kick off the blueberry weekend. The concert is also family-friendly with free admission and will feature the following five musical acts from 5 to 10 p.m. in Banita Creek Park: The Steve Hartz Family Band, The Coursey Family Band, The Blake Brothers Bluegrass Band, The Bottom Dollar String Band and Catahoula Drive.