Tahlequah Daily Press


June 14, 2010

TACO gearing up for Cookson Jubilee

TAHLEQUAH — Those who love music, food, fun and fellowship won’t want to miss the 35th annual Cookson Jubilee, coming up Friday and Saturday, July 16-17.

Sponsored by the Tenkiller Area Community Organization, this year’s event will include musical guests Rio Grand, a Texas country music trio; Marty Rabon, Nashville country, bluegrass and gospel singer; and the Colgate Country Showdown.

Participants also won’t want to miss visiting the various artisans and vendors, along with enjoying the food, particularly the barbecue.

“Although TACO and the Cookson Jubilee have been here for 35 years, many people have no clue as to what either represent,” said longtime TACO member and Jubilee planner Peggy Gray. “In brief, TACO’s objectives are to work toward the enrichment and betterment of the Lake Tenkiller area, promote charitable and educational project, plus provide monthly programs to enhance the lives of the citizens of the area, and support area volunteer fire departments.”

TACO officers for 2010 include Johnny Flores, president; Tony Fancher, vice president; Cindy Ballew, secretary; and Kathy Perry, treasurer. Trustees include James Kenney, Rick Rogers and Bill Sherrick.

TACO and the Jubilee began in 1975, when a small group of women, whose vision was to organize a volunteer fire department for the Cookson area, met and decided that a fundraising event was needed to kick of the campaign for the fire department. The idea was well-received by the community, and the first Cookson Jubilee was held in the summer of 1976.

Since then, the event has grown in popularity, with hundreds attending the two-day affair. Many come for the music, and according to Gray, this year will be better than ever.

“Rio Grand has quickly risen in popularity,” said Gray. “They topped the Texas regional radio charts with a No. 2 hit single, ‘Painted Pony Ride,’ in 2009, and their newest hit single playing on country radio is ‘Beckett’s Back 40.’ Touted as a honky-tonk band, the group has a unique and pleasing sound.”

Danny Rivers, lead vocalist; and Tommy Rennick, backup vocalist and bassist, formed the band in 2006. They soon added fellow Texans Fred Stallcup to complete the trio.

According to Gray, each band member comes from a slightly different musical background. Rivers was a south-Texas band roadie, Rennick cut his musical teeth with Corpus Christi band 37 South, and Stallcup played nightclubs and bars from El Paso, Texas, to Jacksonville, Fla., with his two older brothers.

Rio Grand is slated for performances at the Cookson Jubilee at 5 and 8 p.m., Friday, July 16, at the TACO ground in Cookson.

The other musical headliner, Marty Raybon, new early on performing was what he wanted to do for life. He began his musical career singing in the family’s bluegrass band. In 1984, the grind of part-time playing and full-time work became too much, and he headed for Nashville to pursue music full-time. Gray said he quickly scored a publishing deal and moved to Muscle Shoals, Ala., where he joined the group that would eventually become Shenandoah.

As founder and former lead singer of the Grammy award-winning group, he offered a full spectrum of vocal entertainment. He led Shenandoah to 22 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including such hits as “Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday in the South,” “Two Dozen Roses,” and “If Bubba Can Dance (So Can I).”

“Raybon has a voice filled with emotion and compassion that not only comes from a melody or great lyric, but from the heart,” said Gray. “He is not only a great singer, but also a man of unwavering faith and extraordinary vision.”

 He currently lists Tuscumbia, Ala., as home. His newest album, “At His Best” includes the singles “The Heat Is On,” and “Daddy Phone.”

Raybon plays acoustic guitar and sings country, bluegrass and southern gospel with his band, Full Circle. He performs over 100 shows per year between the United State and Canada.

Raybon will make his Jubilee appearance in sets at 5 and 8 p.m., Saturday, July 17.

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