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Larry King


From:
Watts, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2007 5:58 pm    
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there are still some of those country music parks in Pennsylvania that I saw in the Carl and Pearl Butler pictures. I hope they have survived.....I remember them as being family oriented , clean , and fun.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2007 6:08 am    
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As far as I know, none of them are still operating. Many of these family "picnic parks" in the mid-Atlantic region - Sunset Park, Watermelon Park, New River Ranch, Community Grove Park, Hillbilly Ranch, Sleepy Hollow Park, were a mecca for fans of classic country and bluegrass, but now they're all gone. Sad
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Larry King


From:
Watts, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2007 1:25 pm    
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Thanks Donnie for checking in. There's a sadness in the passing of those great music parks. We saw George Jones at one not far from Harrisburg Pa in 1966 and also did a show with Connie Smith and Carl Story at a park in Ohio , possibly a little south of Columbus. I just can't be certain on that. Anyway , the point is/was that they were very fun , unique , and wholesome.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2007 9:44 pm    
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I moved to Philadelphia around 1984 and at that time Sunset Park was in it's last season or so. Then closed. Never even heard of the others, so I reckon they're gone too.
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Janice Brooks


From:
Pleasant Gap Pa
Post  Posted 30 Jul 2007 3:29 pm    
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Sadly it's part of the past. We still get some Bluegrass festivals.

Sometimes I wish I could have been around in the 1940's when there was one on the north end of State College.
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Tommy Minniear


From:
Logansport, Indiana
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2007 5:09 am    
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I recall working a country music park with Dave Dudley in New Tripoly, PA ,<---spelling? I think it was called Antalante Park<----spelling? This would have been in the mid-eighties.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2007 1:57 pm    
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You're right, Tommy - that was Ontelunee Park, up in Chester County. I'm sure there's some more parks that I've forgotten, parks that gave an up-close and personal music experience that you just can't get these days in some arena packed with 50,000 other people. How many of today's "big stars" would talk to a nobody for 15 minutes? Not a damn one! But it happened countless times in those old venues.

Yup, country music's gotten big, real big...and that's what's ruined it. Oh Well
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Tommy Detamore


From:
Floresville, Texas
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2007 6:41 pm    
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I have fond memories of Sunset Park. During my Moe Bandy years (1982-1989) we used to play there once a season. Being from central Virginia, it was always a reunion of sorts as Mom, Dad, my sister, and other family members and friends would always make the trip up for the day. Of course, they would bring along copious amounts of sugar-and-lard-laden Southern delicacies, with the sole objective of foundering the entire Moe Bandy organization.

I played some other ones in Pennsylvania and Ohio. It is sad to see those great venues disappear.
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Robert Leaman


From:
Murphy, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2007 7:54 am     Music Parks
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I suppose there might be some who remember Shorty and Sally Fincher who operated Valley View Park at Hallam, PA. Hallam is midway between York and Wrightsville at the Susquehanna River. I played steel guitar for Shorty until his death from a heart attack in the early spring of 1959. Sally never reopened Valley View after Shorty's death. The show staff featured Slim Novin on bass, Ginger Novin on Martin D28, Clyde Fogel on fiddle, Shorty on 5-string banjo, Sally on Martin D28, and me on steel guitar. Shorty booked local acts, WWVA Jamboree acts, and Nashville acts. The park opened on Memorial Day and closed after Labor Day Monday.

For those who are interested in history, Shorty's first name was Luther, Sally's name was Alexandria, Slim's name was Kenneth, and Ginger's name was Joan. Clyde Fogel was a watchmaker by trade and Slim worked many years at Caterpillar in York. Shorty had a DJ radio program at Red Lion, PA for years and earlier in York at WORK.

It was somewhat traditional that Shorty and Sally played a show at Himmelreich's Grove the Sunday after Labor Day and that ended personal appearances for the year. All except me have gone to the Great Jamboree and at my age I expect that it won't be long before I can pick again with Shorty and Sally.
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