Milano Jamboree set to kick off 51st year Jan. 26 at civic center

Over half century ago, it all started under a shade tree
Jamboree publicist

MILANO—A monthly tradition for five decades, the Milano Junction Country Jamboree will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Milano Civic Center.

The Jamboree will be starting its 51st year and the Jan. 26 event will be a celebration of its longevity.

Some musicians from Milano begangatheringundera shade tree and playing for their own enjoyment and that of their listeners over a half century ago.

These included Garland Westbrook, aka later known as Billy Western who became a well known recording artist. Others who joined in included Ben Lagrone, Chester Hays, John Dodd and some other names that escape this writer at the moment.

The gathering grew quickly and eventually moved to the auction barn and eventually to the Milano school.

Gene Smitherman at KMIL radio station, Cameron, broadcast the Jamboree’s sessions.

Even after the Milano Civic Center was built, the Jamboree continued to be offered free of charge. That policy continues todayastherehasneverbeena charge at the door.

Everyone is always invited. Food and soft drinks are available and musicians are welcome to participate if they so wish.

There’s a lot of love of friends and neighbors felt at the Jamborees. Cole Yoakum takes movies of the programs and his wife, Carol, plays the dulcimer. The band is outstanding and includes Rusty Wilhite, lead guitar; Bobby Coldiron, rhythm guitar and fiddle; Rodney Coldiron, guitar and vocals; Ab Wood, banjo and bass; Robert Stow, mandolin and guitar. All of them offer good vocals.

The Jamboree misses Jimmy Pratt who died this past year. He and his wife Peggy sang beautiful gospel songs together. She continues to sing at the Jamboree.

Other performers include a guest fiddler from Temple and many others who drop in from around Central Texas and perform, including Joe Maddox of Buckholts. I even still try to sing.

Anyway, come out and help us kick off our 51st year. You’ll enjoy the music, you can participate if you wish, so don’t be shy!

For more info: 446-5286.

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2013-01-10 digital edition

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