Wild Blue Country thrilled audience in Dalhart
By Robin Scott
The sound from the DHS Auditorium on Sunday, November 15th was spectacular by most accounts. Area residents received a rare treat as the United States Air Force Academy Band ensemble Wild Blue Country took the stage at 3:00 p.m. before a crowd of nearly 300.
The audience was treated not only to some country favorites currently on the Top 40, but to some old country standards as well. They also had the chance to listen to a selection of blue grass tunes, which caused more than a foot or two to tap along. The diverse five member band sing and play instruments that include guitar, base, fiddle, steel guitar, banjo, ukulele and drums. The multi-talented members included Support TSgt Timothy A. Stombaugh, percussion; Technical Sergeant Jeff S. Valentine, steel guitar; Master Sergeant Jerome J. Oddo, bass and group leader, Technical Sergeant Julie A. Bradley, voice and fiddle; and Technical Sergeant Stephen L. Brannen, guitar.
Wild Blue Country regularly appears on the “Grand Ole Opry” and other television shows such as “Nashville Now,” “Opry Back Stage,” and has appeared on “Good Morning America.” The band has appeared with country legends Charlie Daniels, the late Conway Twitty, Boxcar Willie, Hank Williams, Jr., Louise Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Roger Miller, Ray Price, “Whispering” Bill Anderson, Mickey Gilley, Brent Mason and more. They remain a favorite of both military and civilian audiences.
Technical Sgt. Bradley took a few moments to promote the Air Force as a part of the group’s support of the Air Force’s missions. After the concert, one young boy exclaimed, “Now I want to join the Air Force!” which proved the group establishes local and community relations, and creates recruitment interest during its travels and concerts.
Many of the audience members took the group up on their offer to meet them after the concert. They stayed in the auditorium answering questions, taking photos and talking about their lives in the Air Force. Bradley noted, “I knew that I was going to sing in the Air Force when I joined.” The group’s members are full time musicians for the Air Force, possibly making them some of the happiest employees in the world.
The memorable concert was sponsored by the Dalhart Texan, Secretel, and KGNC Radio. Susan Clay, Publisher of the Dalhart Texan, stated, “I am pleased and excited to bring this talented group to Dalhart again.” After the concert, the band joined Clay at Martha’s for a home-style meal before they got back on the road to head home to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. Thanks to Wild Blue Country, the blustery Sunday afternoon was overshadowed by the great entertainment.
For more information about the USAF Academy Band and ensembles, visit www.usafacademyband.