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Remembering “SOOKIE”S WESTERN JAMBOREE”

September 9, 2014 Leave a comment
 SOOKIES WESTERN JAMBOREE

Some of you good people will remember that once upon a time we had one radio station in The Virgin Islands, called WSTA.

A wonderful station that did it’s best to play something for everyone. This meant that we were all exposed to every kind of music.

Believing in music as I do, I believe that this wide exposure had a very positive effect on us all. Among the varieties that we enjoyed was good old Southern Gospel and what they called back then, Country and Western.

At 3 O’clock in the afternoon the Virgin Islands looked forward to a show hosted by a young Buckaroo from Frenchtown called “Sookies’s Western Jamboree”. The show featured artists like Hank Williams, Gentleman Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Skeeter Davis and Patsy Cline and songs like “Your cheating Heart” “Cold Cold Heart “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On” “He’ll Have To Go” and many others.

In those days as you know we here in The Virgin Islands had a number of our own “home-grown cowboys” young (and old) rough and ready hombres who worked and lived out in the wild wild East, West, North and South Side and rode their horses all over the place and once a year in the big carnival parades.

In addition to the working cowboys, there were a number of fellows in town who had perhaps been too strongly influenced by the Western Movies that played at The Apollo, The Alexander, and The Center Theater what seemed like every day and night of every week of every month of every year for many years running.

These home-grown  hombres certainly considered themselves to be the real deal also, and as romantic a figure as any other cowpoke anywhere and they were.

As noted elsewhere in “The Virgin Islands Songs”, I fully intended to grow up to be Gene Autry the singing cowboy. So naturally I was very interested in learning how to “make up” songs like those that we heard, on Sookies Western Jamboree, and in the cowboy movies.

Here is one of my own Caribilly influenced songs, (written with the brilliant McCauley Brothers) reflecting the influence of and my love for “Country and Westindian” or Caribilly. So here we go..in rememberance of Sookie’s Western Jamboree and our very own Caribilly Cowboys.

“Sweet Cheyenne”

I’m going to tell you a story

about Sweet Cheyenne

it’s been, a hell of a life, but she’s always done

the best that she can

There is a girl called Sweet Cheyenne

she comes from down Texas way

she needs someone who understands

she’s spending the night in Santa Fe

A cowboy came south from Alberta

To leave his past behind

it’s been a hell of a life, but he never gave up,

he’s just not that kind

There is a girl called Sweet Cheyenne

She comes from down Texas way

She needs someone who ‘ll understand

He’s spending the night in Santa Fe

There on St. Francis street

these two travelers meet

God Blessed the girl called Sweet Cheyenne

The girl from down Texas way

And the Calgary cowboy they call Dan

Spending the night in Santa Fe

God Blessed a girl called Sweet Cheyenne

who does the best she can

And a kind gentle cowboy they call Dan

Cause he’s found his woman, and she’s found her man…

God Bless Sookie’s Western Jamboree, The Drifting Buckaroos, The Center Theater, and every Rootin’ Tootin’ Carabilly Cowboy (and Cowgirl ) there ever was.

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