Danny Bingham Music

Danny Bingham Music

Monday, June 17, 2013

Memories of Ft Payne Alabama

Last weekend had to be the greatest time I have ever had that I can remember in my life...After arriving in Ft Payne Alabama which is home to four of the most amazing musicians and down to earth guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting..Randy Owen, Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry..We had made arrangements to meet with Mark Herndon but he was in Nashville that weekend. I have been an Alabama fan and have played their music for as long as I can remember..The first people we met were the ladies at the Alabama fan club Karen and Myra....Later on we would meet Buck Borders the man in charge of the fan club and takes care of all of Alabama's merchandise..He was a fantastic guy....They were so nice to us and made us feel right at home...After we checked into the hotel Linda and I went downtown and took pictures of the statues of Jeff, Randy, Mark and Teddy...There were lots of fans gathered around taking pictures and once again it happened..Someone asked me if I was related to Randy because they said I looked just like him..then they asked me if they could have their picture taken with me...I said of course and then I explained that Randy Owen had such an impact on me growing up and that he is someone that I have always looked up to and admired his generosity and compassion and it is just a coincidence that we favor but that we do have many things in common....When given the opportunity I always like to tell folks a little about myself ...I also mentioned that I  have done numerous fundraisers and benefits to help raise money for people in need as a tribute artist doing Alabama's music as Randy Owen. And like Randy I too have a huge heart for kids as I teach guitar in my hometown and I am always looking for guitars for my students..There have been occasions where I have given guitars to kids whose parents might not be able to afford one....I also play at area nursing homes or wherever God will open a door and I just love to share my music and Alabama's music with others..But thats enough about me...Any way back to my story..as we were getting ready to leave someone pulled up to the red light and stuck his head out the window and jokingly said..I have heard these guys and they are not very good!!..I recognized him right away that it was Jeff Cook..He pulled over at the Dekalb Theatre where he was to perform that night and as he got out of his car Linda with camera in hand asked him if he would mind if she took a picture of him and her husband..Jeff said that he was sort of in a hurry and asked if I was close by and as I came sprinting up the sidewalk he looked at me and looked at Linda and said I will take my picture with him under one condition..that he cuts his hair and shaves his beard he looks just like Randy Owen..I will never forget how cool it was to meet one of my biggest inspirations on a sidewalk in downtown Ft Payne. After we left the statues we went to a couple of antique stores downtown Ft Payne then we visited The Strand a neat little cafe where Randy eats at often. As we were sitting there I recieved a text from another Alabama fan and friend from Mobile, Alabama by the name of Betty Blehm..She and her sister Linda were in town for the Fan Appreciation weekend also..She asked me if we would like to see Randy's house upon the mountain and I said sure!!!..When we got there I was amazed at the beauty of his house and his farm...You can tell that Randy lives a pretty simple life and I admire him for that...We had a  couple of photos taken of Linda and I in front of his gate that has the words "Feels So Right" on them...I really cant describe the feeling...Then Betty asked us if we would like to meet Randy's Mother Mrs Martha..I said it would be an honor!! as we pulled into her driveway I got another surprise..My good friend Les Sanders was already there and had told her all about us!!As I made my way toward the carport Les came running toward me and Linda and gave us a huge hug...I have never felt so much love in one place!!Mrs Martha would easily remind you of your own grandmother..she had a huge garden and offered us blackberry jelly and apple butter that she had made and canned..After visiting with her for a few minutes it didnt take me long to realize she was a strong woman of faith and was very bold when she spoke of her love for Jesus...I told her a little bit about my background and she told me that my Mama raised me right and that she was proud that I spoke so highly of my own Mother..Les asked her if I reminded her of anyone and she said Lord yes he reminds me of my Randy when he was younger!!I felt so humbled by her words and generosity and even though I was about to experience the time of my life meeting the boys of Alabama.... Jeff downtown and having my picture taken with him, Having the time of my life at Randy's farm..getting to meet Jeff Cook,Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen at the fan club and presenting the three of them with my "Headed Down To Texas" t shirts, and Randy asking me to autograph his shirt that I gave him......meeting Randy's oldest daughter Alison..plus having my picture taken with over a hundred Alabama fans and meeting so many new friends and Randy's band mates John Bohlinger, Wade Hayes and Megan Mullins.... looking back my most memorable time on that trip was meeting Randy's Mother..because of her and the values she taught Randy growing up I have no doubt his upbringing impacted him and made him the man he is today...May God bless the boys in the band..Alabama..

1 comment:

  1. The above blog is priceless. Proof that no amount of money, fame, political influence or impressive educations or college degrees could NEVER buy or sell this type of heart-felt gratitude and humility Danny has felt from his experiences in Alabama, the pricetag is just way too high for anybody to bid on..