I have not seen many concerts. It’s never been a priority for me, and I’ve written here before about a lack of initiative in seeking out live music. That’s starting to change somewhat, but as far as pop acts go the list of folks I’ve seen live is extremely short. All the same, about 20 years ago, likely around 1994 or so, I went to see Juice Newton. She was playing the Haysville Fall Festival, a perhaps unsurprisingly intimate venue where picnic tables and bales of hay and the occasional tailgate served as seats for the laid back blue collar beer versus champagne crowd.
Haysville, KS is a small suburb just south of Wichita, KS, not far from the childhood home of the friend responsible for the Juice Newton experience – she was one of my closest friends at that time. This friend knew no real states other than indifference or obsession, and she was obsessed with Juice Newton – there was a star crush involved, and when she heard the folksy singer/songwriter would be nearby she was over the moon. The concert was fun – Newton was extremely personable, and though I’m sure we stood out like sore thumbs, I remember everybody being friendly.
I’ve only ever known a few of Newton’s songs – Queen of Hearts, Angel of the Morning, and Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me. Frankly I’ve never been too fond of Queen of Hearts, but I have enjoyed the other tunes well enough. Even way back in 1994, of course, the artist had not seen Billboard success for a while – but in looking her up just now I found out that at her peak during the late 70s and early 80s she was nominated for 5 Grammys, and she sold quite a few records, scoring many top hits with several albums. Here’s Angel of the Morning, from her 1981 album Juice:
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