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Date:7/29/2014 12:29:38 AM
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FANCY'S PERCEPTIONS, Celebrate BlackHistory Month:
Johnny Nash,Jr.(born August 19, 1940) American pop singer-songwriter, best known in the US for his 1972 hit, "I Can See Clearly Now".
What was Nash,the pop crooner, doing in felt cowboy hat, suede vest & boots? Each week he would sponsor a rodeo for aspiring bull riders, barrel racers & pint-sized goat chasers. Nash & his wife, Carlie, built a ranch & opened an arena around January 1993. Some of Nash's best childhood memories are of riding in the country at his grandmother's ranch. So once the music industry lost some of its luster, it seemed natural that he recreate those feelings of freedom by building his own ranch. Later, it seemed only natural that he share those feelings with city kids.
Inside the arena was a true Texas rodeo, complete with barbecue, tacos & music that didn't quit till 2 a.m. Nash says the typical audience was around 200. The mood was enthusiastic but restrained.
On weekends, cowboys & families of all colors would play hard together without noticing the different shades of their skin. During the week, busloads of city kids would learn the mysteries of goats & horses. Nash had hopes of another project, the Four-N-Foundation, to support an on-horseback drill team for area youth.
2012 Johnny Nash's arena is still standing, but sadly it is not being used today.
Nash's music remained popular in Britain through the mid-1980s, but he hit a wall in the United States by 1975. His recording company urged him to rock up his balladeer style, but Nash chose to stop performing. Today, he sings only in his church choir & local schools, preferring privacy over public appearances.
"He's a very positive role model, a mentor-type person," says William "Skip" Samuel, a child-care worker and Nash family friend.
Thanks Susan & Sing for the topic of our last BlackHistory Blog! (info obtained from Chronicle Archives)
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