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One Idol, Ten Statues, and a Wedding Proposal That Took Center Stage
A SongTALK by the Rock Doc, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. B.L.T.

The song: Free from Dr. B.L.T.'s MP3 Jukebox: 
I Wanna Be A Statue (At Buck Owens' Crystal Palace) (as aired on KNZR on the
Ralph Bailey Show in Bakersfield, California) 

The Talk:  The night will long be remembered in country music history.  It was the night of May 25, 2005.  It was the night country music fans received their first American Idol, Carrie Underwood.  It was also the night when the surrealistic spirit of Nashville West re-visited the Streets of Bakersfield. More specifically, it was the star-studded night when ten country music legends were honored with the unveiling of ten bronze statues at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace.   Count them: One American Idol, Carrie Underwood, ten glorious statues, and the ten larger-than-life-honky-tonk heroes represented by those statues, namely, Garth Brooks, Buck Owens, Elvis Presley, Merle
Haggard, Willie Nelson,  George Strait, George Jones, Hank Williams, Sr., Bob Wills, and the Man in Black, himself, Johnny Cash. 

It was the night Bo Bice, southern rock's new kid on the block, and Carrie Underwood, the young lady who would become country music's new queen, were waiting with bated breath to find out who would leave in a private just, hold the coveted title, and secure the recording contract.  Meanwhile, at the Crystal Palace, on Buck Owens Boulevard in Bakersfield, California, just blocks from my day job, a crowd of 7,000 waited with bated breath to see a collection of glorious bronze statues become unveiled in honor of ten great country music legends.  And, on that same stage, a kneeling Garth Brooks would wait with bated breath for a reply to his wedding proposal from Trisha Yearwood.  That wedding proposal would end up bumping the ten statues right off the front headlines, right where they belonged, the next morning: Such a pity!

On the morning after all the magic, music, and laughter, I headed out to The Palace to see if the magic was still in the air.  That magic had, in fact, lingered, though the euphoric crowd was replaced by early morning clean-up crews, crawling around the stage like ants scrambling for every last crumb fallen from the king's table after a festive feast.   I stumbled through cans and beer bottles on my way to the statues.  I took a moment to stand before each one in humble adoration.  I wanted to worship each one, but then I saw the big Bible Johnny Cash clutched in his bronze hand, and was reminded of the Bible verse, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."  So I quickly realigned my gods, putting God way before the big ten.  However, I could swear as I left the premises with God walking before me, I could hear the footsteps of Johnny Cash not too far behind.  I didn't look back, fearing I would turn into a pillar, or statue of salt.  I just kept walking the line. 


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