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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
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
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.