Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Text Size

20161117 Kelly-LyonsMISSION—At 6-foot-4, and maybe a little more, with wide shoulders and 14EEE shoes, 87-year-old Kelly Lyons can still be a daunting figure, even if a slight foot pain causes him a little grief when he tries to stand up.

His genuine smile, a seemingly never-dulling sparkle in his eyes and quick-witted barbs tell only a little of the story of a man who has seen much war but is at great peace. He approaches the mic, says a few words to bring out some chuckles, and begins a rendition of “Why Me Lord,” written by Kris Kristofferson and recorded by all the great, classic names – Cash, Willie, Haggard, Gaither, Elvis. Lyons wants to share the same peace he has.

“Why me Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I've known,” sang Lyons, “Tell me Lord what did I ever do to be worthy of you or the kindness you've shown.”

Sunday was the first Gospel Jam of the Winter Texan season at BlueBonnet RV Park in Mission and featured Lyons and Teresa “Blues to the Bone” Burley. Despite threatening skies and a little cooler evening than normal at this time of year, dozens came out to enjoy the music, food and camaraderie.

“This is a good night,” said Kathie Osborn, BlueBonnet park manager. “They come out here almost every week and they have a good following.”

Lyons has been playing guitar since 1950, when while in the U.S. Navy he was at a USO (United Services Organization) show and came across a fiddle player he enjoyed watching and listening to. The two became friends almost immediately.

“He told me I needed to learn how to play guitar and he would teach me,” said Lyons, originally from Corpus Christi. “In six months we had a band and would play at dances and events in front of 2,000 people.”

Lyons was a gunner's mate in the Navy and served in the Korean War. During his time in the military he developed an ulcer and because of that he said, he couldn't – and wouldn't – drink alcohol. It was also during that time that he met Maxine, his future bride.

“I was playing in the band and would see her dancing – with some other guy,” he said, still with a little good-natured fire in his voice. “She knew my family, but didn't know me.” They married and remained together for 61 years until Maxine passed away earlier this year on her birthday.

“She was born at 10 a.m.,” Lyons said, “and passed at 9:15 on her birthday.”

The group performed many of the traditional Gospel classics including “Why Me Lord,” “He Touched Me,” “I'll Fly Away” and “Beneath Still Waters.” Burley also sang a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Burley, who has traveled the world as an entertainer, played the keyboards for her “Amazing Grace” performance, but spent most of the time playing the Dobro. Even though she's been battling some allergies, a couple minor injuries and what she's thinking is arthritis in her hands, it doesn't seem like she's slowed down a bit.

“No matter what, I'll always have my Dobro,” she said.

The group will continue to perform on Sundays. Chuck Mathis, who plays guitar in the group, headlines the Country Jams every Thursday starting Nov. 17. Lyons also performs in the group.

The park will hold its first craft show/garage sale on Saturday, Nov. 19. Other upcoming events include John Sager's Musical Variety Show on Jan. 7, the Wilson Family String Country Band on Jan. 21 and Wade Benson Landry's Swingin Cajun Style Show on Jan. 23.

Top News

  • Thousands enjoy Progreso Tourist Appreciation Day

    20170321 TOURIST DAY Progreso Moering IMG 6637Smiles, laughter and some final souvenir gathering were apparent throughout the Winter Tourist Appreciation Day March 21 in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.

    With sunny, balmy weather, organizers were thinking the 41st annual event might have drawn as many as 50,000 Winter Texans from across the border, which was also marked… Read More +

  • Rio Grande Valley has first class entertainment

    Winter Texans love to be entertained and there are enough entertainment venues that one could go to a different event every day of the month.

    Today, many of the entertainers come from Branson and Nashville. This movement started many years ago but has gained momentum in recent years when Branson entertainers like Gordy and Debbie learned about the Rio Grande… Read More +

  • Martin & Monroe entertain the Valley

    For two years in a row the Martin & Monroe show won the National Rising Star Award for the best Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin Tribute Band. The show sold out everywhere including the Sinatra Showroom at Lake Tahoe’s Cal-Nevada Resort.

    Bob Caudie and his wife, Sherri-Lynn, who in her own right is a premier Marilyn tribute artist, have recently moved to… Read More +

  • McAllen Symphonic Band plans classical concert

    The McAllen Symphonic Band will present its last concert of the season on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cooper Center Auditorium at South Texas College, 3200 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen.

    It will be a presentation of classical music. The first piece will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 K 361, the so-called “Gran Partita.” This piece… Read More +

  • Why the Rio Grande Valley?

    welcome partyClimate, friendly people, social activities appeal to Winter Texans

    In local Hispanic lore there is a saying to the effect that, “Once you drink the water of the Rio Grande, you can leave, but you will always come back again!” This seems to be true for… Read More +

  • Edinburg World Birding Center announces April programs

    Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (EWBC) is offering a variety of programs for families and adults this April. The month kicks off with several fun and educational activities introducing the Purple Martin. There are also educational presentations on how to identify animals from their droppings. 

    Read More +
  • UVAL plans UTRGV juried art exhibition

    The Upper Valley Art League is hosting the 11th Annual UTRGV School of Art Juried Exhibition. It will open with a reception on Saturday, April 8 from 7-9 p.m. at the Kika de la Garza Fine Arts Center, 921 E. 12th St. in Mission. The exhibition will feature the work of students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.   

    Read More +
  • Winter Texans wanted to help with Edinburg Bird-a-thon

    It’s time for the 5th Annual Edinburg Bird-a-Thon and the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center wants Winter Texans to help count migrating birds. This event runs from April 1 to May 1 and everybody can participate.

    This family-friendly competition is a great way to start and learn about the migrating species that are making… Read More +

  • March 23, 2017 - Valley Calendar

    March 24-26 – Camille Playhouse presents “9 to 5” a musical. Tickets are $20. Showtimes are: Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m., Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Call 956-542-8900 for information. Order tickets online at www.camilleplayhouse.net.

    March 25 – Read More +

  • Texas Onion Fest returns to Weslaco Saturday

    20170323 OnionBlossom2a 2The 28th Annual Texas Onion Fest is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The festival will be held at Mayor Pablo G. Pena City Park located at 300 N. Airport, Weslaco.  Texas Onion Fest celebrates the development of the world famous Sweet Texas Onion in Weslaco at the Texas A&M University Extension Service. … Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Login