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20240117 Quiet Village Jam 1 webQuiet Village’s clubhouse is an exceptional environment for a musical jam. Everyone is greeted by either Doreen Gillespie, activity director, and/or by the jam hosts Linda and Rodney Crouse. Rodney is also the park’s vice president.

The jam that I attended was their country jam on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. There is also a gospel jam on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. These jams run the entire year.

Supporting each musician/performer is the stage band consisting of Rodney Crouse, bass guitar/vocals; Joyce Fratt, guitar/vocals; Dorren Gillespie, keyboard/vocals; Tom Rivers, lead guitar/vocals; and John Thomas, lead guitar/vocals.

The stage band and jammers sang a variety of classic country, gospel, and Christmas music. The jammers included Connie Benedict, Carlene Chebuhar, Linda Crouse, Doris, Gary Hughes, Charlie Hrnicek, Elaine Nelson, Tony Ozark, Deral Rogers, Angele Ryan, and Dave Swanson.

This week I am featuring an extraordinary musician, Elaine Nelson. Elaine was born in Texas, lived outside of Texas for a time before returning to Texas and now lives at McAllen Mobile Park. Elaine has an incomparable voice and a commanding stage presence singing classic country, gospel, rock & roll, folk and bluegrass music. She performs with her guitar and also plays mandolin, fiddle and keyboard.

20240117 Quiet Village Jam 3 webElaine is a self-taught musician with only one year of piano lessons. In school, she sang in choral groups and played drums in her school band. She was introduced to music by her mom and dad who sang daily at home and by her uncle Claude who played the harmonica.

Elaine’s former husband, Bruce, and her performed together as the Bruce and Elaine Nelson Show Band, and performed with North Star, and a gospel group the Blood Washed Band. Elaine has also performed with the Rhinestone Rodeo and South Texas Whiskey Bands. Elaine opened the Rhinestone Opry in Mission hosting six shows a week. She was a part of the Chicken House Opry in Mission and hosted the Opry Jam at McAllen Mobile Park. She now performs at numerous parks throughout the RGV plus numerous non-profit organizations and nursing homes. Her legacy will live on as three of her four children are musicians.

Her accomplishments include the following: member of America’s Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame; performed on RFD’s TV Midwest Country Theatre; performed with Willie Nelson, Freddy Fender, Tracey Lawrence, Ray Price, Moe Bandy, Johnny Rodriguez, and Leona Williams; Performed at LBJ Ranch for President Lyndon and Mrs. Johnson; performed throughout the United Kingdom, and has recorded six country albums, two gospel albums and four DVDs.

Elaine’s philosophy is that singing is similar to acting – communication and interpretation is taking place between the performer and the audience. Life is a song. Sing it!

This private residentially owned park, which opened in 1984, is a 55 + gated community located at 215 N. Valley View Road in Donna.