Mt. Vernon Register-News


August 3, 2011

Musically Speaking: Music for those needing water in Kenya

MT. VERNON — Some of my old friends are doing some wonderful things for some people that they don’t even know in Kenya these days.

And that is Kenya, South Africa.


Pull out that Rand McNally Atlas, kids.

Most of you who are middle-aged and beyond will recall the names Gary and Roberta Gordon. Gary Gordon was the vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the legendary southern Illinois band Farm, in the early 1970s.

The Gordons (an acoustic duo) will be headlining a benefit on Saturday, Sept. 24, at The Varsity Theater, 418 South Main Street in beautiful downtown Carbondale.

The performance is scheduled to be an all-out effort to provide the most basic of life’s necessities.

Water to drink. Just that simple.

The northeastern area of the Nairobi province in Kenya, known locally as Kasarani, is in dire need of fresh water to continue survival. The benefit will contribute to the funding for the drilling of new wells in the area.

Think about that for a moment, maybe as you leave the faucet or the shower running while you do something else that just popped up. Why does that commode always seem to be running?

While we live where water is almost always easily available, these people in Kasarani are wondering if they will be able to have enough water to drink tomorrow. And possibly being forced to think only one day ahead at a time.

Well the good news is that you, the valued reader, can help.

By your attendance on that night you will, in essence, be donating your admission price for the event. All proceeds will go toward the effort.

Like I said, an all-out effort.

The Gordons will be joined by their son, Noah Gordon, an accomplished Nashville, Tenn.-based drummer and session player.

Nashville singer/songwriter Mel Besher will also be on-stage. Besher has written music that has been recorded by Reba McIntire.

The benefit will also be the Southern Illinois performing debut of Adam Yount (Potosi, Mo.), who some say is the state of Missouri’s answer to Steve Earle. Yount has been recording original material at Inside Out Studios in Sparta.

You can Google each of those names for more information. Isn’t modern technology wonderful? When I can get the computer to actually do all of the typing, I’ll be all set.

But wait ... there’s more!

There will also be a silent auction held. Among the gift certificates, housewares and crafts to be auctioned off, there was also this little item.

How about an autographed fiddle (with case, bow and certificate-of-authenticity) from Charlie Daniels? Is that too cool or what? Danny Allen ... you reading this?

Now, here’s the best part. Do you have any tired, worn-out shoes that are taking space in the bottom of your closet, basement, whatever? You can donate those shoes at the show. They will be refurbished and resold by a guy in Fenton, Mo., known as the “Shoe Man.”

You can find out more about the Shoe Man at:

Now, here’s the thing. The Varsity Theater is not exactly the largest venue in the area.

As a result, there will only be 150 total tickets that will be available for sale.

At this point, tickets can only be purchased through Alligator Music, 166 West Broadway in beautiful downtown Sparta. You can call and reserve your tickets at (618) 443-5051.

Tell Gary I said hey.

Don’t forget to check out:

You can send your comments to:

Enjoy this week’s internet-radio show, and please be careful out there.


The Illinois State Police are counting on it.


  • Jack Clark is the host of “MUSICALLY SPEAKING,” an internet-only local program. New shows are available every Sunday evening at:

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