Getting a chance to relive some fine memories in the San Fernando Valley
By Tom Blake
Thirty-eight years ago, I attended a television show taping at the NBC Studios in Burbank. I was there as a guest of singer Johnny Cash, who was a spokesperson for Victoria Station, the restaurant chain for whom I was the marketing director.
I remember that day quite vividly because Johnny left the stage unexpectedly and Rosanne was concerned. However, everything turned out OK.I was seated in the front row with Rosanne Cash, Johnny’s daughter, who was 22 at the time. John Denver was the master of ceremonies and singers Roger Miller and Glen Campbell were also on the set.
A few months ago, I read that Rosanne was going to appear in concert at the Fred Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Performing Center at 8 p.m., Friday, March 20. Rosanne is an accomplished musician herself, who won three Grammy awards this year for her album, “The River and the Thread.”
She is often classified as a country singer, but her music combines folk, pop, rock and blues as well.
My partner Greta and I decided to attend Rosanne’s concert and get a hotel room near there so we would not have to drive late at night.
I decided to make it a total Johnny Cash-related trip. Johnny’s manager, Lou Robin, who now handles Johnny’s estate, lives in Thousand Oaks. We’ve been friends for 39 years. Greta and I planned to meet Lou and his wife Karen for breakfast on Saturday.
Rosanne’s concert was outstanding. She performed several songs from her Grammy-winning album. At the start of each of those songs, she spent a few minutes narrating the history and background upon which the songs were based, which was a nice personal touch audiences don’t often receive from performers.
She ended the regular part of her concert with her number one single of years back, “Seven Year Ache.” In the encore, she sang the Bob Dylan song, “Girl from the North Country,” a song her dad and Dylan made popular as a duet in 1969. That song was featured in the movie, “The Bridges of Madison County.”
All members of Rosanne’s five-piece band, including her husband John Levanthal, were exceptional musicians. The concert alone made the long drive worthwhile.
After the show, Greta and I went backstage and had a few moments to spend with Rosanne. She and I had a couple of laughs together remembering the old days.
Breakfast the next morning at Jerry’s Famous Deli in Woodland Hills, with Lou and Karen Robin, was equally rewarding. Two hours went by in a jiffy. To listen to stories from Johnny Cash’s manager of 40 years was fascinating for both Greta and me. I learned things about Johnny that I didn’t know although I travelled with him frequently in the two years we worked together.
Lou was also the manager of Don Ho for a while, after Johnny had passed away.
On the drive home Saturday afternoon, Greta commented on the similarities in mannerisms she noticed between Rosanne and her father Johnny.
It was a special weekend for me; I was happy to be able to share it with Greta and have her meet these people I have known for years who were so close to Johnny Cash.
The age 50-plus singles Meet and Greet is scheduled for Thursday, March 26, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point. For information, contact the deli at 949-248-9008.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and former business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. For dating information: www.FindingLoveAfter50.com. To comment: email@example.com.