JUSTIN & THE MIDNIGHT JAMBOREE
I was so blessed to have one of my best friends be the great Justin Tubb. Not because of his fame and his name although that is initially how we and why we met. There were times when I actually would forget that this man who was one of my best friends was actually a noted songwriter and singer who was a member of the world famous Grand Ole Opry. To me he was just Justin and he was someone that I got to see maybe once a year.
There are allot of memories that I have of my friendship with Justin and some of them are funny and some are touching. There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss him and think of him. There are also memories that stand out in my mind and this is without a doubt is my most favorite.
I would go to Nashville every summer or early fall with my father for about a week or sometimes longer. My father because of his work was not home all that much so this gave him and I time to bond and those memories of those trips are something that I will always treasure and at times I wish that we could go back to that.
Justin and I had a sort of a ritual and that was I would either call or write about two or three weeks ahead of time to let him know when I was coming down so that he could set aside some time so that we could get together.
However there was this one time that it came down to the eleventh hour due to something with my father's work and we were not sure we were going to get to go to Nashville. This time I didn't write Justin to tell him anything because everything was so up in the air so I decided to just go and surprise him.
If you have never been to the Midnight Jamboree it is a free concert that the late Ernest Tubb started at his record shop to help promote up and coming artists. The Jamboree was at the music valley store and it was held in kind of like a pavilion and there was a stage and people would stand outside and there were people that would stand outside and watch or sometimes if they couldn't get a good few people have been know to go and listen in their cars.
Being in a wheelchair it was kind of hard to maneuver once inside the thereto so that you didn't run over people. Normally I am the kind of person to just sit on the sidelines and not make waves and when someone is in my way I just smile and do the best I can.
When it came to the Jamboree I was detirment to be in the front row no matter what it took. I figured this was my time and I was going to enjoy it to the hilt. This particular night however I rolled up to the front row and sat with Martha Welfel who was Justin's fan club's vice president and Linda Nesbit who was the Teen rep of Justin's fan club. These two women had become really good friends of mine and so it was always fun to see them. With the flood lights on the stage it was not always easy to see in front of you or who was sitting there so Linda and I were trying to figure out how long it would take for Justin to figure out that I was there. Since he wasn't even expecting me.
The way the Jamboree started was they had speakers in the thereto that you could hear the Grand Ole Opry and when it was over they would do a commercial or two and then the MC would signal them that it was time to start. Allot of times the guys would be practicing and you could barely hear the Opry.
Right before the music was to start and Al Wynter who was the MC for the Jamboree who did all the commercials looked over at Justin like ok ready well Justin just happened to look down and saw me. The one thing that I learned from being friends with Justin and seeing him in concert or at the Jamboree he was focused and whatever was going on around him he didn't notice usually and he didn't like you talking to him before going on stage.
This particular night he happened to look down and noticed that I was there and as Al Wyntor was pointing to him to start the show by kicking off the theme song Walking the Floor over you he was looking at me and got directly in front of the mike and said "when did you get here?" and I said today and he said "why didn't you call me and let me know that you were coming down?' Now by this time Al was trying to get his attention and everyone could hear him and he I asked him how was I suppose to get hold of him and he just kept trying to argue with me on the stage and I was totally embarrassed to say the least and the more I tried to be conspicuous the more he just kept talking to me and it was a really funny site to see. Anyway it finally ended with me shouting at him "just do your show and we will talk about it later." After the show was over Vic Gabany the sound man for the Jamboree came out and said that was good Jeannie did you know that you argument was on clear channel 650 and I thought that I was going to die of embarrassment. So I guess you could say that was my one and only time to be on the radio.
Written By: Jeannie Inman