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Gamble Rogers Festival

• May 2-4, 2014

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Tributes to Gamble

"Picking in Heaven" by Daniel V. Gribbin
A friend and I dropped by Gamble's home one evening, and he very kindly shared with us his fingering for "St. Louis Blues." I've never forgotten his patience and generosity that evening--or the beauty of his guitar playing. Dan Gribbin

Picking in Heaven

He was a tall man, a long drink of water.
They say the river otters have a name for him now.
He dove to save a man from drowning;
Now he roves among the clouds.

James Gamble Rogers,
Oh, he could have been an architect.
Instead of drawing up those blueprints,
He had other arts to perfect.

A walking bass and a smooth blues run,
He was a tall-tale teller, strictly homespun.
With a freight whistle blowing on two bent strings,
And a Jimmie Rodgers yodel, he could make it ring.
He caught "The Orange Blossom Special" with Will McLean.
Now he’s Travis picking on the heavenly train.

He was a tall man, a long drink of water.
They say the river otters have a name for him now.
He dove to save a man from drowning;
Now he roves among the clouds.

A walking bass and a smooth blues run,
He was a tall-tale teller, strictly homespun.
With a freight whistle blowing on two bent strings,
And a Jimmie Rodgers yodel, he could make it ring.
Leave your other singers' songbooks home on the shelf,
‘Cause our Orange Blossom Special is Gamble himself.

He was a tall man, a long drink of water.
They say the river otters have a name for him now.
He dove to save a man from drowning;
Now he roves among the clouds.

Daniel V. Gribbin © 2006



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