“The Spree of ’83”


“The Spree of ‘83” by Freddy and Catherine Powers.

“The Spree of ‘83” is a conversation with music greats. The cast of characters contains headliners of country music and TV. The book approximates having a casual conversation with old friends on the patio, talking, reminiscing, and sharing jokes and funny stories, except that these old friends are the giants of country music.  Eavesdropping on these personal reflections is entertaining, enlightening, and just plain fun to read.

Times were different in ‘83. There was no social media to report on every move, to tweet, to post funny stories on line. And funny stories were many:

“We went out on the highway and one of the guys in the band and I wrapped ourselves in tin foil, put plastic bags over our heads, stuck antennas on the bags. We had a huge amplifier in the car, and played that warbling whistle you always hear in flying saucer films. Cars pulled over, trucks pulled over, people were shouting. Not one paper printed a word about it.”

There are also background stories, stories of family, extensive charity work, and just plain enjoying life.  “One day it was raining, and Merle and Freddy and Dean and I put on a play, made costumes and everything, and they recorded it as we did a play on the houseboat.”

The essence of this book can be summed up in this, “And if there were any bad days, they somehow have been erased from my memory. Or maybe it’s like one of Merle’s hit songs, ‘These were the memories I choose to recall.’”

Waldorf Publishing and NetGalley gave me a copy of “The Spree of ‘83” in exchange for my unbiased review. I am not a follower of country music; I knew nothing about these events or these performers. I selected this book because the description fascinated me, and I heard Merle Haggard play at a church. I was entertained all the way through. I am sure that true fans will unquestionably love the stories in this book.