Dunn in Benefit Concert for DuVall Family


Country-western recording artist, Clare Dunn, performs about 100 concerts a year.  She says a lot of them are for fairs and other events and she and her band are even booked for special occasions, “We’ve been hired to play on a yacht off San Diego for a surprise birthday party a gentleman has planned for his wife,” she explained recently.

Clare Dunn at Farm-City Banquet, 2013

One concert that will stand out for her this year will be her performance for the September 2nd benefit concert for John and Myrna DuVall at the Prowers County Fairground.  “My family lived in and around Holly for many years and our farms were pretty close to each other, so we got to know them over the years.  Johnny would remark how he used to see our tractor going down the road, but as kids, we were so small we could barely be seen over the steering wheel.  John and Myrna were on the lookout to make sure we kids were safe.”

Well, by now, most everyone has heard how a tornado this past summer, destroyed the DuVall’s home and farming and ranching operation.  A benefit concert is set for Saturday, September 2nd, featuring Clare Dunn as the headliner.  It will begin at 4pm with a beer garden, a 5pm BBQ which is covered in the cost of the $40 tickets, an auction will begin at 6:30 and that will be followed by the concert.  “I’ve contacted the guitar maker, Fender, who has donated a brand new Telecaster, and I’m donating a guitar from my own collection, plus we’ll have engraved belt buckles to auction off from Montana Silversmiths, tickets to the national ranch rodeo in Amarillo next year and many more items,” she explained, adding that all revenues will go to benefit the DuVall’s.

“When the Holly tornado struck years ago, John and Myrna were on hand, bringing in their own equipment, diesel fuel and other supplies, all without being asked.  That’s just the kind of folks they are and they are known in general for their generosity and caring for everyone in the Granada-Holly area.  It’s so sad that this happened to them, but this is also an opportunity for everyone to come and show their support and appreciation for this family,” she remarked.

Dunn said a video of the events surrounding the tornado will be shown at 6:30 with commentary from the storm chaser who witnessed the touchdown at the DuVall’s farm as well as from the National Weather Service who tracked the tornado on radar and watched as it took a turn and began a direct path towards them.  “He traced their landline phone number and made an emergency call to let them know what was happening.  Myrna doesn’t automatically answer her phone, but this time she did and got the message about the same time as Johnny arrived on the scene and they took cover downstairs,” she said.

Dunn said the community has really come together to show their support, thanking former Prowers County Judge, Stan Brinkley for all his efforts coordinating the concert, as well as members of the fairboard, plus Ron Cook, Diane Poole, Ty Rushton, Gary Melcher, Dunn’s own group and her mother, Tila Dunn.

Once the concert is over, it’ll be back on the road for Clare Dunn.  She’s going to perform a number of her standards that night, such as Tuxedo, Legends, Cowboy Side of You, Out of the Blue and some newer songs as well, such as Ready for a Fight and Colorado.  “The music industry has really changed over the years.  I guess the hay day was back in the 90s, but now with social media, You Tube, Tik Tok…many new avenues have opened up for new recording artists.  They don’t really need the established infrastructure of getting a record produced anymore.”

Clare said it’s somewhat ironic, in that it was the DuVall’s who gave her the opportunity to become a paid singer back in her high school days, a point at which she realized she could earn a living by doing something she enjoyed so much.  “I was still in high school and John and Myrna hired me to perform at their restaurant in Granada, Chez DuVall, and I guess that was the early beginning of my music career.  I’m just glad to be able to sing for their benefit on September 2nd,” she explained.

Ticket information as well as a listing of all local retail outlets, (including TBK Bank in Lamar, Granada, Holly and Springfield, Fellowship Credit Union in Lamar and Holly, McClave State Bank, Temple Grain, and Lamar Chamber of Commerce) is available at claredunn.com/duvallbenefit

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCountyEventsFeaturedHot TopicsTourism


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