R.I.P. George Jones: Marvin & the Minnows Salute You

The passing of the legendary George Jones brings back a lot of high school memories.

Not because we were huge George fans.

To us, C&W meant more Waylon & Willie & the Boys than George.

But George played a big part in our senior year at Norman High School.

                                          The Race Is On

I feel tears wellin’ up cold and deep inside
Like my heart’s sprung a big break
And the stab of loneliness, sharp and painful
That I may never shake
Now you might say that I was taking it hard
Since you wrote me off with a call
But don’t you wager that I’ll hide the sorrow
When I may break right down and bawl

 

I ran with a lot of different crowds, depending on the time of year.

Once the football season was over, especially my senior year, I quit running with the jocks.

For whatever reason, the core of my social group became NHS golfers.

How sad is that?

Ahem.   

 

Now the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch
Heartaches are going to the inside
My tears are holding back
They’re trying not to fall
My heart’s out of the running
True love’s scratched for another’s sake
The race is on and it looks like heartaches
And the winner loses all

 

No, really, they were great.

Gator had a 64’ Chevy (also named Gator) that always had gas.

Todd was as big a smart aleck as I was, and just as “hairless” with girls.

And this particular story also featured Wilt, Chitwood, Phil, Ruge, Keebler and Marvin.

 

One day I had ventured in love, never once suspecting
What the final results would be
How I lived in fear of waking up each morning
And finding that you’d gone from me
There’s aching and pain in my heart
For the day was the one that I hated to face
Somebody new came up to win her

 

Norman High was experimenting with a “modular” system.

It was supposed to give students the freedom to study whenever and however.

What it did was lead to the birth of “Marvin & the Minnows”.

To prepare for the upcoming Senior Talent Show, we spent every spare afternoon “mod” drinking beer, smoking cheap ceegars, “singing” Sha-Na-Na songs and nasally “sangin'” George Jones’ epic “The Race is On”.

We trained hard for the talent show.

By that I mean we drank a lot of beer, smoked a lot of ceegars, and duct-taped kazoos into two saxophones for “Yakkity Yak”.

 

And I came out in second place
Now the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch
Heartaches are going to the inside
My tears are holding back
They’re trying not to fall
My heart’s out of the running
True love’s scratched for another’s sake
The race is on and it looks like heartaches
And the winner loses all

 

As I recall, the Senior Talent Show started in mid-afternoon, so we began to rehearse (Coors and ceegars) about 10am.

It was the 70s, all right!

We slicked back our hair, wore the most Sha-Na-Na clothes we could find.

And we hit the stage.

Without doubt, we were the worst act of the day, and possibly in the history of NHS.

But we had a ball.

And our best song was “The Race is On”

Thanks George and Rest in Peace.

From Marvin & the Minnows.

 

 Marvin & Minnows final

 

 

 




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