Just some thoughts:
He could do two things very well. Play golf and sing. He was so good he played in the US Open golf championship and also played in the Master’s. He was a contender in the 1960 U.S.Open at Cherry Hills in Denver, Colorado. He turned professional in 1962.
Don Cherry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1924. Early on he embarked on a big-band singing career. He had a hit song in 1955, “Band of Gold.” (Loved that song) Interesting he provided the soundtrack for the opening scene of the first episode of the television series “Mad Men.” One of his most lucrative works came as the voice of the animated character Mr.Clean in the TV ad. It is said to have made him nearly $800,000 from residuals.
I met Cherry once and also saw him sing at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. I was fortunate to be in his presences as he was asked about an exchange between him and Clifford Robert’s the chief guru at the Master’s for many years.
Seems the first year that Cherry played in the Master’s he also had a singing gig at a club in the same town, Augusta, GA. The owner of a local nightclub hired him to sing each night of the tournament. Golf in the day, tunes at night. Robert’s when hearing of this called Cherry aside and spoke with him. “We’ve never had anyone play in the Masters and sing at a local nightclub at the same time,” said Roberts to Cherry. Cherry is said to have replied, “Mr Roberts I’m not trying to be disrespecting but you know I’ve been looking at the people playing in this tournament and you know what, well I can’t see anyone else who can sing.” Cherry was known for his temper and his wit.
Supposedly shortly after the exchange Bobby Jones, the Masters’ founder, took Cherry aside and said to him, “Your response to Mr. Robert’s was a very good one, but I don’t thing it is in your best interest to use that answer again.”
You know some folks just don’t seem to have much of a sense of humor do they. Loosen up Mr.Roberts fella is just tryin’ to make a living.
Sadly Don Cherry died this past April in Las Vegas at the age of 94. He truly was a rare breed. As I sit here tonight typing these lines I’m playing a cd Cherry and Willie Nelson once recorded together.
I’ve never wanted wealth untold
My life has one design
A simple little band of gold
To prove that you are mine.
Don’t want the world to have and hold
For fame is not my line
Just want a little band of gold
To prove that you are mine
You know some requests, some things we want, can be very simple….all I ever wanted………….
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March 15, 2018
Posted October 15, 2018