It was our very favorite
place to perform, and such an honor to appear at Sunset Park for 23 years.
Some of the Nashville stars we shared the stage with are Jean Shepard, George Jones, Marty Stuart, Loretta Lynn, Bill Anderson, Gene Watson, George Strait, Ricky Van Shelton, Shenandoah, Johnny Russell and more. This was good, clean family gatherings every Sunday in the summer, with an audience who really enjoyed actually listening to the performers and appreciated the country songs as well as Gospel and Patriotic. There was no place like Sunset Park with so many memories, country music stars, local performers and fun, and it is still so missed after closing in 1995.
"In the beginning",
from Maria Rose:
Myself and band, the Travelers, went to Sunset Park in the middle of heavy downpours to enter the annual talent contest - the winner of the contest would open for Jean Shepard. After getting to the park, we found out we were the only ones who showed up, Mr. Waltman came to us and said, "I'm sorry, but we can't hold the contest today with so much rain and no one showing up". I was so disappointed until a week or so later, when Mr. Waltman called me and asked, "How would you like to open for Jean Shepard?" I guess he really felt bad that we came all that way for nothing, but what a thrill to know it was the beginning of my 23 years at Sunset Park.
"In the end",
from Danny Elswick:
One year I took my midi-guitar that had all kinds of sounds, including a great-sounding piano. Playing a little piano on some of our songs, the audience really got a kick out of it. So, Larry Waltman and I decided to pull a little trick on everyone, and as we told the audience that Larry was very talented and would play the piano with us, I started playing "Last Date" and Larry was to the side of us and it looked to the audience like he was playing the piano....it wasn't until Larry started "playing" with his hands behind his back, up in the air, with his chin, and then backed away from the piano that the audience realized it was really me playing the "piano" on my guitar! I wish someone would've filmed that segment, it was priceless! That was in August, 1995, and sadly, after a big snowfall damaged the roof, stage and pavilion, that was the ending year for Sunset Park.