Thankful for 2019

2019 has been such a fun and adventurous year for us. Rod and I were blessed with so many more wonderful opportunities to travel around the state of Arkansas and sing at festivals, schools and senior centers. We are very excited to announce that after working hard the past five years on composing and recording we now have released our debut country album. “Rod and Carol Country Music” which will be available to hear at CDBaby and YouTube in a few short weeks.

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Carol and Rod Patriotic

We have used this fun picture for all our business cards so naturally it became the front of our Cd album cover. It was taken by Cindy Reyes at a patriotic program we sang for at the Children’s Library and Learning Center in Little Rock.

Patriotic Rod and I sang a patriotic program at the Jacksonville Air Force Base Children’s Library in the summer time 2018 and 2019.

We attended the June 3, 2019 Arkansas Country Music Awards and were thrilled to see nominations for Darian Stribling -producer/engineer (from where we record at Blue chair Recording Studio in Austin, Arkansas) and Tim Crouch who won The fiddler of the year award. He has played violin and several other instruments on every single one of our songs. All I can say is we have been blessed -Awesome!

Oh our album has one song that is a standard. It was the very first song I recorded in Nashville when I was a teenager, It is beautiful and the title of it is “ARKANSAS” composed by Damon Black in the 70’s. I choose to record it again because I loved it so much. Its about a young girl and her memories about a 40 acre farm. I was raised on a 40 acre farm in Madison county. I milked goats. We had about 40 goats and many had to be milked every day, twice. I remember my life on the farm fondly.

The other songs on the album are composed and recorded by Rod Ragsdale and myself. titles: “Something I Never Had” “Nothings Better Than You” Thought Wed Have More Time” Full of Class” “Where You Go” “Soldier” and “Clapping Hands”

We sang at the Arkansas Goat Festival this past October held in PerryVille. Wow must have been 8,000 people by days end, plus goats.

 

I sang the national anthem for the Alzheimer’s Walk for the Cure.  Craig O’Niell from channel 11 TVNews was the MC.  We also see him every year when he becomes the star of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and we are the Who-Ville singers. Actually after five years Rod got pretty excited to show off our new Cd to The Grinch. The two men always sit here in between shows and share a joke or two, it has become tradition.

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Singing at the Arkansas Goat Festival in Perryville, Arkansas October 2019.

Singing at a family Christmas banquet at Brookdale senior living in Little Rock.

I love recording in the studio and being creative with a brand new song idea. Engineer Darian Stribling is amazing and we lean on him for advise for much of it. Tim Crouch adds all the finishing instrumental touches. We are very blessed to have such a great team.

Banjo from Victory radio in North Little Rock invited us to sing live one afternoon and we ended up talking and singing for almost the whole two hour show. Banjo was and still is a great entertainer and a really nice fellow to call our friend. I use to be a disc jockey when I lived in Hawaii.  It was fun being in this studio and seeing how things have changed now that things are more digital. I really enjoyed being a disc jockey.

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We got into the elevator one day at FoxRidge Senior Living and this sign was taped up next to all the months activities. We are regulars for a many Happy Hours at senior Centers around Central Arkansas. A very fun time to sing, tell jokes and stories to some of the kindest audiences ever. Plus this wonderful golden generation thinks that we are just youngsters. We most often leave with big smiles on our faces from something someone said or did. Always so glad we came.

We also got to travel much more around the state this past year and hope to expand in 2020. (I guess we better do it while we are still ‘youngsters’.) Also with Little Rock, NLR, Maumelle, Bryant, Sherwood, and Conway, we also sang in Star City, Pine Bluff, Camden, Perryville, and Hot Springs. We are very hopeful to get up to Northeast Arkansas and Madison county in 2020.

When we are in Camden we always stop in at Woods Place to have lunch. Highly recommended. Thanks to James and Patty Woods, owners and friends.

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Well these are just some of the over 140 times we sang this past year at festivals, senior centers, schools, libraries, churches, book stores and radio shows. As well as highlights such as the Arkansas State capital, Holiday House, Children’s Library GrinchFest, The Little Rock Zoo, The Good Earth Pumpkin Festival, Outlet Stores, Jacksonville Air Force Base and Alzheimer’s Walk for the Cure. We are thankful for so many who took part in having us be apart of these special events. We love music and the opportunities it gives us to interact with the young and the young at heart.

We hope you will check out our music by going to YouTube and CdBaby online. May God richly bless you in this brand new decade -The Roaring ’20’s has come again!

God has been good to us. He has met our needs and kept us healthy to continue. (I had a medical emergency this past summer which landed me in the hospital for five days. It was a serious situation and I did not take for granted my recovery. More about that later.)

We are thankful for our life’s work and finding each other.

Thankful for our families, (My youngest son graduated from college and is an RN that works at the Arkansas Heart Hospital.  My five children and I added it up and realized that we have had a someone, including me, in college for the last 20 years – happy end of an era. More about that later.)

I am thankful for my job as a music teacher at Saint Mark’s and all the children and teachers that make my life absolutely joyful.

Rod and I are thankful for this great country America, where we have opportunity like no other.

We pray that our music  and stories will touch people and that sometimes we will cause them to sing and laugh along the way.

Blessing to you

Carol and Rod

Music by Rod and Carol

Music by Carol Dabney and Rod Ragsdale. We met at a Fall Festival in 2014. Rod was playing music and I was teaching music at St Mark’s Day School. We started paying music together right away. We had both just lost our mom’s to Alzheimer’s and were independently playing music for nursing homes, so we just continued this amazing mission together, b/c singing for the greatest generation of Americans is a blessing to us. Presently we are regularly singing for over 30 different venues of this kind each month, as well as festivals and children’s libraries.

Carol and Rod Patriotic

I played the ukulele and Rod plays the guitar and harmonica.

Rod and harmonica

My day school children just love Mr. Rod when he comes to do our annual Veteran’s Day program and he plays his harmonica and shows them some magic tricks. Rod served in the Navy and was in the golf industry for over 35 years. He has one son that works at Disney World as a golf pro. instructor. Now that Rod is retired he can sing with me every day after I come home from school.

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I love teaching music at St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School in Little Rock Arkansas. I have five children and nine grandchildren. I lived in Hawaii for 20 years and that’s why I play the ukulele. I have been a radio disc jockey and music resource teacher at many schools and churches. This picture was taken at don Roberts School in Little Rock.

Rod and cabin

This is where we met. The Plantation Cotton Festival in Scott, Arkansas. That’s Rod getting ready to go on ‘stage’ and sing. He asked me out that day and we have been together ever since. I know what you’re thinking, and Yes!  he is as cute as pecan pie. This country singer sitting in front of this amazing cabin was more then I could stand, so I scooped him right up . See, I was raised on a goat farm in Madison county and so this is my cup of tea. I love this cabin and I love the country.

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Of course we composed our own wedding song from the book of Ruth… “Where You Go, I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” We were recording music at Blue Chair Recording studio in Austin, Arkansas with a talented engineer Darian Stribling. He was helping us record audiobooks and songs for children and presently we are working on a country album. All our music has beautiful violin music played by noted musician Tim Crouch. He makes the arrangements come to life. I wish we could record more, but its costly, so we pay as we go, recording whenever we have extra money in the kitty.

This beautiful picture was taken by Rebekah Schmitz at the school where I teach

  • side note here: Both Darian and Tim have been nominated for the Arkansas Country Music awards to be held in Maumelle June 3, 2019. Very excited and proud to know them.

    We are having so much fun with music.

  • Carol and Rod at chenal
  • This is at FoxRidge Chenal

Carol poster

We even did a bit of a road trip this year. During Thanksgiving break we sang in Camden Arkansas where Rod went to school. This was sponsored by Woods Catering. We sang for the nursing homes and the library. 140 children turned out to have Christmas stories read to them, sing Christmas songs, and see a bit of Mr. Rod’s magic.

Carol and Rod Woods place

We also traveled to Star city during Spring Break and what a sweet town. We have plans to return several times this summer and fall. Looking forward to that.

Carol at star City

Singing Patriotic shows at the Air Force Base in Jacksonville library, and we will return July 11. Patriotic show at  Sherwood Elmcroft.

We sang Christmas songs and read a Christmas story for children “Twas The mouse Before Christmas” a Christmas tale I wrote and Rod and I sang. A film producer and writer friend of mine John Elchier captured the storytime and put it on YouTube.

Also Rod became the singing Santa at a Christmas in July program at Andover Place

( that’s why he has shorts on)  don’t you love those groovy socks?

Carol and Rod 1950s sang at a 1950’s sock hop patriotic Veteran’s show in North Little Rock.

Carol sings Alz.

  • This was a fund raising event for Alzheimer’s at Pleasant Valley.
  • Carol and Rod sing in snow
  • Singing in the Antrium at Woodland during a snow shower. April Pollard took this picture.
  • Carol and Rod at Mardi Gras
  • Mardi Gras program at Stonehaven.
  • A Roaring ’20’s show at Andover with director Donya.
  • Singing Christmas carols at the Capital every December is a highlight. Pictured with my sister Cindy and daughter Michelle dancing hula to White Christmas.
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    Hawaiian shows at Woodland with the staff. Bryant Sr. Center and Elmcroft in Maumelle.

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    Carol at piano

  • Composing music for our country album. Picture during Parkstone program.
  • Blue Chair Recording Studio in Austin Arkansas. We are having a great adventure and excited to see what’s next. I guess we can say, you are never too old to live your dreams. Thanks for stopping in. May God richly bless you with family, friends, and a dream in your heart.

74th Arkansas Writer’s Conference

Carol Conference 1

I love going to the Arkansas Writer’s Conference. I meet other authors who share so much information about writing and marketing. Some of us set up tables of our books. Its fun to see the covers and artwork on everyone’s newest offerings. I been to a couple years in a row and its becoming liken unto a family reunion, seeing old friends and catching up. Ideas of what we are each doing to share our stories are fascinating and very helpful. I always learn something fresh and leave with new energy.

This year I was one of the presenters. I shared about my first story “Military Mommy” about my daughter who entered the United States Army. The update was she had been gone to Iraq for the past 10 months and we were awaiting her soon return to America. They were ready to board the plane to come home weeks before but a sudden scary illness had them in quarantine at the time of the conference. I am happy to say even though it was a nasty stomach bug, the soldiers returned safely this week. We had a fun family get together this past weekend and she got to see her children. As a mother, I am relieved and thankful beyond words that she is home. God bless America.

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A simple poetic story about military families.  “Military Mommy” about my daughter Melissa Dabney. The little book has photographs of the military base at bootcamp in Jacksonville, South Carolina and her first duty station in the Hawaiian island.

That story led to a biography of my father who was a Navyman during WWII. It was to be a short essay but turned into his whole life’s journey. A military love story  “Dance Me Home” took three years and became a 70,000 word book.  I shared a song I wrote for my dad called “Soldier”

Dance Me Home

Dance Me Home 2012 is a military love story biography written by Carol Dabney

My writing turned a corner after dad’s book and I started writing children’s books. I started working as a music teacher at St. Mark’s Day School in Little Rock. I love children. Raised five of my own. They are grown now and having children of their own.

I wrote a whimsical Christmas story about a mouse. “Twas The Mouse before Christmas” I spent a year learning how to illustrate. That was harder then it sounds.

 

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After that, I was asked to illustrate some animals parables for another author. Attorney Everett Martindale. Presently we have 12 storybooks. At the writer’s conference I shared about how my music students help me in the development of songs to go with the stories.  I featured “Wisdom, the Elephant Used by God”

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My sister-in-law Cindy Reyes translates the animal books into Spanish.  I discovered a talented musician in Rod Ragsdale and we found a recording studio and started producing audiobooks of these wonderful stories. Rod is the voice of many of the stories. We add background sounds and have a lot of fun. I recommend Blue Chair Recording Studio in Austin, Arkansas. The engineer Darian Stribling is fabulous.

 

 

I think at the end of my writer’s conference I share a song I recorded when I was just 17. I had been awarded a recording contract with Paradise Records in Nashville, Tenn after winning the national talent award as “Miss Arkansas Teen” The song “Arkansas” really describes my young life being raised on a 40 acre farm in the Ozarks. Southern roots.

Now I live and work in Little Rock and its been an amazing journey. Thank you to all at the conference for so much encouragement. I’m also thankful for the support in buying my storybooks online at Amazon and local bookstores and festival.

Oh and I am happy to announce that Rod and I will be married at the end of summer 2018.

 

Carol and Rod Patriotic

Rod and I will be reading and singing at the Hillary Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center Saturday July 28th at 10am. Hope to see you there.

https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Dabney/e/B0056B1AFW

 

Thank you Arkansas Writer’s Conference for letting me share my personal journey.

 

 

Summer Programs of 2017

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Michelle and Carol Dabney and Rod Ragsdale. We had a lot of fun the summer of 2017 playing music for senior centers and for children programs in central Arkansas. Here we are at the Hilary Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center for story hour doing a Hawaiian program on July 18, 2017.

Michelle danced a lovely hula. She was born in the Hawaiian islands. She is a health coach in the Little Rock area.

Rod gave an indoor golfing demonstration and we sold his “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course” book series.

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Andrew-Golf-Course-Adventure/dp/1514820870/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509239591&sr=1-1&keywords=Rod+Ragsdale

We also did a Hawaiian program for the Kids Zone at Fitness 10 gym in Little Rock July 14, 2017. Telling the kids all about Hawaii.

We sang Hawaiian songs and danced the hula.

We also shared our Hawaiian program for the Whole Foods Kids Club September 1, 2017.

The kids enjoyed doing some hula with Michelle. I read the story of “Military Mommy” about my daughter in the army when she was stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks. She is serving in Iraq now.

https://www.amazon.com/Military-Mommy-Second/dp/1480038989/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509240150&sr=1-2&keywords=Carol+Dabney+Military+Mommy

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Rod and sang for a Hawaiian luau at The Manor Nursing Home in Little Rock, on my birthday in September and I was presented with a cake. We are regulars there and they have become like family to us the past two years.

Rod and I went into the recording studio and made a really awesome new audiobook for children. “Mia, the Mouse Used by God” with an original song “Where You Go” about a mouse who becomes a match -maker for Ruth and Boaz from the bible story out of the book of Ruth. We recorded at Blue Chair Recording Studio in Austin, Arkansas July 27, 2017.

https://www.amazon.com/Mouse-Used-Ragsdale-Carol-Dabney/dp/B074R45NM6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509240541&sr=8-1&keywords=Carol+Dabney+Music

https://www.amazon.com/Mia-Mouse-Used-God-Animals/dp/1537353802/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509240485&sr=1-1&keywords=Carol+Dabney+Mia+the+Mouse

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We had a lot of fun singing this past summer. Hope you will check out all my books available on Amazon. Thank you for supporting local artists and authors.

https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Dabney/e/B0056B1AFW

 

Thanks for stopping in. -Carol Dabney

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

The weather is changing, the leaves are falling and it has that holiday feeling in the air. It just all happens so fast. In October Halloween was fun and our school has Miss Pickle Witch who serves pickles with stories in the library. I am reading my  Happy Pumpkin Patch at various schools and selling my little books at fall festivals.

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Pumpkins are everywhere and they are beautiful.

In November Mr. Rod comes to share stories for Veteran’s Day at our school and we also went to Whole Food Kid’s Club this year and a few others schools. He talks about his submarine while he served in the navy. We sing patriotic songs and wave flags. We love singing patriotic songs. We are blessed to be American.

That means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. My Happy Pumpkin, Patch is still being read to welcome in this wonderful holiday. It is about how to plant pumpkins and take care of them, how to make a jack-o-lantern and make healthy treats.

The book  is about having faith, and patience. It’s about a pilgrim named Jack, and how he protects his one pumpkin so when it has grown big he can share the many seeds with all his nieghbors so years to come all others will be able to have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day.

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How the pilgrims and Indians celebrated harvest time and Thanksgiving. This book for very young children is good for reading as a family before eating your Thanksgiving meal. It’s in poetic form the whole family will enjoy. I illustrated with very simple watercolor artwork. Get the book, bring it out and read it every year from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Thank you for your support.

https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Pumpkin-Patch-childrens-Thanksgiving/dp/1480236675/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Yes, I love reading my stories at schools, classrooms or assemblies. I read at festivals and libraries and churches and would love to come to your program. Let me know.

Be the pumpkin.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Make a Jack-O-Lantern smile, share and eat the seeds and pumpkin pie, Be thankful and be a blessing. -Carol

Veteran’s Day Programs – music and story

America. The flag. Soldiers. We are thankful to all our service men and women who have served this great nation that is our home. We salute the military who are serving now at home and across the sea. This week Rod Ragsdale and myself are singing at several Veteran’s Day programs for schools. We were asked to do more programs, but unfortunately, did not have time for all.

God and country is our musical passion. We also sing at nursing homes and always thank the good folks of that generation for all they have done. Rod’s father was shot during the WWII and his brother was injured in the service of our country as well. Rod served in the navy on a submarine for 6 years, where he learned to play the guitar and harmonica during the quieter moments. My father was in the navy in WWII and was on an air craft carrier. My sister is retired recently, but was a nurse and served as a Lt Col. in the Air Force over in Iraq, Turkey and Germany. and my daughter is a captain in the army serving now.

This year I was honored to sing the national anthem for the annual Alzheimer’s Walk in Little Rock.

This week every year we get to share some things about veteran’s and our personal stories and we sing patriotic songs. Here are some pictures of some of our programs honoring American soldiers. Plus some photos of my books: a children’s book called “Military Mommy” and my father’s biography called, “Dance Me Home.” These books are available on amazon.com

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For children to read: fun and poetic

https://www.amazon.com/Military-Mommy-Army-Lieutenant-second-ebook/dp/B00H50JZO0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478808753&sr=8-1&keywords=carol+dabney

For adults to read: a military love story. Inspiring.

https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Me-Home-American-biography/dp/1499287828/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478808898&sr=8-1&keywords=carol+dabney+Dance+Me+Home

 

God Bless America

June and July 2016 Carol and Rod Music

June 2016 we found ourselves singing at a country western show at Fox Ridge in North Little Rock. I loved the themed parties y’all. YeeHaw this was fun! Rod and I put on our cowboy hats and sang all our country and folk songs.

I went down south to Ft. Polk, Louisiana and read and sang to my grand daughter Aliyah’s school on the Army base while awaiting the arrival on a new grandchild. Aliyah has helped me present this story several times now from Hawaii to Virginia about her military mommy, the title of the book is of course, “Military Mommy.”

When I got back to Little Rock, we sang at Elmcroft for their Birthday party.

Happy 4th of July at Elmcroft in Maumelle and Brookdale in Little Rock.

Hawaiian summer reading program with stories, songs, and hula at the Maumelle Public Library was lots of fun. We will be presenting a Christmas program December 10, 2016 at 11:30am.

Golfing in the library maybe a first at the Clinton’s Children’s library and learning center Summer reading program. Rod shows children how to putt and reads his first golfing story called “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course.” I’ll tell you, they were very interested and had alot of fun.

Then of course we had to do a bit of hula because we always do during the summer programs and its expected and all the kids get out there and have lots of fun. Some of our Arkansas kids have never seen the ocean, so I enjoy telling them all about my beloved Hawaii, where I lived for 15 years.

All our Hawaiian, military and golf stories are found on Amazon.  “Military Mommy” by Carol Dabney and “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course” by Rod Ragsdale. Please check out all our storybooks for Children and consider them for Christmas gifts. Thank you for your support. We have two new Christmas books this year: “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course -Book Four -Golfing with Santa.” and “Santa’s North Pole Princess”

https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Dabney/e/B0056B1AFW

 

Rod and I will be singing: at Holiday House Santa event at the Arkansas State Convention Center downtown Little Rock Saturday November 12 from 9-noon; at the Arkansas State Capital annual Christmas tree lighting with Santa Saturday December 3 from 6-8pm; at the Maumelle Library Saturday Dec 10 at 11:30am, and Clinton Children’s Library Monday December 19 at 11am.