MORRIS - The Mt. Morris Jamboree has announced the return of local legend Lyle Grobe and the Rhythm Ramblers to their band shell stage on Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m. This band, which has appeared during all seven Friday Concert seasons, always has the crowds line-dancing on the grass and toe-tapping in their lawn chairs and on the new benches.
Lyle Grobe has been performing for many years starting in the early 1950s with two brothers, Harry and Richard Hackbarth. They appeared at many shows in the Lee County area for years. They began moving into the Ogle County area in the late 50s at venues such as Castle Rock Bar on Route 2 in Oregon.
Grobe went in a different direction later on when he became a radio announcer for WIXN, which is now River Country 101.7. He then began an era of being a night club owner as owner/manager of Skyline Lounge in Dixon. During this time, some of the current Rhythm Ramblers joined him. Many years have come and gone but Grobe still keeps the band going by having weekly band rehearsals in his garage both summer and winter. Many a musician has stopped and “picked” a tune or two.
The band’s drummer, Dennis Milby of Sterling has been with Grobe since the Skyline days. Milby also does a lot of back-up singing with Grobe during performances. Lisa Allen-Grobe of Sterling has been with the band for a few years bringing the songs of Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and other women of country music. Newest member of the band is Lisa’s husband, Paul Grobe playing bass guitar. Jim Miller returns to the band after playing with them back in the '70s, bringing prodigious talent to the Ramblers with excellent keyboard, harmonica, banjo and singing skills.
Bob Fredricks joins the Ramblers again, bringing the sweet sound of the pedal steel guitar to the band. Fredricks has been in many country bands along the way and his connection to Grobe goes all the way back to the Skyline days. Diane Palmer usually joins the crew for these shows and sings beautiful lead and harmony vocals.
The Leaf River United Methodist Church will be on hand to serve their Italian Beef sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, dessert and drinks. Several local small business vendors often join set up on the campus, including Jen’s Artisan Breads and Pecatonica River Honey. The whole evening kicks off with the Mt. Morris Community Farmer’s Market, located at the corner of Rt. 64 and Wesley Ave. from 4-7 p.m. every Friday through October.
Come join the fun on this historic campus in the center of Mt. Morris, two blocks south of Rt. 64 on Wesley Avenue. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be at the Mt. Morris Moose Lodge at 101 Moose Dr.