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Smoky Hill Museum

Poignant Beginning To Big Band Dance

KSAL Staff - June 12, 2015 9:22 pm

Peggy Houser receives anplaque in memory of her husband Gary.

Peggy Houser receives anplaque in memory of her husband Gary.

It was a poignant moment that began one of the classiest events at the Smoky Hill River Festival Friday evening.

As festival-goers gathered inside the Bicentennial Center for the popular Big Band Dance with Bobby Layne and his orchestra, a brief ceremony honored the man who had hosted the event for as long as everyone can remember.  An emotional Peggy Houser was presented a plaque in memory of her late husband Gary Houser, who was killed in a crash last fall.

Gary Houser was a long-time morning announcer on the radio, in Salina and Abilene. He was the first voice heard on KABI radio in Abilene. When the radio station signed on in 1963, he was the first person on the air. Though his tenure was mainly on the air at KABI in Abilene, Houser also was heard during his career on KINA radio in Salina.

Houser was passionate about everything he did in life, including his love for the music he played, which is showcased every year at the big band dance.

The Bobby Layne Orchestra kept up its tradition of playing favorites from the big band area of the 1930s – 1950s. The focus this year was a tribute to the music of Frank Sinatra, who would have been 100-years-old.

As the band played the dance floor stayed crowded with fans, many dressed in their finest attire, gracefully moving to the music.

The Bobby Layne Orchestra performs.

The Bobby Layne Orchestra performs.

Jeff Fellows

June 15, 2015 at 9:11 am

Gary Houser was truly a fine man and hero in our area.

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City of Salina