While Sherry was growing up, there wasn't a lot of money, but there
was a lot of love - and music. Every Saturday night, the family
gathered around the radio to hear the Grand Ole Opry.
A visit to Grandmother's house was like a trip to Nashville - Wisconsin
style. Sherry's mother was the oldest of eleven children and they all
could sing and play.
Sherry's father loved to yodel. He was always happy, and always
singing. One of her fondest memories is of her mother and father
singing together "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again".
Marlys and Donna, Sherry's older sisters and brother Allen took guitar
and accordion lessons. Sherry would sit and listen quietly, and as soon
as the lessons were over, she would sneak into the bedroom with the
accordion and repeat what she had heard. So began her love for music
- she couldn't get enough of it.
At the age of 9, Sherry took piano lessons in school, followed by violin
and saxophone. Her High School schedule wouldn't allow Choir, Band,
and Orchestra, so thinking that she was going to be a band teacher, she
dropped the violin. Marrying right out of high school, it would be 10
years before she pursued her love of music.
By the time Sherry was 26, she was the mother of 5 children under the
age of 7. The hunger for music remained. The violin she had played
was rented, the saxophone had been returned to her sister, and in their
little house, there was no room for a piano. While expressing her
desire to get back to music, her Aunt Lucille recommended guitar
lessons. Lucille received a new guitar for Christmas, so she gave
Sherry her old one, a little $16 mail order guitar from Sears. They took
6 one hour lessons through WITC at the local high school.
Sherry learned to play all of her old favorite country songs, then the
new country songs. She shared her new found passion with her
brother Allen's wife, who in turn shared it with him. Once again, the
jam sessions were on and "Mom and Dad" loved it.
YODEL LIKE DAD
Even though Sherry heard her father yodeling while growing up, she
never seriously tried it herself. She borrowed her mother's Slim
Whitman yodeling album. It was warped, and had a large crack in it,
but would still play. She turned up the stereo full blast, and started the
vacuum cleaner (to drown out her feeble attempts). After many hours
of listening, and a really clean house, Sherry learned to yodel. It wasn't
long after, she penned her first song, "Yodel Like Dad".
Sherry couldn't wait to sing "Yodel Like Dad" for her father. It was his
story. Trouble was, it was a "wordy" song, and fast - and the more
excited she got, the faster she sang. Her father listened patiently with a
bewildered look on his face. Somewhat disappointed in his lack of
enthusiasm, she said "did you like it?" He responded, "you sang it so
fast, I couldn't understand a single word...when did you learn to yodel"?
BACK HOME AGAIN
The music failed to fill the void that Sherry felt in her life. She had
everything she thought she wanted, yet something was missing.
In the spring of 1978, her father called and said he was going to sell the
home place. She recalled seeing it the first time when she was 8 years
old. It was like heaven. The log sided house sat up on a hill
surrounded by big Norway pine trees. There was a garage, a chicken
coop, and a little white barn with stanchions for five cows and a hay
mow! Best of all, the house had an indoor bathroom with running
water, and a real bathtub and shower.
So many memories lived there -
Everything fell into place as if it were planned. Little did Sherry know,
the move back home would change her life forever.
A NEW BEGINNING
One day a neighbor gave Sherry a gospel tract "This Was Your Life" It
was the story of a man who went to church every Sunday. He did and
said all the right things, but his heart was far away from God. At the
end of the tract was a scripture verse that simply stated, "Your
righteousness is as filthy rags unto the Lord". Sherry's first response
was "Lord, what do you want from me?" She had been baptized and
confirmed - twice - in two different churches! She was a good
Christian, wasn't she?
Inwardly, Sherry knew she was like the man, religious, going through
the motions. She could hear God's still, small voice speaking to her
heart, "If you could get to Heaven all by yourself, why would I have let
Jesus suffer and die on the cross?"
Sherry asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior that day and found peace.
Gospel music the
whole family will