Bob and Donna is the debut recording by sibling country music duo Bob Rogers and Donna Smith who, with their combo Country Four and More, play the South Union Grange Hall near Maytown, Washington the first Saturday of each month. Here is more information about them provided by George Smith of George's Records:
"Bob Rogers and Donna Smith are brother and sister born in Olympia in 1938 (Bob) and 1941 (Donna). They are also my mother and uncle. Their parents weren’t musicians but were involved with the local music and dance scene partly through being friend and neighbor of Tex Mitchell (of the Tex Mitchell Orchestra - which was a stopping point for Don Ulrich on his way to the Buckaroos). As youngsters Bob and Donna were immersed in music at granges and local halls. They both went to Olympia High School at a time surprisingly deep with musical talent. Fellow students at the time included Norma Palm and Linda Robinson of The Harmony Sweethearts and Norma and Linda, Gary Troxel, Gretchen Christopher and Barbara Ellis of The Fleetwoods and Don Ulrich (later shortened to Rich).
"The pair took up music at a young age with Bob learning the guitar and Donna the piano and accordion. They began performing country music together in the early 60s. Donna also played shows with Moon’s Western Ramblers led by KELA radio host Gil Moon and on the Chubby Howard Country Jamboree on KTVW channel 13. In the early 60s they opted not to pursue professional music careers, instead focusing on raising their young families but they continued to play locally.
"In 1964 Bob and Donna began playing with a couple of other musicians as the regular band at the South Union Grange near Maytown, Washington. Through the years the supporting players have changed but they have played every first Saturday at South Union since then and are currently in their 58th year.
"In 1998 I had collected enough equipment for a modest home recording studio and decided I should record Bob and Donna. They had never done a studio recording before but adapted quickly enough and we knocked out ten songs that day, including vocal and instrument overdubs. As far as I know they haven’t been in a studio since then and their only other recordings are live boom box recordings.
"The ten songs were mixed down and distributed amongst family on cassette. A few years later I remixed it, dropped a song and circulated a few on cdr. Nothing else came of it but at least a few dozen people had gotten to hear it. Lately I’ve been digging in to lesser known local musicians by finding their records and cds at thrift stores and then researching their history. What a shame it would be if there was nothing of Bob and Donna for a digger to find 30 years from now. As they are both now in their 80s I decided needed to release this as a legacy document. People that have gone to their dances for decades, and a handful of family and friends are eager to get copies and hopefully their music will hit some new ears too. And there will be something for that future digger to find."
- - - George Smith, George's Records
Songs included on Bob and Donna:
No One to Cry to
Down at the Twist and Shout
The Bottle Let Me Down
Don't Tell Me What to Do
the Farmer's Daughter
Everybody Loves a Lover