Heritage Days names Val Jensen band as grand marshals
The Val Jensen band has been named by the Heritage Days Committee as the grand marshals for the 2014 Heritage Days Celebration. The Val Jensen band has performed at the Heritage Days celebration for a number of years.
Band members include: Val Jensen, Kay Jensen, Ann and Richard Murdoch and included Phil Johnson until he moved.
Val Jensen said, "We started this particular band in the early 1990s. I have played in a band since I was 18. I play bass and sing. Kay plays the guitar, banjo and sings. Richard plays the drums and Ann sings. Richard and Ann just got back from serving two missions and they are rejoining the band.
"We play and practice every Friday night down at the Elmo Fire Station. There are several people who come and listen each week and everyone is welcome. I played for 30 years with the Blue Notes, that was myself and Neldon Cox, who has now passed away. We had several different drummers over the years and also played with Malone Jewkes who was a popular musician in our area during the 50s, 60s and 70s. We've had a lot of people come and go over the years. We play wherever we are asked. We played at the cafe in Huntington before they closed.
"We've played at gold and green balls, cowboy poetry event and all the beer joints in Price. We've played in Moab and in Nephi. We mostly play for fun. We've played at the Heritage Days celebrations during their dinner each year. I really enjoy it. Mostly we play old country and western music and old dance music. We play a little rock and roll, but mostly country. We play Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings. People who enjoy country music will like our band, we don't play much for the young people.
"I was surprised to be asked to be grand marshals for Heritage Days. I've lived in Huntington for 52 years. We moved here in 1962 and built a house in Huntington. I also run five trucks across the United States.
"Kay is my first cousin and we've been playing together for 20 years. Kay was in a band before he joined with me, too. We got together in the early 90s. Phil Johnson joined the band too and then Richard and Ann Murdoch. I play the accordion too. But, with a recent back surgery I have to leave the accordion alone for awhile.
"I had music lessons when I was younger and can read music. I have taught music and given lessons. I was in the school band. Mostly I like playing by ear. I hear a song I like and learn to play it. I've been singing with the Huntington Glee Club and that's done me a lot of good. You have to be pretty precise and get the correct beats per measure when you sing with them.
"I once heard an interview with Willie Nelson and he said he would hate to be his drummer, because Willie just plays along and does what he wants. It's hard if you're out of step.
"I guess I'll just keep playing music until I die. I'll be 80 in September. I'm our oldest band member, the oldest and the most ornery and I keep everyone in line.
"I am married to Monna Jensen and we have six sons. In July we will celebrate our 61st anniversary. Our sons are Chris, Scott, David, Calvin, Paul and Lane. We have 30 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, or thereabouts," said Val.
Huntington City is very proud to honor Val Jensen and his band and they thank them for all their service to Huntington Heritage Days and to Emery County for sharing their gift of music with others throughout the years.