There's No Place Like Home: Merv Shiner Returns
For Anniversary Concert At 93 years-old
Thursday, September 11, 2014 by Jason Rehm Bethlehem Press Local News
A delightful evening of country, gospel and old time music was shared at Wesley United Methodist Church recently, when Bethlehem native Merv Shiner returned from Tampa for his Homecoming Concert Part II - Merv Shriner's Journey Continues.
Not only is the 93-year old a talented musician, he's also a gifted storyteller, captivating his audience with precious memories and anecdotal stories which he weaved throughout his 18-song set. With a musical career that has spanned more than seven decades, much of it spent in Nashville, Shiner has a lot to draw from.
His first Homecoming Concert was performed 30 years ago at Stabler Arena before a crowd of 2,500-3,000 people. While attendance Wednesday evening did not reach numbers quite that high, Shiner assured the audience with a smile that "this concert will be just as memorable as that one."
If the crowd gave any indication, it certainly was. Merv Shiner has a unique voice, both strong and expressive, and as he strummed along on a Martin guitar, the crowd tapped their feet and sang along. Making the evening even more memorable was the skillful accompaniment of Dick Boak, director of the Museum & Archives at the C.F. Martin & Co., who, of course, was also playing a Martin.
Martin guitars have held a special place in Merv's heart ever since his father bought him his first one in 1937. What a sacrifice it was in the middle of the Depression, long before credit cards, for Merv's father to purchase his 16-year-old son a Martin guitar for $37.50 so he could pursue his dreams of being a musician.
The concert was dedicated to the three most important people in Shiner's life: his mother, father, and his wife Shirley.
Shiner also dedicated the fun and sentimental song, "I Got a Thing About Trains," to his grandfather, who was a Civil War veteran and later worked on the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
"Address Unknown," was made famous by Gene Autry, one of Merv's heroes growing up. The love song was written by Hall of Fame songwriter Vaughn Horton, who was instrumental in signing Shiner to Decca Records.
Perhaps no song got the audience more excited than "Peter Cottontail," which launched Shiner's career after he was the first to record the classic in 1950. Shiner amused the audience by recounting his puzzled reaction when his agent first sent him the song.
"Why are you sending me these children's songs? I'm a country and gospel singer!" The song, as we all know, was a smash hit.
Dick Boak drew in the audience with a mesmerizing tune played on the autoharp. Boak performed his melodic piece during a free will offering to support the Lehigh Valley Outreach Depot and the 2015 We Got Your Backpack program.
Finishing the night, Merv played a number of gospel tunes, including the Fanny Crosby hymn, "Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior," a song he once recorded with the Jordanaires, a group well known for backing Elvis Presley.
"Well this is quite a journey I've been on," Shiner said joyfully. For those in attendance it truly was a delight to travel that journey along with him.
Merv Shiner At Pinellas Performing Arts Center
Sept. 30th 2011 During Island Bill Haughey's Sunlust CD Release Concert, special guest appearance by Music Legend, Merv Shiner, performing his original holiday classic "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" along with "One Day at a Time". Merv Shiner is a true treasure, both as an artist and a human being. Merv is "TRUE LEGEND" in every way. Merv continues to inspire and bless us with his music. Check it out!
Please make sure to check out Merv Shiner in concert (An Autobiography) at the First Reformed Church in Tampa, FLorida. Merv Shiner in concert, personal life, family and his musical career. Merv Shiner is a very interesting and a wonderful man. See Merv Shiner In Concert!
Merv Shiner Bringing His "Hillbilly Sound
Home To Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
October 05, 1984 by David M. Erdman, The Morning Call