Friday, April 20, 2012

What A Privileged and Great Day I Had Last Saturday

 April 14, 2012, I attended 

Savannah River Productions presented the World Premiere of the new musical by award winning
songwriter, Becky Hobbs and co-playwright, Nick Sweet, based on the life of Becky's 5th-great
grandmother, Nancy Ward. “NANYEHI” is a two-act musical with 17 songs. There will be six
performances of the initial production Additional information about the musical can be found on the website 

The Play Bill  

Nanyehi means "she who walks among the spirit people." Nanyehi was born into the Wolf Clan, one of the most prominent of the seven Cherokee clans. She was born in Chota, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, in an area that is now eastern Tennessee. She accompanied her husband, Kingfisher, to war against the Creek Indians in the 1755 Battle of Taliwa. As she knelt by his side, chewing the bullets to make them more deadly, Kingfisher was killed. Nanyehi took his rifle and led the Cherokee to victory. She was honored as a "war woman" and was given the right to sit on the War Council, and deemed the leader of the Women’s Council. She was also granted a power not even given to the Chiefs. She could determine the fate of captives, whether they are killed, enslaved, released, or adopted into the tribe.

Nanyehi then used her powerful position of War Woman to promote peace between the Cherokee and the white settlers, the British, the French, and other tribes. After years of leading her people, tending to the wounded and caring for the many orphans, she was elevated to the highest position a woman could have, that of “Ghigau,” or “Beloved Woman.” She was given a shawl of white swan feathers, which remained a symbol of her authority the rest of her life. Her second husband was Bryant Ward, a trader in Cherokee country of Irish descent. She became known as “Nancy Ward” to the American settlers. She played one of the most important roles in American history.

The play was wonderfully moving and incredibly powerful with one great song after another. After the play in talking with the cast, one of them mentioned to me they could see from the stage many members of the audience crying. I know I was. The play and Nancy Ward carries the message of how much we need PEACE. It is still so appropriate 250 years later.

Becky Hobbs, Songwiter and Playwright of Nanyehi
As a Child

Ever since I was a young girl growing up in Bartlesville, OK, I dreamed that one day I could pay tribute to my 5th-great grandmother, Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee. After many years of writing songs, recording albums, and performing all over the world, that day has come! I have written 17 songs, and have co-written the script with Nick Sweet, for a musical based on her life. At long last, Nancy Ward’s voice will be heard!

Becky's Bio

Whiskey-voiced Becky Hobbs is one-of-a-kind. She is a gifted songwriter, as well as a captivating entertainer. On stage, she plays some rockin’ keys, yet she can rope you in like an Oklahoma cowgirl with her from-the-heart ballads.

Becky has performed in over 40 countries, including nine in Africa. Her songs have been recorded by Alabama, Conway Twitty ("I Want To Know You Before We Make Love" went to #1), George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Glen Campbell, Wanda Jackson, John Anderson, Janie Fricke, Lacy J Dalton, Moe Bandy, Shelly West, Helen Reddy, Shirley Bassey, Jane Oliver, Ken Mellons, and others. She is the co-writer of Alabama’s hit, “Angels Among Us,” which has been used by many charities throughout the world, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
"The Beckaroo," as she is called by her friends, was born and raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She is a citizen of the great Cherokee Nation. She started playing piano and writing songs when she was nine years old and formed her own all-girl rock band in high school, which has since been documented as the first all-female rock band in the state of Oklahoma. She spent 2 years in Baton Rouge, LA playing in southern rock band, “Swampfox,” before her dreams took her to Los Angeles, where she lived for 9 years. During the “Urban Cowboy” craze, Becky started writing songs for Al Gallico Music. Thanks to Al, Becky got her first major deal with Mercury Records, and had chart success with “I Can’t Say Goodbye To You,” “Honky Tonk Saturday Night,“ and others.
In 1981, Becky headed for Nashville, and shortly thereafter recorded a Top 10 duet with Moe Bandy, "Let's Get Over Them Together." In 1988, her critically acclaimed All Keyed Up album (MTM, then BMG), brought us "Jones On The Jukebox," "Are There Any More Like You," and "Do You Feel The Same Way Too." In 1988, Becky's co-written song "You Are" (recorded by Glen Campbell & Emmylou Harris) was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Country & Western Vocal Performance -Duet category. In the early 90's, Becky's "Talk Back Tremblin' Lips" video (Curb Records) went to #6 on CMT. In 1994, she released The Boots I Came to Town In album (Intersound), which included the haunting "Pale Moon," "Mama's Green Eyes (And Daddy's Wild Hair)" and Becky's own version of "Angels Among Us." Becky was named Cashbox Magazine's Independent Country Music Female Artist of the Year for 1994.
In 1996, Becky married guitarist/ producer/songwriter Duane Sciacqua. Duane played guitar with Glenn Frey for 14 years, and also played with Paul McCartney and Joe Walsh, among others. He produced Becky’s 1998’s From Oklahoma With Love, which got a rave review in PEOPLE Magazine. Swedish Coffee & American Sugar was released by popular demand in Scandinavia in 2000, and in 2004, Becky released Songs From the Road of Life (also produced by Duane). Best of the Beckaroo-Part 1 was released in 2005. It contains 21 of Becky’s most popular recordings.

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