Friday, April 27, 2001

O Rodger, we lift our proud voices to thee

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Television's most famous Kentuckian now has his own theme song.

        After Rodger Bingham made a splash on CBS's Survivor: The Australian Outback, his family wanted to do something to show their pride and appreciation.

        So in true Kentucky style, Mr. Bingham's cousin, self-promoter and politician John Stephenson, wrote a song called “Kentucky Joe.”

        And it goes a little somethin' like this:

        “His name is Rodger Bingham, they call him Kentucky Joe. He hails from Grant County; Crittenden is his home. A-traveling to the Outback ol' Rodger he did go. Surviving in Australia on that national TV show.”


        All of this is sung to the tune of the old Western song “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

        “Rodger is going to be a good example, a good ambassador for Kentucky,” Mr. Stephenson said. “I thought this would be a good time to show our appreciation for what he did while he was there and to highlight Kentucky.”

        With the help of three guitar pickers, Bob Gosnell of Independence, Wayne Snyder of Mount Healthy and Tim Caudill of Taylor Mill, Mr. Stephenson cut the song Thursday night at Jordan Studio in Taylor Mill.

        So will it be a hit?

        “I've heard from radio stations in California, Texas and all the local ones,” Mr. Stephenson said.

        Also on the CD will be a song called “Kentucky County,” which gives a history of the commonwealth. CDs and cassettes will soon be available on the Web site

        Proceeds will go to Special Olympics; Elder Hostel;and the Jimmy Geiman Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in the name of a 16-year-old Northern Kentuckian who was killed in a car accident.


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