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Now, here’s something that doesn’t happen to everyone. In 1958, I wrote a song titled ‘Julianne.’ It was crafted like an ancient folk ballad, and people liked it right away. I’d made-up the story, and also the title, as I didn’t know anybody named Julianne. It was simply a folksy name that seemed to fit my tale.

Twenty and thirty years down the road, I began meeting young women named Julianne, and they all seemed to have a need to credit me for their mothers’ choice of names. My music, it seems, had touched people, real people, and though its not quite the equivalent of solving problems in physics, I was beginning to feel a wee bit more important. When we worked Preacher Ron’s Cabin-In-The-Woods near Wauseon, Ohio last November, we met one of these Juliannes at the autograph table after our concert, and she magically showed-up for the jam session at Dr. Ron’s house in Toledo a day later. She’d brought along her guitar, and that was amazing. I had never before met a Julianne who could play and sing so well. When we performed in Burl Ives’ hometown of Newton, IL on Burl’s 109th birthday, our special Julianne was there, and she asked if she could join us onstage. By now, she’d learned and rehearsed most of the songs we’d sung and played at Wauseon. Wow! Her sister and mother were there also, and that was another first for me. I’d met perhaps a dozen of these Juliannes over the years, but never had I met any of the mothers who’d made use of the name I’d contributed. I was able to tell this story, and also introduce the lovely older lady who’d honored my creativity. The audience appreciated the moment. Julianne then told one and all that she’d been shocked to learn that her name was gleaned from such a sad song, and she’d asked her mother why. “I liked the song and the name,” came the answer; “I didn’t listen so much to the words.”


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