Linton kicks off annual Coon Rapids winter concert series

Sherwin Linton, Coon Rapids resident and country music legend, will kick off the Coon Rapids Arts Commission’s 2013 dessert and coffee concert series next week.

Sherwin Linton
Sherwin Linton

Linton will perform in the first of the annual four-concert series at the Coon Rapids Civic Center Thursday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m.

A performer for well over 50 years, Linton learned to accompany his singing while chording on the piano and guitar as a child and at 16, he had his own radio show on KWAT Radio in Watertown, S.D.

Linton and his band The Rocketeers were soon in demand all over eastern South Dakota.

Moving to Minneapolis in 1957, he formed The Fender Benders which became a very popular ballroom and nightclub act from Minnesota to the west coast in the early to mid-1960s.

Having had several rock-a-billy records successfully released in the midwest, Linton went to Nashville, Tenn., in 1966 where he cut “Cotton King,” a song that took him to the top of the country music charts, according to his website.

Linton was later signed to a long-term management, recording and songwriting contract and appeared on numerous TV shows while performing from coast to coast.

Nominated for Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1972 and 1973, he was also nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Best Male Vocalist by Music City News, the Academy of Country Music and several other organizations and trade publications.

In 1975, Linton’s record “When She Cries” won an award for Single of the Year and in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, Linton’s show played everywhere from the Grand Ole’ Opry to the Las Vegas strip, as well as hundreds of state and county fairs from Canada to Texas.

According to his website, in 1986, Linton wrote and recorded a major Christmas hit “Santa Got A DWI,” a novelty song with an anti-drunk driving theme that has now become a perennial Christmas favorite.

In recent years Linton has been inducted into the South Dakota Musicians Hall of Fame, the National Traditional Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.

Dates and performers for the remaining 2013 concerts are:

• Thursday, Feb. 14, Brandon Young, variety.

• Thursday, March 14, CODA, jazz.

• Thursday, April 11, Minneapolis Commodores, barbershop harmony.

In addition to the music, each evening will feature an exhibit by a local artist.

A dessert and beverage will be served.

Admission, which includes the dessert and beverage, is $7 for adults and $5 for adults age 65 and over and children age 12 and under.

There is a $4 discount when tickets are purchased for all four concerts.

Call 763-767-6432 for more information and advance ticket sales.

The Coon Rapids Civic Center is at 11155 Robinson Drive N.W.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]