October 19th, 2020

The Pioneers album: “By Request”

When family from Oak Harbor acquired a turntable, they also scored on a collection of record albums from grandma. Among them was this one: “By Request,” recorded by The Pioneers. The album cover features band members posed at the iconic tree at the top of the Loop Road in Washington Park. The photo was taken by Vallentyne Photography of Anacortes. After a Facebook post, I learned more details about the band from longtime friend Arnie Deckwa of Whidbey Island. Arnie reported that band member Andy Stevens still lives in Anacortes. Bandmate Johnny Galvin lives in Florida, Bob Taylor possibly in Memphis. Drummer was Jeanne Anderson. The album was produced by Fathom Records, with some originals and a cover of Johnny Cash tunes including the Folsom Prison Blues. Other tunes include “Lock Stock and Teardrops,” “I Tell Myself a Lie” and “A Secret Meeting Place.” A narrative on the back side of the album states: “The songs inside were not picked as their best effort but because they reflect the overall versatility of the group.”

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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