Awe to star on country TV show

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Bobby Awe, of Fort Dodge, performs in his studio recently.

As a teenager in the 1950s it wasn’t uncommon for Bobby Awe to stay up late on a Saturday night, waiting for his favorite country shows to hit the airwaves.

“Years ago I used to stay up late listening to country music on the radio,” Awe, a longtime country music artist, said. “There was no TV at that time. Parents would go to bed and I would stay up late.”

“I’d still be listening to these country shows out of Arkansas and the Grand Ole Opry out of Nashville, Tennessee, every Saturday night.”

Awe was born in Primghar and lived in Paullina for a short time before his family moved to a farm 4 miles outside of Lu Verne.

He was about five years old at that time.

In 1953, at age 13, Awe got himself a guitar.

“It was the Sears Silvertone, of course,” he said. “That was a big thing back then.”

Soon after, he began performing on a television show.

“The station at that time was KQTV and later went to KVFDTV, and there was a Saturday night show every Saturday that I performed on,” he said.

His parents would drive him to his performances.

Awe graduated from LuVerne High School in 1959 and continued playing.

Fast forward almost 60 years and Awe still loves his traditional country music.

On Oct. 7 he performed in front a live studio audience in Sandstone, Minnesota.

Part of his performance is to be aired on RFD TV at a later date. The channel can be viewed in Fort Dodge.

Performing gives Awe a good feeling.

“I love the country music aspect,” he said. “Country music tells a story about life. It’s just got in my blood and to get up in front of an audience, I feel I can entertain them and in my heart I feel I am doing something that not everyone can do. It gives me a good feeling.”

Awe has lived in Fort Dodge for the past 40 years.

Throughout that time he has played at various local venues.

“I played for the very first Frontier Days up through 41,” he said. “My band was called Bobby Awe and the Country All-Stars.”

His band featured drums, bass guitar, electric lead guitar and steel guitar when other members of the band would sing.

“Mostly the same guys played with me,” he said. “I had the reputation of having the longest running band with the same band members play with me around the Fort Dodge area. For years I played every Friday and Saturday night at different venues around the state.”

Today he plays solo at festivals throughout the Midwest. He has played in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.

His most requested song is Baby Blue, a song Awe said he has been performing since the 1970s.

He has released six CDs, five of which are traditional country. The other is gospel.

In 2013, Awe won an award for his latest CD “Keepin’ it Country.” The Rural Roots Commission chose the CD as its Traditional Country Music CD of the Year.

Oftentimes when Awe performs, he just plays what comes to mind.

“When I go out and perform, I do not have a set list,” he said. “I just perform songs I have done for so many years.”

He said he has always admired Merle Haggard.

“Merle Haggard was probably my hero,” he said. “If I could have spent time with any one person it would have been him. He was a big influence on my country music. The songs he wrote. He wrote many, many songs, and they were all story songs about things going on in life and this nation.”

One of the joys of playing is the people.

“Just playing in the clubs and meeting all the people,” he said. “I met some wonderful, wonderful people over the years that have become very good friends. It has just been an inspiration to get out and meet the people.”

To Awe, the music flows naturally.

“I don’t find anything hard about it,” he said. “I just enjoy doing it. It’s been in my blood for so many years.”