Southeast Missouri State University Press

Dreamers: Entertainers from Small Town to Big Time

Jerry Ford

Publication: February 2012
Pages: 300

Did you know that actor Carol Burnett has a connection to Southeast Missouri? So do the band TOTO, Frank Sinatra, and Kris Kristofferson!

In Dreamers, author Jerry Ford has pulled together the stories of grit and glory from entertainers he’s known who made it to the Big Time, even though they started from small Southeast Missouri towns. But they were all dreamers.

In Dreamers, you’ll read about Sue Vogelsanger, who saw her original song performed live on The Carol Burnett Show. Billy Swan wrote top-of-the-charts hits and performed with Kris Kristofferson for over 25 years. Steve Hornbeak performed with Faith Hill and Lee Greenwood, as well as with other entertainers like Kenny Loggins and Eddie Rabbitt. Jerry McNeely received a Golden Globe Award for his scriptwriting. Tommy Chambers recorded with Frank Sinatra and collaborated on songwriting with Fred Astaire. And there’s much, much more.

Join Jerry for an eye-opening account of some of the many stars who started far from the glitter of Los Angeles or New York, yet found their way into important roles in the history of American music and entertainment. Come meet the Dreamers.

“No one is more qualified than Jerry Ford to uncover entertainers of various genres from our area of the south central Midwest. The comments, quotes, and photos chronicled by Ford enhance these exciting and entertaining stories that propelled many from riverboats and local nightclubs to opera houses, concert venues, recordings, and TV shows around the world.” Leland J. “Freck” Shivelbine

“Our fellow Americans who possess musical talents have the same patriotic blood flowing through their veins as do those not so talented. When our country calls, they are among the first to answer the call and have been doing so since our Continental Army was first established prior to the Revolutionary War. This often proved quite helpful in advancing their careers upon leaving the services. I thank them for that service and sincerely hope the performers enjoyed those occasions as much as their audiences did.” General Seth J. McKee, USAF Retired

Jerry Ford has served as a funeral director, big-band musician, member of the Missouri Legislature, and on the campaign trail for Missouri’s 8th Congressional District seat. Ford is also the author of The Gordonville Grove: Stories of Tombstones, Tambourines, and Tammany Hall.

Paperback, 7x10, $22.00
ISBN: 978-0-9830504-2-1