Say the name Sherwin Linton and more than a few ears of country music fans will perk up in Stevens County.
The country and classic rock and roll singer has been performing in the Morris area and at the Stevens County Fair for many years. Linton, his wife Pam, and members of the Cotton Kings returned this year for three shows on Sunday, Aug. 12, at the fair.
"I used to dance to him in Morris," fan John W. Fuchs said. "My wife and I were married in 1963. He was here before that."
Fuchs has listened to Linton sing and play guitar for years in Minnesota but Linton also performs near Mission, or Palmview, Texas, during the winter.
During one of Linton's visits to Texas, Fuchs was talking to him about playing at the Stevens County Fair. Linton said he had yet been contacted by the fair. Fuchs picked up the phone and called fair board member Dave Lonergan and asked why Linton hadn't been booked. "Sherwin was standing right alongside me," Fuchs said.
Linton acknowledged his long-term relationship with Morris and the fair when his first Sunday show started. Linton promised the fans some country classics in the first show, classic rock and roll from the 1950s in the second show and lots of Johnny Cash songs in the third show.
"Ever since I can remember he's been here," said fan Laurie Dornquast of Morris.
Connie Wohlers of Morris also spends winters in Mission, or Palmview, Texas. She's known Linton for many years. Her deceased husband Mel was also a big fan, she said.
Wohlers said she first heard Linton at the "Four Seasons in Morris. It was a nightclub that's no longer there," she said.
One year when Linton was playing in the area, Mel saw Linton and some of his band members playing basketball and invited the to play at the local National Guard Armory. The two men became friends. The friendship developed so strongly that some of Linton's children would stay with her family while Linton was traveling, Wohlers said.
"I grew up with Sherwin... and all," Wohlers' daughter Diane Gregg said. Those were fun times, Gregg said.
Linton seemed to provide plenty of fun to the crowd at his first concert as he played some country classics from the early 1940s to start the concert. Audience members clapped and even sang along as the concert continued.