About Harvey Derrick
Chapel on the Prairie
There's a chapel on the prairie..
Where the cowhand's soul is fed
Its ceiling is the highest cloud..
Its floor the river bed
Its walls are the broad horizon..
Where the new day's given birth
Where the sun ends its day..
At the crest of god's great earth
In the chapel on the prairie..
The pews are made of leather
And the service never stops..
Come sunshine or bad weather
The doors are always open..
Seven days of the week
The altar reaches from pasture..
To the snowy mountain peak
A cowhand's in the chapel..
As he rides across the land
God's presence it surrounds him..
While he rides for the brand
No preacher is needed..
No choir to sing a song
In the chapel on the prairie..
As the cowhand rides along
© 1987, Harvey Derrick
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Harry told us about his inspiration for this poem: I use to work every weekend and never had a Saturday or Sunday off for many years. Every now and then someone would ask me what church I went to. I would tell them I worked every Sunday and could not attend Sunday Services. Sometimes I would get a strange look from them and sometimes they would say, "Oh, you should attend church instead of working." One time when something like the above statement was said to me I started thinking about when I lived on a ranch and the cowhands that would have to go round up strays and had to go out to check and fix fences for weeks at a time. And my answer
was "This whole world is God's Church and he lets me attend every day. Each day when my eyes open and I see the new sun rising I know the service is starting and I'm lucky God has let me share his church one more day." So one day I thought even though a cowhand's work is hard and long they are much more fortunate to be able to worship their maker while enjoying ALL the Greatness He created and I wrote the poem. And to this day, since I still work weekends, I use a version of this answer when I am asked about attending church.
About Harvey Derrick:
Harvey Derrick lived and worked most of his younger years on a ranch. He is a soft spoken, easy going Oklahoman who's performance, whether in the church or the football field or on the stage, has gained the admiration, respect, and love of friends, fans and fellow veterans. Born September 23rd in Pawhuska, OK, he was an all-star athlete. But, he joined the U.S. Army when he graduated from high school. During his twenty-one years (ten Active Duty) of military service, he has served in special services, logistics,
administration, and was a member of the United States Army Europe Honor Guard.
After the army, he received a football scholarship at Missouri Southern State College, in Joplin Mo., and became the most prolific scorer in that school's history. He still holds most of the kicking records at MSSC,
including the longest field goal, 57 yards. He was voted Most Valuable Player his sophomore year, and was high in the running for the All-American Team his junior year. He was inducted in the College's Football Hall of Fame in 1994. Hampered by a leg injury his senior year, he decided to go back to Oklahoma after receiving his bachelor's degree and start working on his songwriting career.
Harvey sang in churches all over Oklahoma as a child and was an End-Man, "Mister Bones," in a Minstrel Show for almost two years. He won first place in his high school talent show, his senior year, singing two of his original compositions. He has performed at state fairs, clubs, show cases, restaurants, concerts, and many charity events from coast to coast, and appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, as well as live radio and television
shows. He produced and hosted a thirty minute country music show that aired on local Oklahoma City television fifteen times in 1985, which was picked up by a satellite company and aired throughout the world.
Harvey was the president of the SONGWRITERS OF OKLAHOMA, with nine consecutive terms in that position, a member of the MIDWESTERN COUNTRY ENTERTAINER'S ASSN., and is the owner of Gusher Records and Furrow Music (BMI).
Harvey recorded his first record in 1983, and his first album in 1984, Dreams On The Line, which contained his nationally acclaimed patriotic song "Butterfield's Taps" that was the number one most requested song on KEBC
Radio, Oklahoma City in 1985. He has had thirty-nine of his original songs published and recorded. In May of 1987,his Dreams On The Line album was released in England by an English Record label and reached number #9 on their charts. In1992 he recorded and released a limited edition of Cowboy recitation songs he co-wrote entitled Tales Of The Western Trail, which was placed in the archives of the Dickinson Research Center of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (Formerly the National Cowboy Hall of Fame). He wrote the lyrics to the theme song of the "Oklahoma Country Music Association." He also wrote a song for the "ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART" that was adopted by that association and a song that was adopted as the anthem for the "Procrastinators Of America."
Harvey was a regular on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons for five and a half years at the famous Blue Belle Saloon in Guthrie, OK and was co-host of the KOKC Jamboree, a live radio music show for 4 years KOKC Radio in Guthrie, OK. He was the MC of the Back Porch Jamboree in Kingfisher, OK for three years. He is a regular performer at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering held at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. He performed two seasons in Branson, Mo. with his "Almost Together" trio. He has been an instructor at Moore Norman VoTech, teaching Creative Song Lyrics. He narrates children's cowboy books for Pelican Publishing Company out of Gretna, LA.
Music has always been a part of Harvey's life. Even though he did not learn to play a guitar until he was a junior in high school, he spent many hours listening to his uncles and grandmother playing music and singing. Those down home, simple and wholesome roots, as well as his patriotic loyalty have remained deep in his heart and mind and now come out in many of the lyrics he writes in songs. His single, "Lets Not Forget Our Veterans", is an example of his touching lyrics, that chills the spine and brings tears to the eyes of every red-blooded American who hears it. He has been working for fifteen years on an album of Patriotic songs, or stories he calls them, which include some of our country's little known or forgotten heroes, places, and events.
Though he has a voice that is said to be a mixture of such greats as Jim Reeves, Marty Robins, and Johnny Horton, with a style of his own, his ambition is to be a successful song writer so he can help young talented
artists and writers, as a promoter, producer, and publisher in the music industry. One of his greatest pleasures would be to write a song that launched some young unknown artist to stardom.
Harvey records, in the U.S.A., on the Gusher Record Label and makes guest appearances at private parties, opries, clubs, showcases, jubilees, on radio and television shows, and charitable and patriotic events. His latest CD can be reviewed at: www.cdbaby.com/harveyd.
Harvey can be contacted at P.O Box 4121, Edmond, OK 73083-4121 or email@example.com.
Harvey is once again performing at the Blue Belle Saloon, Guthrie, Oklahoma. In his 8th year there, performing your favorite, country, cowboy, folk and traditional songs from 1pm-4pm every Saturday.
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