Johnny and the Cadillacs Looking Forward to Playing at Farmers Day
By Kate Smith
When Mr. Curtis Hussey proposed the original Farmers Day Parade, entertainment consisted of 65 clopping horses pulling buggies or hoisting proud riders; each participant hoping for the $2 cash prize, redeemable at local shops.
Now, 56 years later, more than 30,000 attendees amble through Robbins' bewitching, aged streets on Farmers Day weekend. Multiple Best of Show trophies are awarded to horses, mules, buggies and wagons that swagger through the street.
Bands with varying backgrounds, aims and genres will be taking the stage throughout the three days; each one setting their own vintage Carolina mood.
One such band revives the strains of oldies rock, blues and beach music with classics such as "Mustang Sally" and "Johnny B Goode" in a polished way that makes their stomping ground proud. Exhaling the classics is the band Johnny and the Cadillacs, an eight-year-old entourage of friends and family.
Johnny and the Cadillacs will be rocking the Post Office stage at Farmers Day from 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Aug. 6. They'll be sharing the time slot with fellow bands Almost Perfect and the Ross Coppley Band.
The group's name, Johnny and the Cadillacs, is a fitting anachronism on streets that, not long ago, saw only walking boots and wagon wheels.
"The name just kind of fit," says Robert Enloe, Johnny's nephew, the guitarist and vocalist of the band.
The music is reminiscent of a time when classic Cadillacs and Buicks were as common as drive-in movies and Kennedy presidential election posters.
Other band members include Johnny Enloe, the band's head and lead vocalist, known for his charisma and liveliness, and Matt Kuhn and Cecil Monroe. who embellish the prime sound with drums and bass.
Since their amiable beginnings in 2002, Johnny and the Cadillacs has snagged gigs at the Greensboro Coliseum, the Robinson County Fair, Carthage Buggy Festival, the Stoneybrook Steeplechase at Carolina Horse Park, Relay For Life, nightclubs and other varying venues.
Robbins is a soft spot in the heart of Johnny and the Cadillacs, as Johnny and Robert Enloe and Cecil Monroe were all born and raised in the town with deep roots alongside Robbins' castle-like oaks.
"We've played around for the last few years," Robert Enloe says, "but we always look forward to this special event in Robbins."
Johnny and the Cadillacs is prone to making friends with folks, as chums and sprawling families mingle seamlessly in the crowds that gather in homey Robbins.
"Everybody goes to Farmers Day," says Enloe. "You haven't seen people in a year, and then you reunite. It's like Christmas, when you know your family but haven't seen them a while, and you meet again over Christmas dinner."
Many natives of Robbins feel likewise as they anticipate the event that collects locals and first timers together for a few convivial evenings.
"It really is homecoming for us," Enloe says, as he and the band prepare for Robbins, their homestead that invites company in for quintessential music, shared memories and a glass of sweet ice tea.
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