News Column

Fair Square alive with the sound of music

August 8, 2014

By Alex Smith, Austin Daily Herald, Minn.

Aug. 08--Fair-goers got into the groove at Fair Square Thursday afternoon with performances from Dunnell Lennort and Richie Lee and the Fabulous Fifties.

From 3 to 4 p.m., Lennort performed covers of country tunes.

"I was brought up with the older classic [country] music," he said.

Lennort, a Wells, Minnesota, native, found a love for music early on in life despite difficulties during infancy. As an 8-month-old, Dunnell developed a high fever and a blood vessel broke in his head. Strokes were unheard of for children at the time, so it was classified as cerebral palsy. Despite the hardships early in life, Lennort still pursued his passion -- music.

"I enjoy what I do and I'll continue as the Lord gives me a voice," Lennort said.

Some of his influences include Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash. Lennort, a huge fan of Cash, was able to meet him and even owns a pair of his harmonicas.

He has performed since 1981 and has become a familiar face on stage at the fair in recent years.

"I'll come back to the fair as long as [the fair board] wants me," Lennort said.

Fans in the audience were pleased with the performance.

"I love Dunnell; he's my favorite," one fan raved after the show.

After a short delay, Richie Lee and the Fabulous Fifties performed at 4 p.m. and got the crowd moving.

"Are you ready for some great music? Are you ready to get up and dance? Richie's music will make you want to get up and move," the announcer said as he introduced the band.

The four-member group performed hits from Bobby Lewis, Eddie Cochran, and, of course, Buddy Holly.

"It's good to be back at the Mower County Fair," Lee said during the performance.

Many toes tapped along to the music, and some audience members decided to dance throughout the set.

Both Lennort and Lee performed again later in the day.


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Source: Austin Daily Herald (MN)

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