Fred Cray, who likes to jam with other musicians in Quartzite, Arizona during the winter months got to thinking that there were plenty of musicians in Alturas, where he and his wife live most of the year. Making a list of musically talented people, he contacted them and there was enough interest to get a country music jam started in this small northeastern California town. Fred, a disabled American Veteran, contacted the local Veterans office and made them an offer. If they could have a music jam that was open to the public on a donation only basis, the jammers would donate the money collected to help maintain the huge American flag that flies above Main Street. Fred's offer was accepted. He then talked Ron McIntyre into being the emcee and Dick Klassen into helping. That was 12 years ago and they've been making music every Monday night since.
Like a little country music? There's live music every Monday night from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Country Jam held at the Veteran's Memorial Hall at 500 South Main St. in Alturas.
Want to sing with a gal who grew up singing with the Sons of the Pioneers and Gene Autry? Old time country music and just good old fashioned yodeling are this 90 year old woman's forte. You might hear a story or two about the good old days too.
Or perhaps your favorite is the gravelly voice of Johnny Cash? One of the founders of this Country Jam can sing almost identically to the legend. If you prefer rock and roll, our own Wild Bill can roll with the best of them. Larry has the blue grass style down pat. These are just a few of the local characters who appear weekly at the Country Jam. Anyone can play or sing any style.
Children are welcome too so bring your guitar, mandolin, spoons, harmonica or just about anything else and join in the Country Jam. For the less brave just sitting in the audience, singing and clapping with the music gets the performers in the act. This down home music has been delighting listeners every Monday night in Alturas since April 1999.
At the break time, you can chat with the local musicians while enjoying some snacks.