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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Christiansen rolls back to Nashville on a Tumbleweed

  • Nebraska City’s famous country music entertainer Bunky Christiansen is setting his sights on Nashville once again. The 1966 graduate of Nebraska City High School is featured on the Shotgun Red Variety Show playing his new song...
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  • The star of Nebraska City’s famous country music entertainer Bunky Christiansen is rising once again in Nashville.
    The 1966 graduate of Nebraska City High School is featured on the Shotgun Red Variety Show playing his new song “The Battle of the Tumbleweed” in episodes airing on RFD-TV May 7, 8 and 13.
    Christiansen says his musical career started as a 10-year-old boy striking a few notes at Nebraska City.
    He joined the service after high school, but returned to the music after “bad things happened in Vietnam,” he said.
    He had two “chart songs” in the 1970s, Tears on My Pillow and Armchair Football Superstar, and felt his career was on its way when he met his friend Larry Hart.
    He was traveling with Hart, who had been booking for the Loretta Lynn family, to re-record the Nebraska football tribute “Ode to the Big Red” in 1983.
    Their car was struck by a drunk driver, killing Hart and leaving Christiansen with a prognosis that he would rely on an oxygen machine the rest of his life.
    The accident ended his 15-year Nashville career.
    Now, at the age of 62, the versatile musician hopes his refined “one-man band” will catch the attention of record companies.
    He plays the guitar, banjo, keyboard, fiddle and harmonica, as well as singing and controlling bass chords with foot pedals.
    The turning point for Christiansen, he said, was the decision to winter in Arizona.
    The milder climate allowed him to trade the oxygen tanks for an inhaler and finally he had healed enough to return to action.
    Christiansen played at Recreational Vehicle parks and soon began a regular the Arizona venues like the Gallopin’ Goose and Duffer’s Restaurant.
    One evening playing at the Tumbleweed Inn inspired his new song.
    He said the evening began with  a culturally mixed crowd of all ages and races mingled with recreational vehicle travelers. Soon, he said, some cowboys joined in, and later there came 100 bikers.
     He sat down the next morning and wrote the song about roisterous good time.
    The song was included on a recent CD, but Christiansen said the CD lacked the quality needed in Nashville.
    I wanted to see “if I could rattle any cages with the one-man show,” he said.
    He recruited the talents of Noel Kirkland of De-No Music in Casa Grande, who played piano and banjo several years with Glen Campbell.
    He is also working with  Marty Haggard, the oldest son of country music star Merle Haggard.
    Page 2 of 2 - Christiansen is enjoying his music again.
    He said it felt like he was back when he was invited recently to play at the Country Thunder festival in Florence, Ariz.
    It reminded him of a his youth, when he played for the Loretta Lynn benefit in Louisville, Ken., for an audience in excess of 21,000.
    The Shotgun Red Variety Show can be seen on RFD-TV on Direct TV and Dish Network.

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