Ocala, FL, USA. October 17, 2006
My reason for writing is that I have never received an acknowledgement for the letter I sent to the president requesting some form of honor for Bob. I am going to forward a copy of the letter to you and Calin for you to review and decide if you would like to post it on the website. Maybe if others see it they will help "take-up" the cause to get this great man a reward, I believe he is long overdue.
July 24, 2006
Mr. George W. Bush
President, United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
This letter is being sent to you in the form of an inquiry and also a request. I know from time to time the president honors ordinary people for various types of outstanding achievements in their lifetime. I do not know what kind of awards, proclamations, etc., might be available but I will follow with my request and hope you can recognize this individual in some way.
I am trying to see if there is a way to recognize Bob Nolan, songwriter, singer and one of the founding members of The Sons of The Pioneers singing group. Mr. Nolan has been recognized many times by various peer groups and music oriented groups (Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame) to name a few. There is also an extensive collection of Bob Nolan manuscripts, biographical, & personal information in the Elizabeth Drake McDonald Collection in the Wilson library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
One only has to listen to the songs and music that Bob Nolan wrote and sang to realize this man had a very unique way of expressing himself. His visions of the land, desert, mountains, water, life and how he saw the "hand of God" through the eyes of the animals, birds and creatures that inhabited the land. He chose to express those beliefs in the western music he wrote and sang. For more than twenty years he provided us with not only a form of entertainment but a real way of looking at America and itís beauty that we all sometimes take for granted. He left a legacy of beautiful music and words behind for anyone to listen to. Even today with the trouble we face in the world this manís music has a message for anyone caring to listen.
Most all of his work was done in the Ď30s,í40s, & Ď50s. Bob Nolan died in 1980, one year after recording his final album. I am undoubtedly a fan of his music. I believe that for his vision, genius and unique way of looking at life and God plus the way he found to express it are worthy of recognition beyond what he has received.
Bob Nolan was born in Canada and lived there for 12 years of his life but his forebears came to what is now the United States with the Puritans. Because they lived for 150 years on Long Island and chose the wrong side of the War of Independence to support, they lost their home and belongings and were forced to move to New Brunswick, Canada. However, Bob's father, Harry B. Nolan, crossed the border joined the US Army in 1917 and stayed for the duration of World War I. After he was demobilized, he settled in Tucson where he raised his two sons. They were naturalized American citizens.
Bob's brother was Earl Nolan, a much-decorated US Marine hero on the Pacific front of World War II. Bob himself was too old to be conscripted although he was prepared to go to war if called. He lived out his life in California, in the country he loved.
When he moved to Tucson as a thirteen-year-old boy, he fell in love with the desert and most of his music is based on that love. He introduced a new style and sound called "western music" and many singers and songwriters paid him the ultimate compliment of copying him. Today, although western music is seldom heard, nearly everyone living in the US still recognizes the sounds of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and "Cool Water".
In closing let me say that, as an American born in Texas, you would have a deeper appreciation of this sort of communication through the western style music and as the president for all the people hopefully have a feeling for a long past recognition for a true American, Bob Nolan.
William E. Marquet
721 SW 78th Terrace
Ocala, Florida 34474