Some notes on Byron Biggers Band

Hi everyone,

Today’s a travel day. I’ll finish up the month at home with fun activities on the 28th, 29th, and 30th. One of them is a meeting with the other members of BYRON BIGGERS BAND. That would be CHRIS CRAIG (arranger, lead singer, guitar) and GALE CLITHERO (percussion, second singer, math teacher). We haven’t played anywhere in quite some time and decided we need to get together for a rehearsal and then arrange to make a recording for posterity. I think I told you that we were recorded once before, in the studios of KSMU I think. We each received one CD, and each of us lost his. I hope to take better care of mine this time.

Byron Biggers Band is named for one of my poems. Here’s the poem.

Our entire repertoire is comprised of my poems, each of which has been arranged by Chris. I believe there are ten of them. If we were to play a full concert, we’d have to keep playing the same ten songs over and over. Which may explain why we get so few invitations.

A Sad Tale
Nothing frightened Bryon Biggers,
Not even lions, not even tiggers,
He spent his life exploring this land,
Knew these hills like the back of his hand.

Striding down the path he came
Always looking for bigger game
But in the end he met his match
In a lowly Ozarks chigger patch.

Byron laughed, “Ha ha!” cried he,
“No bug could be the death of me!”
But halfway through that patch of chiggers
And it was over for Byron Biggers.

He clawed those bites till his dying breath,
Sighing, “I’ve scratched myself to death.
Someday they’ll find me here alone
With chiggers gnawing on my bones.”

He died the way he lived – brave,
And few have seen poor Byron’s grave.
He’s buried high on a lonely hill
Where to this day he itches still.

Here lie the bones of Byron Biggers,
Eaten alive by hungry chiggers,
So if you see poor Byron twitch,
Scratch his bones ‘cause they still itch.

(c) 1998 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

Byron Biggers Band

Hi everyone,

I don’t remember the year, but I was giving a talk at a Barnes & Noble and my friend, CHRIS CRAIG, was there with his guitar to sing a few songs after I finished. We talked afterward and Chris said it would be fun to arrange some of my poems to music. I agreed and he did. He added another professional musician, GALE CLITHERO on percussion, and we formed a trio called Byron Biggers Band. I pulled some poems from various books and Chris got busy. We all had day jobs, mine as president of Glenstone Block Company, Gale as a math instructor at Ozark Community Technical College (OTC), and Chris as Deputy Provost at Missouri State University in Springfield. I just looked at Chris’s MSU site and found this under his special interests:

Byron Biggers Band performing at The Library Center, Springfield, Missouri

Dr. Craig is a singer-songwriter and performs high energy acoustic rock & roll regularly with his band called Hendrix and Craig.  Dr. Craig is a published song writer and continues to write music for a variety of entertainers, including his close friend David Harrison, renowned children’s author and lead singer of the Bryon Biggers Band.”

On my Facebook page this morning at I posted a snippet from one of our performances. I hope it works.   

I had a fine time

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all who attended last night’s David Harrison event at The Library Center. I think Don Barrett and his daughter Carina Hurt Blair traveled the farthest, making a roundtrip from Camdenton, Missouri. It was a pleasure to once again join with Chris Craig and Gale Clithero as Bryon Biggers Band. Sarah Wiggin led a splendid RAE troop including Jeff Jenkins, Melissa Herr, and Colton Williams in performing many poems and stories from my work. I sat in the audience and cackled the same as I always do when they carry on. My favorite number is when they impersonate cows during a skit based on WHEN COWS COME HOME. I’ll show you some pictures if anyone shares what they took.

We had a nice turnout and somehow managed to stay on schedule. Sandy and I both had cousins there as well as many old friends. It was a good way to spend an hour and a half on a Thursday evening in July. Thanks to Kathleen O’Dell for facilitating the event and sticking with us all evening to see that everything went well. I do love The Library Center.

Coming up in July

Hi everyone,
David publicity photo
July promises to be a good month. I’ll celebrate the 4th with Jeff and Jennifer Harrison plus Robin and grandson Kris Williams; Sandy and my friend Larry Wakefield have birthdays; I’ll be presenting and reading poetry at International Literacy Association (which meets in Missouri for the first time); our friends Mary Jo and Hank Fresch will be our guests for a few days; Laura Robb and I have a dinner date when she comes to Springfield; and I’m having a David Harrison event at The Library Center on South Campbell.

The Harrison evening will be held from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23 and I hope those of you who live in the area can come to it. I’m dividing it into three segments of roughly thirty minutes each. I’ll do some reading and talking for one of them. The Byron Biggers Band will perform for a second part and the third will feature members of RAE (Resident Artist Ensemble) performing my work.

For those of you unfamiliar with Byron Biggers Band, it’s comprised of Dr. Chris Craig, Associate Provost for Missouri State University on guitar and lead vocal; Gale Clithero, mathematics teacher, on percussion and vocals; and me. I sort of perform, sort of sing. We came together several years ago and usually perform a couple of times a year. We made a CD once but lost it. What we perform are my poems that Chris has set to music. We do have a fine time.

RAE is a group of extremely gifted equity actors that has performed my stories and poems on several occasions and audiences adore them. At this time we know that Sarah Wiggin and Michael Frizzel (both with numerous stage credits) will be among the five who will be there. Others will be announced soon. Every time I hear my words brought to life by these professional actors, I simply cannot stop smiling. You haven’t ever heard WHEN COWS COME HOME until you’ve heard from them.

There you have it. Please come if you can. We’ll have a lot of fun and The Library Center is a wonderful place for such an event. Tell friends of all ages about it. It will definitely be kid friendly, no matter how old a kid you happen to be.


Planning An Evening with David Harrison and Friends for July

Hi everyone,

I’ve working with Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director, Springfield-Greene County Library District, to plan An Evening with David Harrison and Friends, 6:00-7:30, July 23 at The Library Center on South Campbell in Springfield.

Plans are not finalized but we’re thinking three roughly 30-minute segments. I’ll take one to read from of my work and provide a few back stories.

A second half hour will feature Byron Biggers Band, the musical group consisting of Chris Craig, Gale Clithero, and me that performs musical versions of my poetry. We’ve made occasional appearances around town for several years including a couple of times on KSMU public radio. The original idea was Chris’s who is, in addition to being Associate Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs at Southwest Missouri State University, a fine musician with a great baritone voice. Gale, the dapper Dan of the group (as well as being a cool math teacher), adds voice and percussion. As for me? Well. I do what I do.

The third half hour will feature a tremendously talented group of equity actors that bill themselves as Resident Artist Ensemble (RAE for short). I don’t know yet the full cast but Sarah Wiggin and Michael Frizell are confirmed and there will be at least three others. What they do is perform selected poems and stories from my work. I’ve had the pleasure of watching them before and I guarantee you they’ll have you laughing the whole time. In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d see my work brought to life in such delightful ways. Everyone loves them.

More about these talented people later. They all have incredible creds and I intend to tell you more about them as we draw closer to the date. Needless to say, I’m excited about the program and hope that we’ll attract an audience of children and adults who want to have a good time celebrating the endless versatility of words and ideas.

July 23
The Library Center
South Campbell
Springfield, Missouri
Be there!