Performer Jeff Davidson, a native of Florence, is experiencing increasing popularity this year as the state celebrates its 150th birthday. His programs are a unique blend of songs, history, and pictures that portray the development of the West.
This year his performances focus on Kansas as the 34th state of the Union. He uses a combination of classic western and folk tunes along with his own compositions to highlight the significant historical events that led Kansas into statehood. He also performs as a member of the Trail Rider Band, a trio that includes Tony and Travis Cassity.
Perhaps the highlight of his banner year will be performing Saturday at Century II in Wichita during the Kansas 150th Celebration.
The 60-year-old guitarist and vocalist began his musical career as an entertainer with his father, Raymond, around campfires conducted during excursions with the Flint Hills Overland Wagon Train. He did this for 25 years and has since performed at numerous places throughout the state.
His more recent performances were at Burdick during the Labor Day weekend and Sept. 26 at Burns for a group from New Zealand. He performed at the Kansas State Fair Sept. 15 and at the Farm Heritage Celebration in Parsons this past weekend.
He participated in a portion of the Kansas 150th Anniversary Cattle Drive from Caldwell to Ellsworth, Sept. 5 through24, providing evening entertainment.
He will re-enact a circuit-riding preacher Oct. 15 at Bartlett and will perform Oct. 22 at Walters’ Pumpkin Patch north of El Dorado.
Davidson has produced three CDs and is in the process of creating a fourth in honor of the state’s sesquicentennial. He said he enjoys presenting the history of Kansas in an entertaining way.
Davidson and his wife, Kelley, live in Eureka, where he serves as the Kansas State University Research and Extension agricultural agent in Greenwood County. His parents, Raymond and Eleanor Davidson, live in Florence.