Lowell Stone looked over his territory. As the new course manager for Madera Golf and Country Club, he was beginning to make improvements on the course.
As he inspected the greens, tees, fairways and roughs, the lyrics to an old country song danced through his head. He had come a long way from singing in the church choir as a young boy born in Blackwell, Okla., in 1938.
His brother had given him an old guitar and taught him to play three basic chords — C, D and G — and an old country tune, “The Prisoner’s Song,” and its haunting lyrics, “If I had the wings of an angel, over these prison walls I would fly… to my darling.”
At the age of 14, a freshman in high school, Stone was introduced to radio show host Jim Childers of local KWBL. After the producer heard him sing, Stone soon had a 15-minute spot on a morning show called K-County Cowboys...