The Rankins were getting ready for their first concert. Raylene was practicing her songs, Jimmy was doing nothing ( like he ever does anything), John Morris and Cookie were fighting over nothing and Heather was trying to find her make - up case.
" Jimmy, have you seen my make - up case?" said Heather and she seen John Morris holding her case, ready to hit Cookie. Then suddenly "JOHN MORRIS RANKIN, DON'T HIT YOUR SISTER WITH THAT BAG!!!" "Oh mom, I was not going to hit her I was going to give the bag to Jimmy" said John Morris Jimmy, trying to play along opened the bag and took out the lipstick and said " Yes, I wear lipstick."
John Morris looked at his brother holding the lipstick, "It's so the crowd can see his lips when he's on stage." Jimmy nodded in agreement. Looking at the lipstick he said, "Indian Summer, my favourite colour!" Jimmy pulled another item out of the bag. "I suppose you wear plum blush as well?" Kaye Rankin said. "Highlites my cheekbones."
In the other room Raylene hit a particularly high note. Jimmy pulled a face, "I wish she came with a volume control." Just then Heather came rushing into the room, "There it is!" she exclaimed, "I've looked everywhere for this." She snatched the make-up case out of Jimmy's hands. "Jimmy," Heather said slowly, "Why do you have my lipstick and blush out?" " I want to be a girl, too." " You idiot" Heather said and just then Jimmy's girlfriend came in and seen Jimmy with the lipstick and blush. She was trying not to luagh.
" She siad " I was to tell you that your on in 5 minutes. As Soon as they heard that they hurried to do last minute things. They all went on stage and began to sing. They started with Roving Gypsy Boy or Moving Pepsi Toy and of course Kaye was about ready to go on the stage and give then all backhands. They were going to introduse them selves when a fight eruped. Jimmy and John Morris were fightng over who can play better.
The sisters stood on stage, open mouthed, as they watched their brothers' petty argument. Kaye stepped up to Jimmy and cuffed him on the shoulder. By this time the audience was laughing and thought it was all part of the show.
"Smarten up!" hissed Kaye and John Morris sent Jimmy a glare and went over and sat down at the piano. Raylene cleared her throat and said, "Well thank you for that delightful interlude Jimmy and John Morris. The next song we'd like to play for you is a traditional piece called Mairi's Wedding!"
They started to sing and Heather was trying to get the audence to sing along, but while walking around on the stage a little girl came up on stage and tripped Heather. " John Morris, do you know how to keep your kids off the stage?" " What do you mean my kids, I don't have any?"
Then he looked at his daughter trying to pretend she did not belong to him. He seen that Molly was coming to him and he had to pick her up and take her to his wife who was backstage. He said " keep her off the stage". He went back on stage and seen Raylene telling what happened before the concert and Jimmy was trying to shut her up.
"So then," Raylene continued, "He gave the make up to Jimmy and Jimmy here pulled out a lipstick!" Jimmy scowled at the audience who were howling with laughter. "What colour was it Jimmy? Indian Summer?" Jimmy nodded, and tried to shut his sister up, "Lovely story Raylene, let's play another song. Shall we do "Loving Arms"?"
Raylene shook her head, "No wait, I'm not finished yet. So then Jimmy picks up a blush and Heather comes into the room. Jimmy says to her, 'I want to be a girl too.' Can you guess who walked into the room at that very moment?"
The audience shook their collective heads, enraptured by Raylene's storytelling. "Well, I'll tell you who!," Raylene took a deep breath and paused dramatically, "Jimmy's girlfriend!"
"Ok, lets sing Loving Arms". They started to sing and did it all right until the last verse when Jimmy forgot the chords. Raylene sang it all the way through (like nothing happened).
When they were done singing. Cookie says " lets go bug John Morris, he has been really quiet. Raylene and Heather agreed and they went up to John Morris.
"John Morris Rankin, you are being far too quiet!" said Cookie, shaking her head with disapproval. John Morris merely shrugged.
Cookie turned to the audience, "Well, what do say folks? Is John Morris being too quiet?"
"Yes!" roared the audience.
"Do you think that John Morris should sing us something?" asked Raylene.
John Morris looked frightened at the prospect of actually singing something, "Raylene," he said, his voice trembling, "You know I don't like to sing. I'll play something on the fiddle though."
The sisters and the audience contemplated that idea for a moment before giving their approval. John Morris picked up his fiddle and went up to the front of the stage. He pushed Jimmy away from his mic and announced that he was going to be playing a tune called "Michael Rankin's Reel"
When he finished the tune, the crowd cheered loudly. Heather went to John Morris and said " Very nice John Morris, but you still have to sing a song".
John Morris looked at Heather and said "What song?"
Heather said to the crowd " What song sould he sing folks?"
The crowd yelled "Gillis Mountain!!!!!!!"
" I think Raylene wants to sing it" said John Morris
" No, you can sing most of it. I'll sing the last verse." said Raylene.
" Well, who will play the piano?" asked John Morris.
" I will. " said Heather
" But, you don't know the song" said John Morris.
" Yes, I do" said Heather.
But, Heather could not remember the notes.
Heather stared down at the piano keys and hit one randomly. It kind of sounded like the right note. She played a chord and shrugged. John Morris stood at the microphone and listened to Heather play off-key notes. He shrugged and began to sing even though Heather wasn't playing the right song.
"I took a trip up Gillis Mountain on a sunny summer day.." The audience began to cheer, they were happy that John Morris was actually singing. "There were ruts in the road and the four-wheel drive, spun its wheels in the rocks and the clay, yes it spun its wheels in the rocks and the clay" John Morris continued, growing ever more confident with each word.
Meanwhile Cookie was wincing as John Morris sang along with Heather's off-key piano playing. Jimmy was ready to run off stage screaming and Raylene just looked so darned happy that they were singing her song! The audience still didn't seem to care.
Finally John Morris made it to the last verse and Raylene took over, "When we arrived on Gillis Mountain You could see for miles in the light The whitecaps on the sea of blue Sparkled like diamonds in the night They sparkled like diamonds in the night"
When the song was over. Raylene told another story about when they were children.
" When we got our first piano, John Morris was the first to play and we would take turns, but one day Heather and John Morris were fighting over who will play. John was aculy swearing. Mom walks in with the duct tape , the thing she used to keep us quiet. She said
' Who is first?' Heather starts crying for no reason ' Raylene, you take Heather and put her to bed. John Morris come with me.' She took John into another room, but I still heard what she said.
"She said, 'John Morris Rankin I don't ever want to hear those words in this house, ever again, do you understand me? You have to set a good example for your younger siblings! If Heather wants a turn on the piano, you will let her have a turn.'"
"So after that John Morris never swore again, at least not when mom was around! And he let Heather play the piano whenever she wanted to, he even helped her learn how to play."
The audience awwww'ed, picturing a young John Morris helping his little sister play the piano.
Jimmy made a big show of checking his watch, "Well folks, I think we have time for just one more song. I wrote this song a couple of years ago, it's about a long lost lover. Cookie will sing it with me, it's called 'Fare Thee Well Love'".
They sang Fare Thee Well Love and thanked the aduecne for putting up with them. When they went backstage, Kaye was waiting for them and said " John Morris, I sleeping over at your place tonight." They all looked at each other and Jimmy said to John Morris " Nice knowing you".
They all went home and made plans to leave town tomorrow morning.