The show will go on for Mediocre Music Makers

Harley and Annabell Russell, aka the Mediocre Music Makers, will still try to perform shows this summer at their Sandhills Curiosity Shop off Route 66 in Erick, Okla., despite Annabelle’s recent cancer surgery and imminent chemotherapy treatments.

If you’re unaware of Harley and Annabelle’s irreverent show, here’s a sample. Harley does most of the singing and serious picking, but Annabelle plays a valuable role as sidekick:

In recent days, Harley had posted periodic updates about Annabelle on his Facebook account. But I wanted to get permission from him before reporting the news on Route 66 News, which is a more-open channel.

Annabelle underwent a four-hour surgery earlier this month for ovarian cancer, including three days in intensive care. Harley said during a telephone interview today that Annabelle was released from the hospital on Thursday. She’ll meet with her surgeon this week to discuss chemo options. It’s anticipated she’ll undergo 15 months of treatment.

Annabelle said by phone she got around with a walker in the days after her surgery, and now walks with a cane.

“I don’t have a lot of energy, but I need to build up my strength for the chemo,” she said.

In retrospect, Annabelle said the first sign of trouble was in late summer 2010, when she experienced stomach troubles. She was given a prescription heartburn medicine. She also noticed her energy was lagging.

A sign of something more serious occurred a month ago, when she was helping Harley attach antique signs all over the exterior walls of the Sandhills Curiosity Shop and their nearby home, known as the Redneck Castle. Her abdomen swelled “real quick,” she said. She was taken to a doctor, and major cancer surgery at an Oklahoma City hospital was scheduled within days.

For now, the couple are staying with Harley’s parents in Oklahoma City. Harley and Annabelle had to cancel a performance Sunday for a tour group. But they’re already booked for 300 performances this summer, and intend to honor those commitments.

“We’re still working as best we can,” Harley said. “We’re gonna keep going on.”

Harley said an overseas Route 66 tour group is scheduled to stop at the Sandhills Curiosity Shop on April 22, and tourism business will start to pick up in mid-May. Even on the phone, without prompting, Harley and Annabelle did their usual performance schtick before signing off.

If you want to send good wishes or get-well cards, Harley and Annabelle’s mailing address is P.O. Box 121, Erick, OK 73645.

7 thoughts on “The show will go on for Mediocre Music Makers

  1. Annabelle, my best wishes for your swift recovery from surgery and for strength throughout the chemotherapy cycles ahead.

    Amazing advances in cancer treatment have been realized this past decade that are in your favor during the battle. Having enjoyed your friendship and love so much for so long, I regret there isn’t anything comparable to what your family, doctors and surgeons are doing that I can do to help.

    All proceeds from sales of the documentary “Harley & Annabelle – Living Legends in Erick, Oklahoma” will go directly to Harley and Annabelle to help with Annabelle’s medical expenses.

  2. Annabelle Update…GOOD News! In the past four weeks Annabelle`s CA125 count went down from over Six hundred to One hundred seventy, the first good news we`ve had since the 20th of Feburary! YEE HAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Please continue to keep Annabelle in your thoughts and PRAYERS. Your friends, Harley and Annabelle
    Thank you Ron and all of the Route 66 family! Your friends, Harley and Annabelle

  3. Hi Harley and Annabelle, I sure am glad you guys are doing ok, or better yet, doing better. I c people down at the curiosity shop wanting to c u, and you are not there. It seems strange because in years past u were always there. In your striped overalls!! BUT HOPEFULLY SOON YOU WILL BOTH BE BACK! Take care of each other and we willall see you soon. You both are in our prayers and I think of you often. Love Pam

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.