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Buckley's notable people are musical and uproarious | Best of the Plateau 2012

Best of the Plateau - CH Creative Staff
Best of the Plateau
— image credit: CH Creative Staff

Even a sleepy time capsule like Buckley is no stranger to nursing nascent fame.

When it comes to famous residents, country musician Blaine Larsen was the name of the last decade.

Larsen was born in Tacoma, but raised in the Rainier gateway from the age of five. He took an early interest in singing country karaoke and had learned to play guitar by age 13.

Larsen's demo CD of covers and one original song made it to the desk of songwriters Rory Lee Feek and Tom Johnson, who signed him to their Giantslayer Records label.

Giantslayer released the original album "In My High School" in 2004. BNA Records re-released that album (with an additional track) in 2005 under the title "Off to Join the World."

"Rockin' You Tonight," Larsen's true sophomore album, came out in 2006.

Five singles performed by Larsen have made the Hot Country Songs charts.

However, his professional music career began a slow turn in 2008. That year he left BNA to become the first major artist signed to Treehouse Records. Treehouse was acquired by Stroudivarious Records and Larsen was all set to release a third album titled "Not Too Bad." But when Stroudavarious reinvented itself as R&J Records in 2011, it dumped a majority of its artists, including Larsen.

In April, Larsen announced via his Facebook page that he had accepted a staff position with Search Ministries Nashville.

"During… years of (bible) study, I realized that I was put on the planet for a purpose bigger than myself," he wrote. "God has given me, and all Christians, the privilege and responsibility of spreading the good news about Jesus Christ to all people all over the world."

Larsen now writes a monthly newsletter on behalf of his ministry, and lives in Murfreesboro, Tenn. with his wife and two children.

Recent tweets suggest he's enjoying a new life in which he plays music for fun, not business.

Honorable mention:

One year ago on Monday, Violet L. Griffith died in Bradenton, Florida at the age of 82. She was undoubtedly better known by her stage name, Vi Childs.

For years, Childs and her daughter Darby busted audience's guts with their vaudevillian musical comedy, and western Washingtonians flocked to Vi's Cafe on Main Street to take in a show.

Childs was raised in West Seattle and she remains in West Seattle High School's hall of fame for her stage career. She was once awarded the Eagles' Woman of the Year.

Buckleyans of a certain age will remember her nightly performances: wonderfully crass songs interspersed with delightfully vulgar character monologues.

A line from her 'Old Lady' routine: "The other day my doctor asked me 'Do you suffer from hemorrhoids?' I looked at him and I said, 'What else would I do with them?'"

Frequently her one-liners turned toward individual audience members; veteran show-goers learned to go to the bathroom before seeing Childs.

Childs' performances can still be found online at the YouTube account vichildsanddarby and myspace.com/vianddarbychilds.

Fun Fact:

Many may remember Buckley Town in the 1996 Chris Farley comedy "Black Sheep" (though the fictionalized city was placed in Garfield County and did not use its namesake as a shooting location). But fewer may realize Buckley was the shooting location of the 1990 family comedy "Waiting for the Light." The movie, set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, followed Teri Garr as a single parent who has moved in with her mischievous circus magician mother, played by Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine (sister of Warren Beatty). When her grandchildren feud with a neighbor, she helps them pull off a prank that convinces the town they've been graced by angels.

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