By Carmen Duarte
KXCI radio personality Nick Nicholas and his buddies the Sons Of The Pioneers - an institution in Western music circles - made a special appearance at el Dorado Hospital yesterday.
Patient Marika Cutrules just loved it.
Cutrules, who is Nicholas' mother, has cancer.
But "I love music. It makes me feel better when I hear music," said Cutrules with a smile from her hospital bed.
The current Sons - Dale Warren, brothers Luther and Tommy Nallie, Sonny Spencer (nephew of original member Tim Spencer), Roy Lanham and Jack LaRue - sang "My Adobe Hacienda," "Springtime in the Rockies" and "The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma."
Leonard Slye, who later became the famous Western movie actor Roy Rogers, founded the original group in 1933 along with Tucsonan Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer.
Cutrules, 77, knows music. She played the guitar, mandolin and piano when she was younger. "I like classical music," she said.
Her son said she "comes from a musical family. She sang with her sisters in Greece when they were all young girls. She came to the United States in the early 1930s, and she studied with a private tutor."
Nicholas, 55, introduced the Sons of the Pioneers to his mother back in 1961 through "my record collection that I inherited from my uncles."
That same year, Nicholas met the late Lloyd Perryman when he and the rest of the group did a benefit here for all-around rodeo performer Buddy Peak.
When Dale Warren found out about Cutrules' condition, he hoped some music would cheer her up, Nicholas said.
"The best medicine for her is music," Nicholas said.