Parade of American Music

November was the "Parade of American Music" month for the National Federated Music Clubs. My wife (and other friends) are members of the local club.  This year they went all-out to maximize the number of programs of American music in the area.  It was a rare civic club that escaped their machinations.  There were several programs featuring the music loved by Abraham Lincoln.

Tandem harmonica This picture is of my brother Matt and I playing the tandem harmonica at the Rotary Club meeting.  Our instrument was painstakingly reconstructed from historical diagrams.  Many is the time that Stephen Foster and his manservant, Jupiter, would sit on the veranda playing "Oh, Susanna" on the tandem harmonica.  Since Lincoln loved this song (and harmonica music in general), and since it is one of the two songs I can play on the harmonica, that's what we played.

Swing dance(2) In nearby Steele, Missouri, the program was a USO show in a nursing home.  Not Lincoln's era this time, but the big band music of the forties.  The professional swing dancers engaged for the entertainment were forced to cancel.  I was more than a little reluctant to step in, as it's been a long time since my dance lessons. Fortunately, the Methodist minister there is a fine dancer and a good teacher.  I had a great time, whether the residents were entertained or not.  That suit had to go to the cleaners, though — it was soaked.  I may not be skillful, but I am enthusiastic.

1 thoughts on “Parade of American Music

  1. Sheila says:

    I bet many residents had a great time, also. My experience has been that nursing home residents are very appreciative of many types of attention and entertainment, responding more to the fun attitude of the entertainer than worrying about the fine points of quality of presentation. My dog Charlie has been greeted quite enthusiastically by nursing home residents for many years. His only “entertainment” skills are good listening, good tail wagging, and when he was younger, he fetched tennis balls dropped or thrown. Now, at age 18 or 19, his days are mostly spent sleeping, but it was fun to take him out there and see how much brighter he could make the day for many people.

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