This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

Cowboys and Violins

25 April 2014

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Very few violinists in my photo collection wear cowboy hats and neckerchiefs. Most are dressed in either a white tie and tailcoat or a long white gown. This postcard of "Cliff" on W.S.B.A. Heard Daily-- 8:30 A.M.-3:30 P.M. offers an alternative image of a fiddle player's attire with his very American western cowboy costume. The caption links him with WSBA, which is spelled curiously and incorrectly as an abbreviation, was an AM radio station in York, Pennsylvania owned by the Susquehanna Radio Corporation, a division of the Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Company, a kitchenwear company, which ran WSBA radio from 1941 until 2005, when it was taken over by a national radio corporation. If that schedule is right, "Cliff" seems to have worked long hours fiddling around at the station, but at least he took time to sign the postcard.

I did not figure out Cliff's real name until I found this second postcard and recognized him in this quartet of cowboy musicians.





Cliff is standing with his compadres  of the 101 Ranch Boys, Geo. Long, Andy, and Smokey. This band with an accordion player, a violinist, a guitarist, and a double bassist began performing regularly on WSBA radio in York, PA sometime in the early 1940s. They got their start in Kansas City, KS playing for dance halls and radio there, but moved to York presumably on an attractive offer from Mr. Pfaltzgraff to bring their western swing style music to the East. The musicians names were George Long, accordion; Cliff Brown, violin; Andy Reynolds, guitar; and William (Smokey) Roberts, bass.  

According to this bio, Cliff Brown was Cherokee (or Ponca according to this other website) and the name of the band came from a suggestion of his mother who was born on the 110,000-acre Miller Brothers 101 Ranch in what was then called the Indian Territory of Oklahoma. The Miller Brothers had a neighbor, Pawnee Bill, who was the colorful star of a traveling cowboy show in the 1890s. In 1907 they tried to emulate his success with their own 101 Ranch Wild West Show. Unfortunately the three Miller Brothers were late in the game, and faced fierce competition from established wild west and circus shows, as well as the new age of cinema. After a disastrous tour of Europe, when their horses and wagons were confiscated for the war effort and their Indians arrested as spies, they returned to Oklahoma in 1916 and two of the brothers quit show business. However one obstinate brother carried on a smaller show for another decade until 1927. Though their land did have oil, the brothers had leased the oil rights and never realized the fortune that came from the oil boom. By 1932, after two brothers had died in tragic accidents, the remaining Miller declared bankruptcy.  

So when Cliff, Andy, George, and Smokey named their band after this ranch, they were taking advantage of a celebrated name which even people in Pennsylvania would have heard of. Since the Wikipedia entry has this great panoramic photo of the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch, I include it here to give some impression of its size and extravagance. Like much of the old west, it was destroyed by fires,  banks, and legislatures and nothing remains except for a roadside plaque.

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Miller Brothers 101 Ranch
Source: Wikipedia
After moving to York, Cliff and the 101 Ranch Boys added another musician, Leonard T. Zinn, on electric steel guitar. They made some recordings for Columbia Records and moved up the showbiz ladder of success to have their own radio show on the ABC network. In 1949, Billboard magazine ran this advertisement that promoted them along with the hottest new names in folk and country records.  The 101 Ranch Boys had a new jukebox hit with their song Two Cents, Three Eggs, And A Postcard. On the B side was Bluebird On Your Windowsill. 



Source: Billboard July 16, 1949

The 101 Ranch Boys were part of the first postwar wave of country and western artists that helped define this genre of popular music. Initially it was in radio, and then in records, that they found their audience. The group seems to have disbanded sometime around 1957-59. According to a comment from his son on a blog about the band in York, PA history, Cliff Brown died in 1989

The band's full discography includes a lot of other interesting titles like – I'm Trying To Keep Mother Warm, and An A-Bomb Of Bibles. But perhaps their best classic song was this one – Beer Bottle Mama. 

Real Honky Tonk music.
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This is my contribution for Sepia Saturday.
Click the link to see what else is on the play list.




 

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A Special Birthday Bonus  

Another year marks another milestone as my father now counts 85 candles on his birthday cake this week. As long as I can remember, I have looked into his camera lens; watched him magically reveal images in a darkroom developing tray; and admired thousands of moments he has preserved in photographs. They record a lifetime of adventures as a soldier, a boater, a son, a husband, and a dad. I don't believe I could have become a collector of photographs without the inspiration of his passion for photography and enthusiasm for cameras. Thanks, dad.     

Many years ago in France, a young Lieutenant Russell E. Brubaker took his new camera and tripod and made a series of homemade fotobooth images. Later there would be many more wonderful photos, but these first photos deserve to be embellished with 21st century digital technology and displayed on my internet photo gallery. Here are three of his best. 

Happy Birthday, Dad!





















 There might be cuter babies, but none so lucky to have such a beautiful mom and handsome dad.




Chauncey Olcott's Rose Garden

18 April 2014

My dog can sing. She's in tune in any key. She's even a good dancer. But she's just an amateur compared to this dog, who was a genuine star of the musical stage. She belongs to the  man gallantly tipping his hat —  Chauncey Olcott — the most famous Irish tenor ever to be not born in Ireland.

This cabinet photograph was produced by Launey of New York City in about 1894-97 to promote Chauncey Olcott,  a new leading actor of Broadway's  theater world. His full name was Chancellor John Olcott, and he was born in Buffalo, NY in 1858. His early musical career began as a ballad singer in traveling minstrel shows, but in 1890 he moved to London to take voice lessons and there he appeared in a few music hall productions.

On his return to New York in 1892, he joined the cast of an Irish themed play called Mavourneen, as a replacement for the actor, W. J. Scanlan, another noted "Irish" tenor who was actually born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Like Scanlan, Olcott sang romantic songs as part of his Irish character, and at some point came up with the novel idea to add his St. Bernard to the cast list.

Dogs work cheap. 



A man of many talents, by 1896 Olcott was writing his own songs to include in his new shows, and they proved to be big hits with the public. The music industry of New York City's Tin Pan Alley was reaching new heights by publishing the latest songs and dances, as it seemed no American household was complete without a piano or a reed organ. Chauncey cleverly cultivated this offstage Hibernian persona to reflect the Irish characters he played on stage. Though his family roots may have originated in Ireland, his spirit of self promotion was all-American, and his celebrity helped to define the stereotypical image of the Irish American in American culture.       

In September 1902, Leslie's Illustrated Weekly Newspaper, featured an article called Pets of Popular Players, which included a bit on Chauncey and his other dog. I say other, because the St. Bernard that is pictured is much larger and has a darker face than the one pictured in my photo.


Leslie's Illustrated Weekly Newspaper
Volume 95, September 25, 1902

If "laughter is God's greatest gift to man," then Mr. Chauncey Olcott and his big dog "Prince" are certainly a gifted pair. When they laugh together, if the world doesn't laugh with them, "it is not to laugh" and the world is a sorry place. "Prince" and Mr. Olcott are co-stars between whom there is absolutely no professional jealousy. They even "dress together," and that is saying a most marvelous thing. A dressing room may be ever so spacious, but it is never quite large enough to hold the dignity of a star, and to crowd that dignity — well, I guess not! 
But  Mr.  Olcott and "Prince" are not like that. "Prince" finds the most comfortable place in the room,  where he stretches out and licks and prunes himself while Mr. Olcott turns himself into Garrett O'Magh, or some other Irish laddie of a century since, singing as he does so, little Irish love tunes sotto voce, to which "Prince" whines an approving accompaniment. "Prince" has been an actor so long that he knows the ropes as well as anybody. He knows what the "half hour" and "fifteen minutes" calls mean, and when "overture" is called he invariably gets up and walks to the dressing room door looking back expectantly to see if his master is coming. "All right, old chap. Wait a minute — curtain is not up yet," says Mr. Olcott, and the dog lies down and watches the crack under the door. In some of Mr. Olcott's plays "Prince"  has appeared so often that he has come to know his cues and never has to be led on nor called off. 





The money that Olcott's fame and success provided, allowed him to indulge in a life style that was a long way from his Buffalo origin. According to a book entitled Eminent Actors in Their Homes: Personal Descriptions and Interviews by Margherita Arlina Hamm, Chauncey and his dog kept residence in three homes: a handsome apartment in New York on West 34th Street near Fifth Avenue; a music studio near North Washington Square; and a summer place in Saratoga Springs, NY.  This house was named Inniscarra after the title of one his first big plays - Sweet Inniscarra. and became a very popular postcard image.




This card from 1907 shows the back of a typical two story New England Colonial house that by modern standards seems rather modest, but to Olcott's fans it must have appeared a palatial estate. Note the quaint covered well which resembles the studio prop in Olcott's photograph. 




The veranda of Chauncey's house looked out onto a formal garden pictured on this card postmarked in 1906. Saratoga Springs was another spa town like Mineral Wells, TX which was the location for my story last week. But this spa is much older and dates back to 1776. The geology of this area just north of Albany, NY created a mineral water that was credited with great medicinal powers. Entrepreneurs established dozens of different wells in Saratoga Springs, each claiming that their water had beneficial qualities that would cure various maladies and ailments that doctors could not. Naturally when combined with its pleasant summertime climate, Saratoga Springs became the summer playground of the wealthy and elite society people of New York.






The photographer for this view of Chauncey Olcott's rose garden must have stood in the upstairs bedroom window. This postcard was mailed in 1907 and like the other two, was published by a company in New York but printed in Germany. I don't know if the house and gardens were open to the public, but these cards represent only a few of the dozens of different postcards made of Olcott's home. Judging by the hundreds of similar postcards available on eBay, it was clearly a very popular choice of tourists at Saratoga Springs for many years. Curiously I have not found any postcards of Olcott himself, as most of his publicity material seems to be cabinet card photo reproductions from around 1895-1905. 




Chauncey Olcott
Source: NYPL Digital Gallery

This image from Launey Studios was probably made at the same time as the first photo. The dog, (whom I have nicknamed Princess as what else could it be?), is posed reclining with her master on a suitable Gaelic rock. It also proves that she was a real dog and not some photographer's taxidermied mutt.

Between 1899 and 1921, Chauncey Olcott is listed as a composer, lyricist, and/or performer in over 18 Broadway plays. I don't think it would be correct to call them musicals. Perhaps melodramas with music gives a better idea of their style. Most theaters in this era employed orchestras to accompany the plays, and having a character sing a love song was typical of how these light theater shows promoted their stars. 



  UPDATE: November 2015 

Thanks to a generous reader I have been given another photo of Chauncey Olcott
who is posed with an artist's easel and painter's palette.
There is no dog but Chauncey wears the same stripped vest as in the first photograph,
so it was probably taken to promote the same play.
Would a modern actor promote themselves as a romantic lead in this way?
Portrayals of sensitive artists are not common anymore.   



Chauncey Olcott
Source: NYPL Digital Gallery

This image shows Chauncey with his other dog, Prince. Like the previous photo it was found at the digital archives of the New York Public Library. I wonder if Prince had any speaking lines in the plays.



Today we can't escape reading or hearing about celebrities in every kind of media. It was no different 100 years ago, when Fuel Magazine: The Coal Operators National Weekly printed this amusing story in its edition from May 17, 1910. 

Got Him Going and Coming
Chauncey Olcott is somewhat conscience stricken – a rather unusual thing for an actor – and the cause of his remorse came about in this way:
One afternoon while he was rehearsing his company in his new play, Ragged Robin, at the Broadway theater New York, a young man whom he had noticed in conversation with two other men in front of the theater left his companions and crossing the street said:
" I beg your pardon but are you Chauncey Olcott?"
"No," responded the comedian, "I'm his brother."
"Then I lose my bet," exclaimed the stranger, darting in front of a car and rejoining his companions.
Mr. Olcott saw him hand one of the men a bill, and not wishing the stranger to lose his money, he started in pursuit to explain, but there was a rush of traffic at the moment and he lost sight of them.
An hour or so later Mr. Olcott was walking up Broadway when the same young man approached him with another man.
"Are you Chauncey Olcott?" asked the man.
"Yes, I am, and I want to say that when I told you a little while ago I was not I didn't know you had a bet on it."
"Well, I'll be blowed!" exclaimed the stranger. "That's two bets I've lost on you this afternoon. I just bet 'Jim' here a five spot that you weren't Chauncey Olcott, and I thought I had a cinch." And he turned and walked dejectedly away.







Source: Courtesy of the Irish Fest Collection,
Ward Irish Music Archives, Milwaukee Irish Fest







Of the many songs that Chauncey Olcott wrote, Mother Machree, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Goodbye, My Emerald Land, the Wearers of the Green, this one – My Wild Irish Rose – may be his most memorable. It is one of the reasons that Olcott was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, which includes his name with the other great composers of the Tin Pan Alley era, men like Geroge M. Cohan, Sigmund Romberg, and Irving Berlin.

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The song was written in 1898 after a suggestion from Olcott's wife, Margaret and it featured in Chauncey's play A Romance Of Athlone in 1899. He would sing it many more times, including on a recording he made in 1913. We can hear his voice, courtesy of this video on YouTube. The dog is there too but unfortunately they don't sing a duet.  


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The website Irish Sheet Music Archives has a long list of songs written by other composers who tried to find a rose by some other name, but none would achieve the same lasting success as Olcott's song.
  • I Am Dreaming Of My Irish Rose
  • I Want An Irish Rose
  • Little Connemara Rose
  • My California Rose 
  • My Emerald Isle Rose
  • My Galway Rose
  • My Killarney Rose 
  • My Irish Rose
  • My Little Irish Rose
  • My Irish American Rose
  • My Rose Of Erin's Isle
  • My Rose Of Old Kildare
  • My Rose Of Tipperary
  • My Sweet Derry Rose
  • My Wicklow Primrose
It occurs to me that the Chrysanthemum is a neglected flower when it comes to songs. Someone should look into this, as they smell just as sweet. 




Chauncey Olcott died in Monte Carlo on March 18, 1932 – St. Patrick's Day. It would be hard to find anyone else who made such an important and lasting contribution to Irish-American culture.

In 1947 he received the ultimate Hollywood tribute with a bio-pic movie musical called My Wild Irish Rose. It was directed by David Butler. and starred Dennis Morgan and Arlene Dahl. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1948, and has a colorized trailer which is a fabulous example of how movie trailers once used
REALLY BIG WORDS
instead of explosions and car chases to grab the attention of movie goers. About halfway through there is a very brief glimpse of  why this 1940s film no longer shows up on classic film lists.

I wonder if there is a dog in it.

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This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where everyone is out working in their garden this weekend.


The Musical Water of Mineral Wells, Texas

11 April 2014



Texas is usually known for cowboys, not sailors. But in 1917, some 400 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, a children's band from Texas posed for the camera in their best white jumpers and sailor hats. This postcard tells us who they were.

Woodward-Davis Family Band
consisting of W. W. Woodward and Sister, Mrs. E. L. Davis and their Children,
ages from 5 to 16 years.
Season 1917.   Permanent Address: MINERAL WELLS, TEXAS


Photos of family bands usually show Father as the bandleader, though many were a Mom and Pop outfit. This band is unusual to have a brother and sister combine their progeny into a performing group. It's a brass band with Mrs. Davis on tuba and W. W. Woodward on clarinet. The oldest boy on cornet looks about age 18, while the youngest on drums might be 6 or 7. Their Permanent Address was Mineral Wells, a small town west of Fort Worth, that was far from the sea, but not from the water.
  



Even very prolific siblings would be hard pressed to make up this 28 piece band on their own, which has added more local musicians to the Woodward & Davis company. The group is posed outdoors on the steps of a rooming house or hotel and the card is captioned:

The Junior Rotary Band.   Mineral Wells, Texas
W. W. Woodward, Director. Mrs. E. L. Davis, Instructor

The band director was William W. Woodward, who ran a jewelery store in Mineral Wells. In the 1920 census, he and his wife Maude had 5 children and a niece in their household. His sister's name was Minnie Davis and she was married to Edward L. Davis, employed as secretary of the Retail Merchants Association.

With occupations in the Mineral Wells business world it is not surprising that the children would be part of the Rotary Club which is a nationwide service organization for merchants and local leaders. Most of the boys and girls appear to be teenagers but there are some older musicians in the back row. The youngest is the boy in front wearing a fez and holding a long cane as a baton.




This same photo was used in a short report that appeared in the San Antonio Express, Sunday morning, June 1, 1924.

MINERAL WELLS, Tex., May 24.

San Antonio delegates to the recent meeting of the West Texas Chamber of  Commerce at Brownwood were amazed at the quality of music produced by the Junior Rotary Band of Mineral Wells,  one of the remarkable musical organizations of Texas. Ten members of the band belong to two families, and they are related. The band is directed by W. W. Woodward who has five children in  the organization, and his sister, Mrs. E. L. Davis; who has three children playing in it. Only  two of the youngsters in the band are 17 yeas  old, the next in age  being 15, and the youngest being only 8. The average age of the band members is 13 years.
Guy Woodward, oldest boy in the band,  not only is principal cornet player, but can play all other band instruments. He directs the K. of P. band of Mineral Wells, and also the municipal band of Perrin. Dorothy Davis, also a cornetist, teaches piano and violin. Dell Woodward, aged 10, played a cornet solo the last night of the convention at Brownwood. Members of the band also have a jazz orchestra and a  saxaphone quartett.




The Woodward-Davis Family Band was a great feature of Mineral Wells, TX, and clearly the citizens took pride in the group to send them to a convention of the regional Chamber of Commerce. But there was more to it than that. It was all about the water.






This vintage colorized postcard shows Oak Street in Mineral Wells with a trolley car in the center and what looks like two fire wagons participating in a parade. The generous pavement and numerous retail establishments give the town a prosperous appearance. 


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{If the Google Map Street View does not display Click the link above}

(The new Google Map embedded viewer has a gremlin)


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The same intersection today in Google Maps street view shows a faded city whose colors are not nearly as vibrant. The sidewalks have narrowed, the street car line has been paved over, and the pedestrian crowds have disappeared to air conditioned malls.

But if you take a virtual walk up Oak St. you will find some businesses remain.




On the left just above the trolley is the Palace Saloon which is still in the same place today. The Poston Dry Goods Co. - The Store With All the Goods is also still on Oak St. but has moved down next to the saloon. And in the distance is a large building with the name, Crazy Well Water Company, painted on the roof line.

Even for Texas that's an odd name for a business.

The back of this postcard provides a clue. It has no postmark but the style of printing puts it in the prewar 1905-1915 era. It was sent to Mrs. Frailey of Joplin, MO with this funny message.



If you would fire those two nurses you have and come down here you could kick the shingles off the chicken house in a few days   
Bart







The Crazy Well Water Company was one of many enterprising businesses that took advantage of a natural resource that made Mineral Wells a tourist destination. In the late 19th century, Texas became famous for its mineral waters which people consumed in a belief that it could cure whatever ailed them. Mineral Wells was only one of over a hundred Texas communities in the decades 1890 to 1920 that advertised the healthful benefits of drinking Texan alkaline water. Bart's enthusiasm was doubtless due to his having imbibed the invigorating waters of Mineral Wells.  


The first water well in this part of Texas was dug in 1880 on a ranch that was four miles from the Brazos River which had previously been the ranch's only source of drinking water. The Lynch family who lived there discovered that their poor health improved despite the water's strange taste, and soon their neighbors noticed this dramatic change too. By 1881 the demand for the curative water was strong enough that more wells were dug. Before the year was finished the boundaries of a new city were surveyed. It was named Mineral Wells, and Mr. Lynch was the first mayor.

The Crazy Well Water building we see in the postcard view, was the site of a well also drilled in 1881. At the time an old woman suffering from some mental disturbance took up a habit of sitting by the well and asking people to bring her some of the water. When her condition improved, the well became known as the Crazy Lady Well and later just the Crazy Water Well.

Some of the waters of Mineral Wells do have a significant amount of lithium. The other minerals that were promoted as medicinal agents­­ – calcium, magnesium, and sulfate­ – supposedly could effect dyspepsia, neuralgia, sore eyes, paralysis, insomnia, liver and kidney problems, rheumatism, scrofula, and improprieties of the blood. In an age when medical science had few cures for disease and chronic ailments, it is no wonder that a magical water would attract people desperate for any product that might restore health.

It is also no wonder that big money could be made selling the water and providing a place to stay while it was consumed.  By 1913, Mineral Wells had 21 water companies; several bath houses and sanitariums; and over 40 hotels and rooming houses. Each well offered different methods for consumption of the water and people visited each establishment to get the full benefits. This drove a boom in recreation services like restaurants, gaming houses, and resort amusements of all kinds. The Woodward-Davis Family Band were a small part of this entertainment industry supporting the many spas of Mineral Wells.  


One of the hotels was also located on Oak Street, just a block past the Crazy Well Water Company. It was called the Delaware Hotel, and on October 16, 1907 it burnt to the ground. Evidently there were limits to the restorative powers of the local mineral water.





Photo postcards have an interesting sub-genre devoted to photographs of disasters and accidents. Fires were a popular subject and here the Mineral Wells photographer has artfully colored the smoke to emphasize the dreadful horror. The firemen's horses and wagons might even be the same ones pictured in the parade on Oak St.    




Oct.16, 1907 Delaware Hotel Fire, Mineral Wells, TX
Source: Portal to Texas History

The archives at the Portal to Texas History provide another view of the same hotel fire. It is easy to see how a postcard like this would become a big seller to the tourists who stayed in Mineral Wells. It was still published two years later in 1909 when it was sent to Miss Ida Vinther of Godley, Texas.




Hello Ida   How are
you. I am feeling
all right this morning.
I eat my breakfast  t...(?) mor...(?)  I
don't know when
I will get to come
home. I had
hot eggs for breakfast
they were put in
the hot water and
that was all. I
have a good nurse
Good Bye  (Willie
St. Joseph's Infirmary



We can only hope that eggs poached in Texas mineral water provided Willie with some relief, because I can't believe that they tasted very good. 



Woodward Family Band/Gem Theater Band
Mineral Wells, TX, circa 1915
Source: Portal to Texas History

The same Texas archives have a photo of the Woodward-Davis musical clan standing in front of the Gem Theater of Mineral Wells. The description dates the photo to 1915 based on the two movie posters behind them - The Diamond From the Sky, and The Wayward Son. Perhaps the films of the 1917 season had a more nautical theme which would explain the band's sailor suits.

Minerals Wells remained a prominent and profitable health spa resort through the years of the Great Depression and WW2, but by the 1950s magic elixirs were no longer a good reason for visiting central Texas, even with air conditioning, and the town's fortunes declined.   

However you can still get bottled Crazy Water, and the brand's website presents a terrific history of this health resort town and its salubrious water.

No doubt the children of W. W. Woodward and his sister Minnie Davis thrived on it and drank it every day. See how musical it made them?



This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
Click the link to book a room at another hotel.



A Hero's Life

04 April 2014



Dear Band Students and Parents,

This semester our school band has really taken off for new heights in music.
All the kids are practicing hard for our Spring Concert next week
and I know that you will be impressed with their super sound!







They are no longer just beginners. They are now advanced beginners
on their way to meet new and exciting musical challenges.










So you can be very proud of your child’s efforts and accomplishments,
as parental encouragement has been a big factor in achieving this progress.






Being a member of the band can be very rewarding for a young child.
Learning to play an instrument helps develop many good habits
like proper posture, mental concentration, and finger coordination.







Playing in the band teaches teamwork and
offers children an opportunity to experience
a whole new level of artistic communication
that will stay with them for a lifetime.







This year we are especially grateful to Dunmore's Music Store for
helping to outfit the kids with new instruments. 







When Mr. Dunmore said he could make a great deal with
the Acme Accordion Company, he wasn't kidding!
That special discount of an electric guitar
with every five accordions we ordered was an unexpected surprise. 
Maybe next year we could add some saxophones or a tuba.







It has been my pleasure and honor to teach
these fantastic kids the Fun d'mentals of music this year.
  I look forward to meeting you all at our concert.


Sincerely,    Marvin Gardner
                   Music Teacher
                                           Placid Plains Middle School






Teaching.   It's a heroic life.

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The preceding deconstruction of this 8"x10" glossy photograph of an unknown school band, was inspired by the amazing vernacular photos that are creatively displayed at the blog, Tattered and Lost.    Click the link to discover more class photos that illustrate the joy of teaching and the wonder of schoolchildren.




We can never know exactly what this band sounded like but thanks to YouTube we can get pretty close.  Here is the Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra from Scotland.


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Keep in mind that this was supposedly only their first rehearsal!



Since it is a small world after all, we shouldn't be surprised that the musical cultures of China and Scotland would share a mutual enthusiasm for the accordion. But who would expect such a lively rendition of a favorite British march from the Beijing Children’s Palace Baidi Accordion Orchestra.



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The thunder of applause demands an encore of a traditional Chinese folk tune.



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This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
click the link to spot more vintage photos.






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