At 90 years of age, she has recently cut back a bit on her musical engagements, but she is still the official pianist for Club 55+ and happily plays hymns and old favourites for residents in her seniors’ complex in New Glasgow.
“My parents were both great singers and we had a piano at home, so I was anxious to play. I was sent for eight lessons and that is the full extent of my musical education.”
She was nine or ten when she travelled by horse and sleigh from Iron Ore to Stellarton with an uncle who brought butter, eggs and vegetables to town to sell on Saturday mornings.
“He dropped me at Langston Miller’s on Rundle Street and that’s where I learned all the notes. After that, it was just practice. I still play a lot by ear.”
. 1974 ~ Stevie Wonder got five Grammy Awards for his album, Innervisions and his hit songs, You Are The Sunshine of My Life and Superstition.
. 1985 ~ Country singer Gary Morris hit #1 on the country charts for the first time with Baby Bye Bye, from his album, Faded Blue.
. 2003 ~ Hank Ballard, 75, the singer and songwriter whose hit The Twist ushered in a nationwide dance craze in the 1960s, died. He wrote and recorded The Twist in 1958, but it was released only on the B-side of a record. In 1959, Chubby Checker debuted his own version of the song on Dick Clark’s Philadelphia television show. It soon topped the charts and launched a dance craze that prompted the creation of other Twist songs, including Twist and Shout by the Isley Brothers and Twistin’ the Night Away by Sam Cooke. Mr. Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Mr. Ballard was discovered in the early 1950s by writer-producer Johnny Otis. He was lead singer for the Royals, which changed its name to the Midnighters. Mr. Ballard, who was born John H. Kendricks in Detroit, grew up singing in church in Bessemer, Ala. At 15, he returned to Detroit and set out to form a doo-wop group while working on a Ford Motor Co. assembly line.