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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meet The Yesterukes - Bob


A chance encounter at a music store jam was where Bob was "discovered". He was a voice looking for a place to use it. And the Yesterukes were a perfect fit. Here is his story:
Music is the thread that kept and still keeps my family together. My greatest thrill was singing with my brothers at my daughter’s, niece and nephew’s weddings. I started out in the 3rd grade loving when the music teacher came around a couple of times a month.  I did not know at the time if I loved music that much or just liked getting out of regular studies.  Santa Claus brought me a plastic uke that year, and I learned to play it. I learned to play it good enough to get a wooden one the next year. I played that one for several years and then I got a baritone uke.   But this fellow named “Elvis” came along not too long after that and I switched to guitar because that was where the girls were.
I earned my way through college playing in a Rock and Roll band.  When I became an accountant, my only music was singing in the church choir.  When I retired, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I decided to learn to really play guitar by reading music as well as by ear.  At a local jam session, I ran into the Yesterukes leader. She had just formed a group of uke players and asked if I would come and visit with them.  The rest is history as they say.  To enhance my “career” with the Yesterukes, I now take guitar, piano, and drum lessons in addition to playing the ukulele.  I would not want to get “fired” from the Yesterukes!!
And here is a project Bob just completed with help from some of his Yesteruke friends:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Poetry In Motion



Sometimes you find ukulele players in the strangest ways. Walking through a shopping district in Atlanta, we encountered a couple of gentlemen offering free poems. After passing them by, the thought occurred that it might be fun to see if they could write a poem about a ukulele--thinking this might be a challenge.  So we turned back and asked for one. 

Who knew the poet was also a ukulele player? After composing our poem, he pulled out his ukulele and played us a tune. We told him about the Yesterukes.  He was equally surprised to come across another ukulele player--especially one who is part of a 20-piece band!

Here is his poem...

Jumping flea, hop off me
onto nylon strings under
waving palms.  A song comes
over waves as sunshine plays
between the bright wood, koa
and rose, tiny bubbles or
tim.  Flying strum or slim
notes, mele or hapa hoale,
sweet small music always 
at hand, bare feet and 
sand.  I love thee, ukulele,
reminder and mind of place.

We Yesterukes often think of ourselves as the only ukulele players around, and at many locations, we truly are. But it's even nicer to think of ourselves as part of a ukulele community that exists around the globe.



Poetry In Motion, by Johnny Tillotson, 1961





Thursday, March 17, 2011

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling


There was no doubt that this senior group--the YAHs-- was glad to have us come and play for them.  The first thing we saw was this delicious cake, waiting to be cut after lunch. It was one of the warmest welcomes we've ever received. (YAH stands for Young At Heart.)


Getting set up and settled in is just a part of our regular routine. Visiting with each other is always fun.


But meeting new people everywhere we go is even more fun. John Knox Presbyterian Church was so friendly. They were interested in us and what we do and it was so good to have time to meet these folks and get to know them. They had such good stories to share with us.


We thought the cake was dessert but the desserts just kept coming. So many choices! Decisions, decisions.


And the meal before we even got to the desserts was wonderful, too. Everyone brought food to add to the table. Thanks to these lovely people for making a dreary rainy day special for us. We hope we brought some fun to the program! We added a few Irish songs to our regular set list since St. Patrick's Day was nearly here.  But it was our old standards that folks enjoyed the most. One comment heard more than once was, "These songs brought back so many memories." That's what we do best.


When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Olcott & Graff, 1912