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Monday, December 14, 2015

Wonderful Christmastime

When we arrived, the serving staff were getting their orders for the day. The event manager was zipping around answering a million questions. The audio/visual crew was making adjustments and fining tuning settings. Everyone worked to the last minute getting everything ready before the doors were opened to the eager crowd.

The Christmas dinner for the Lifewise Program was held in a large convention center, with about 400 people attending. This is an annual event that members look forward to all year. 

We were happy to be part of this large program. And we were delighted that we played at the top of our game. It is rare that we have a professional sound crew handling our needs. We were treated like professional musicians. And we sounded professional, too.

 As we started our set, the folks seated at the table in the very front locked arms and swayed back and forth as they sang along with us. What confidence that gave us! It made us happy to see so many people singing along throughout our performance.

And when we were done, we received a standing ovation from this huge audience, the applause lasting long enough to require three bows. What a perfect way to end our season!

The band will now be on break until after the holidays, taking time to rest and refresh and think up new ways to dazzle our audiences in the coming year.

We all wish you a joyous holiday season and a happy new year!

Wonderful Christmastime, Paul McCartney, 1979

Friday, December 4, 2015

We Need A Little Christmas

Bad news continues to dominate the headlines. And bad things are often happening in people's lives, things we don't know about. Yes, we do need a little Christmas cheer. The Yesterukes always bring smiles and songs, helping to ease the worry, to soothe the soul and lift the spirits.

Food and fellowship. It's a combination as old as the ages. Gathering around the table is another way to share that Christmas cheer that we all need.

For this one afternoon, there was a reason to leave behind the lists and the chores that come with this season. There was time to visit with friends and to keep those connections strong. Time to catch up on family news and to give a hug and to get a hug.

After the program was over, and we had packed up and headed home, we began to receive emails from folks telling us how much they needed to hear us. Sometimes we heard stories of why our Christmas cheer was so needed. We are glad to be the ones bringing glad tidings and cheer. It is a happy thing that we do.

We Need A Little Christmas, Angela Lansbury, 1966


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Spread A Little Happiness

"Oh, darlin', we needed you today." That was the first sentence I heard after we had finished the program and started to pack our equipment. I stopped to listen to the lady who said that after so much bad news—horrific news—that has dominated the airways, they needed to hear pleasant things. Happy things. She thanked us for making them smile, for bringing them joy.

We do what we do because it's fun. It's fun for us. It's fun for the listeners. But we tend to forget that it is often more than just fun. It can be a few minutes of escape for those who need to think about something other than what is happening in their world at the moment.

This music can zip people right back to days when they were younger, when knees and hips and backs didn't hurt so much. We watch the audience singing along with us, knowing every word of every song. These are their songs. Songs from their high school years, songs from their courtship years, songs they sang to their babies, and songs their parents may have sung to them.

All of those memories wrapped up in some bouncy tunes strummed on ukuleles. Memories of people loved, of places visited, of songs heard on car radios—when cars only had radios and not bluetooth connections.

We love what we do. We love that it makes people happy. That makes us very happy.

Spread A Little Happiness, Sting, 1982

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again

It was the most miserable day outside. It was a most wonderful day inside. The crowd at Hampton Heights Baptist Church was larger than they expected on such a cold rainy day. Maybe everyone was happy to get out of the house. This rain has gone on for days.

But whatever the reason, the audience was really into our music. They sang along, smiled and laughed and when it was over, they asked for more songs! And when we had played a few more, they gave us a standing ovation.

We could not have asked for more.  

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again, The Fortunes, 1971


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Jimmie Brown The Newsboy

Well, our writer was named Kenny instead of Jimmy, but he did a great job capturing the spirit fo the Yesterukes. And in the fashion of small town papers—this one is published monthly.—the interviews were conducted at the end of July and the article was printed in the September issue.

We so appreciate a little nice publicity. What we do takes a lot of time and effort and it's nice to be recognized. We always think what we do is a good thing and that we bring joy to so many people. Now The Simpsonville Sentinel says the same thing!

Jimmie Brown The Newsboy, Flatts & Scruggs, 1951

Sunday, September 20, 2015

So Long, Farewell


From a blog post in 2010...
And we had some fans who wanted to see us perform so badly that they decided to just come.  Our first party crashers!  Our public concerts are rare, so they just decided to come and hope it was okay.  It was fine and added to the excitement. And it delighted us that anyone wanted to see us that much.

This week, the Yesterukes lost one of our biggest fans--Russ. He was so many things to so many people, one of which was a builder of fine ukuleles, so his stamp of approval on what we do meant a lot to us.

After that first "party crashing" when they came to see us perform, they were able to attend more events where we played. We even provided the entertainment at his 50th birthday party. It was a surprise party. Maybe seeing us there was his biggest surprise.

We were happy to say yes when his widow asked us to be a part of his memorial service. We were even mentioned in the obituary as "his favorite band." So we will play songs with smiles on our faces, knowing he is smiling, too.

So Long, Farewell, from The Sound Of Music, 1959


Friday, August 14, 2015


 Our first gig of this season was a little different from our usual programs for senior adults. We were invited to play at the Back To School Beach Bash Luau at the Greenville Library (Augusta Rd.) Our space was limited, so the first 10 of our band members to volunteer came to play as families came in and out of the library.

A few tiny children showed up with ukuleles in hand, just to be part of the "Hawaiian" fun. A small girl did her own version of the hula as we played.

But the most impressive was the mother who stayed to talk a few minutes after we finished our set. She had brought her children from a neighboring town because she had read that we would be playing. Yes, they came just to see us! Her young son is interested in ukuleles and she wanted him to see real ones being played.

Maybe in a few years, the library can call him to come play for them!

Aloha'Oe, Liliʻuokalani, 1878


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Getting Some Fun Out Of Life

Because YouTube has not wanted to play nice with me recently, I have posted a couple of videos from our band practice on Facebook instead. Who knew that was a much better way to reach people? We had so many new "likes" and positive comments from people all over the country. And a few places around the globe.

But the following conversation posted on our Facebook page was the best. This young woman said it better than we could have ourselves—"Community amongst yourselves with a sense of mission."

Brooklynn I used your group as an example of a ministry for senior adults in my (seminary) Spiritually Across the Lifespan class :) My professor and classmates thought you all were fantastic! Thanks for sharing your videos. 
The Yesterukes Thank you! We have always thought that those in the band probably benefit more than those we play for. And audiences love to hear us. So, it's a double blessing.  
Brooklynn That's exactly what we so enjoyed! Community amongst yourselves with a sense of mission. We are exploring how important that is. Blessings!!

Thank you, Brooklyn, for totally "getting it."

Getting Some Fun Out Of Life, Bille Holliday, 1937

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Way You Make Me Feel

We were so welcomed by Woodruff First Baptist Church
Then we were treated to lunch prepared by some of 
the very best southern cooks.

We enjoyed the fellowship with the Golden Age group.

And then it was time for us to make them feel good, feel young. 

Our music seemed to hit the spot with the enthusiastic listeners. 
We loved seeing the smiling faces and toes a-tappin' 
and folks singing right along with us.
It was one of those days when it all worked just right.

The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson, 1987

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hooked On A Feeling

They continued to come into the fellowship hall at 
First United Methodist Church, Easley until the room was full.

The Yesterukes were more than ready to play again.
This was our first gig of the year.
A winter break is nice (and much needed) 
but it was nice to make music again.

The tables were beautiful decorated with a Valentine theme.
The food was delicious—hot soup on a cold winter day.

The fellowship was the best.
Yes, we are definitely hooked on this venture—
the instrument, the music, the friendships.

Hooked On A Feeling, B.J. Thoman, 1968