Friday, May 31, 2013

Dad's Memories, Part III

(Intro and Parts I and II in preceding posts.)
    (Jr again: A day or so after I received the foregoing,
    I received a phone call from you know who. "It occurred
    to me that I forget to tell you about my marvelous
    musical ability, so I am sending you a little more.")
Addendum (Latin for "dumb addition?")
29 Nye Avenue was the last of "in a row" three deckers, probably sixty feet apart. On the top floor was a Mrs. Worsencroft (called Worsey). She was a fairly good pianist.

We had a nice Mason-Hamlin piano which was Aunt Ruth's pride and joy. Our church organist, Grace James (a 50 year old maiden lady with high black shoes) walked around Brockton giving piano lessons in the home, etc.

I had four lessons and that was it, so at least I faced the piano properly (1928 or 1929, I think).

Worsey often played a real bouncy and busy piece, which years down the road I learned was "The Rustic Dance." Before the summer was over, I could copy her playing note for note (no talent, but a good "ear").

"The Rustic Dance" happened to be in the key of E flat, which is three flats, using many black notes (which most try to avoid). In E flat, when you are looking for your pretty chords, they are in the "naturals," so anything I knew, I could play in E flat (not the best key for singing).

So, I have to thank Worsey for all the money I made playing out for fifteen years, and for my eight great years at the One Ten House in Amesbury, playing by ear (in E flat).

When we went to Portsmouth to live, Barbee had a nice piano, which was also a "player" piano. One afternoon when I was knocking off a tune or two, she asked me for a song which she described as, "You know, Kenny, the one where you get up in the morning and find something." It took me a couple days to figure out that one. What she wanted to hear was "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise."
    (Jr again: I believe he is very proud of this, as I have
    heard about it at least two hundred times.)
George Lay paid me the best semi-musical compliment when he said, "Kenny, you aren't the best organist I ever heard, but you sure can handle a lounge."


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