I was introduced to live music around 1932 when I was 4 years old. Traveling musicians would stop by our farmhouse, sit on the front porch with their guitars, mandolins, banjos, and fiddles and play for hours. They asked for whatever we could give. This might be 25 or 50 cents, sometimes a meal.
In the late 30s before vaudeville was completely dead, movie theaters would have a live vaudeville show before movie started. To earn the 10 cent admission, I would collect soda pop bottles along the railroad track where the passengers would throw them from the open windows and return them to the local grocery store for the penny apiece. I remember Tex Ritter live on stage. Such a thrill for a 10-year-old.
After enlisting in the Navy, I remember the USO shows with the live music. And after the war I remember the $1 admission to see and hear Benny Goodman play his clarinet and Gene Krupa’s drum solo in the middle of “Sing, Sing, Sing.”
I remember Tony Bennett’s concert when he was getting started. He’s one year older than I and still at it. I remember Les Paul and Mary Ford, Spike Jones, and many others in concert from many years ago.
When I located in Ramona, I joined the local Kiwanis Club and their harmonica band and became part of the live music tradition. The point of all this is I’ve been hooked on live music for 80 years.
Five years ago Rotary and Kiwanis clubs in Ramona joined forces to present a yearly fundraising event and promote great live music that we can afford. This music event is dubbed the Ramona Music Fest and for the fifth year was presented on March 31. Once again we had a successful event, thanks to all of you who took the time to attend and enjoy. All money raised will be used by Kiwanis and Rotary to support Ramona community projects.
Can you dig it!
Kiwanis Club of Ramona