Geriatric Fun.

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Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:49 pm

Hi Sally,

Confession time ........ I am an old romantic myself. To me, that is what music is all about. I can't stand this bloody Gangsta Rap rubbish ..... Who the hell wants to listen to garbage like that?

Love makes the World go round, and songs which explore this condition in a soft and gentle manner are superb. Give Me The Moonlight ........ Give Me The Girl ....... And Leave The Rest To Me. Give Me A Shady Nook, And A Babbling Brook, etc.

If I ever get around to learning that tune, I will certainly let you know.

All The Best, Sal.

Stephen.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Corsaire » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:03 am

There are some songs that run well together : "The Daring Young man on the flying Trapeze" and "My Gal Sal" then "Baby Face" and "If you knew Susie like I knew Susie" ! Then there's "Oh, Oh, Antonio" and "Give my regards to Broadway".

Songs like "When you're smiling" are a bit "party time at the nursing home" and could be slightly depressing !

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:55 am

Hi Sally,

I studiously avoid any tunes which smack of "old standards", believing that residents enjoy a good mixture of tunes. "La Vie en Rose" does not, in my mind, fall into that category. I play it a lot, mainly because I enjoy it.

My playlist is never compiled with "worthiness" in mind. It is bad enough that these poor people are incarcerated in an institution, without subjecting them to musical ideology.

When I am sat in front of an audience of elderly and infirm people, I always think that they were once young and dynamic people. They remember the time when nothing phased them, and when they faced life's difficulties head-on. My philosophy demands that I treat them as though they were still fully able, which prevents me from being in any way condescending.

Fond Best Wishes,

Stephen.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Corsaire » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:17 pm

Hi Stephen

I must admit that after I had written my post, I realised that I was playing for old folk nearly 25 years ago so today some of that music is probably too old. I haven't moved with the times !! It's almost a question of "what sort of music would someone in their 80s want to listen to ?" and it isn't going to be our repertoire of 25 years ago !!! You have certainly given me food for thought !

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:07 pm

Hi Sally,

As you know, my age now begins with a "7". The tunes that I like are mostly from the 50's, 60's & 70's, which are the decades when I actually followed musical trends.

Well known tunes dating from before the 50's are great, but I tend to concentrate on stuff from the decades I have mentioned. When you think about it, most residents of care homes were probably born just after the war, and their earliest memories of music may be from that period.

My Grandmother, who was a formidable Victorian Lady, quite liked Kathy Kirby. Kathy wore lip gloss on stage, and my Grandma always thought that she must have been eating Pork Chops before going on stage. Still, she did like the music. Grandma liked Doris Day as well, but never commented on what she may have had to eat. Frankie Vaughan was another of her favourites.

Fond Best Wishes,

Stephen.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by StargazerTony » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:45 am

Stephen Hawkins wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:07 pm
Hi Sally,

As you know, my age now begins with a "7".

Well known tunes dating from before the 50's are great...
Welcome to the " 7's" A great decade of life, I hope.

I've always considered the 1950's a split decade for music (well, up until the advent of rap when most of music turned to crap, please note how the word rap is contained in the word crap). Anyway, The first half of the 50's were a hold over of the 1940's music performed by 1940's singers like Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney. The last half of the decade saw Rock & Roll start to rock. An interesting time in music
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:40 pm

Hi Tony,

The truth is, every decade has it little "Gems." The 60's was a great time for music, but there was still an awful lot of dross about. The 70's also had its share of cringe-worthy music, though there were some outstanding songs on offer.

I guess I lost interest in popular music when Punk Rock reared its ugly head toward the end of the 70's.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by JEBrown » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:57 pm

What an excellent initiative! I have done something similar, in the retirement/nursing homes of 2 relatives and a friend, and it’s always been well received. In your list I only recognise 3, 4 and 6, and I’m sure these will be very popular. In my (limited) experience I’ve found anything by Elvis seems popular, as are ‘jazz classics’ like Georgia on my Mind, Night & Day, etc. Although these are not easy on the accordion (I played these on piano). The other big hits I’ve had were Que Sera Sera, Molly Malone, Londonderry Air, and Skye Boat song, and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Best of luck to you and your fellow performers.
John

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:10 pm

Hi John,

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I play Que Sera, Sera quite a lot, together with other nice tunes from that era.

As for the Jazz, I am happy to leave most of that to our lovely Saxophonist. She plays tunes from Porgy & Bess, etc.

We have a brand new "gig" tomorrow afternoon, which will doubtless become a regular date in our calendar. We had another first time gig last week, though I am keeping that a little more casual.

Thanks again for your interest.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by wirralaccordion » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:24 pm

Hi Stephen,
The film that Doris Day sang that song in was one of my all-time favorites "The man who knew too much" and she co-starred with Jimmy Stewart. Given that Jimmy was well known as an accordionist wouldn't it have been great if he had accompianed her!

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by JEBrown » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:59 am

wirralaccordion wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:24 pm
Hi Stephen,
The film that Doris Day sang that song in was one of my all-time favorites "The man who knew too much" and she co-starred with Jimmy Stewart. Given that Jimmy was well known as an accordionist wouldn't it have been great if he had accompianed her!
Wait, Jimmy Stewart was an accordionist? :o
John

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by wirralaccordion » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:27 am


Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:04 am

Hi Phil,

Well, I never knew that !! It is true; you do learn something new every day. I thank you for sharing this interesting piece of information. Who would have thought it?

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Corsaire » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:59 am

I've always been a huge fan of Jimmy Stewart but I never knew he played the accordion ! Thanks Phil.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by cat » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:08 am

I've been doing "community service" playing music for folks in these facilities for 30-some years - ever since I first visited one when my gramps took ill. I actually pursued the accordion expressly for this purpose: I used to drag in everything at one time or other: mostly stringed instruments, bands, acquaintances, sound equipment... Necessity became mother to invention as logistical challenges dictated finding the PERFECT instrument to solve all problems.

It wasn't easy learning piano accordion - for some reason, I didn't find keyboard wholly intuitive like the rest of musical instruments. But I persevered on for almost 10 years I guess, with the knowledge that this is the finest instrument for such a venue!

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:10 pm

Hi Cat,

I couldn't agree more ...... the accordion is probably about the best single instrument for this kind of venture.

Our merry little band all enjoy our afternoons in the old folks homes, and the different instruments lend texture to the proceedings. But the personalities of our group are more important than the instruments, and these people are genuinely outstanding.

We know that it is an institution, but it is still the residents home. As I see it, we should always remember that the people we are entertaining were once vibrant young people. We will sit and chat with residents over a cup of tea and a biscuit. A few of the old guys are, like myself, ex-servicemen, and they love to talk about their former lives (and privations) in the military. As this is something I have in common with them, I join in with a few reminiscences of my own. They love it, and so do I.

You should be proud of what you have done, Cat. Most people can't be bothered, but you have taken the trouble to bring joy to others. Well done !!!!

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by cat » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:33 am

Indeed, caring for others.

That accordion is such a fun thing to fire up, and seems to really reach people.

And heck it's an easy gig! Sometimes a free meal :tup: I sometimes encounter folks/friends my own age cohort telling me their parents played (I'm a late boomer).. But I like everything, from avant to classic to early trad... i know that not everyone enjoys hearing the accordion...when I was a kid we didn't know trad and only heard ballroom stuff -

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Geriatric Fun.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:24 pm

Hi Cat,

The Old Folks Homes near us have their meal at about 16.00 hrs. (4 O'clock for the non-military types)so we are usually shuffling out of the door by 15.50 hrs. We have never been offered a meal, but we always get tea and biscuits.

I am also a Baby Boomer, following my Dad's return from the Far East after the War. Soldiers returning from that theatre of war were severely delayed by the lack of ships, but he got home eventually.

As previously stated, I play only music I like. This is usually Folk, Popular Music and a bit of Rock. I'm not all that good, but I do try hard.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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