Thursday, November 30, 2017

Beautiful Music Together

Anyway, that's what Mary Sue Banks and I thought.

And, in fact, from our years at Piedmont on through Central....our orchestras never got less than a Number One rating from the State Music Judges!

We had some very talented kids in those orchestras!  I doubt that any of us continued with our music after high school, but as my friend Julian Barber used to say...."I may be a "has been"....but look where I has been!"

Mary Sue and I sat next to each other in the first violin section of those orchestras for 6 years....and literally could read each other's musical minds.

Our senior the final orchestra competition and "official rating" of all the State high school orchestras and bands (a really big deal) that we had practiced the whole year for....I was convinced that I had BLOWN it !

All those days of practice....and rehearsal....

Me....the concertmaster....the so called leader.....had blown it!

I obviously let the pressure and excitement get to me...and when Jack Stern, our director...moved his hand...adjusting his glasses or something....I mistakenly though he had given us the "downbeat" and  I began to play....half the orchestra followed me...and also began.

All those months of practice.....sweat and tears....

Mr. Stern directed us to stop immediately.......

But there I was...guilty as Hell.  In front of all those State Judges.

After all that practice....(our entire year was pointed toward performing well for that State competition,  and I had just caused us to look like the SPIKE JONES band!

I looked over at Mary Sue, expecting her to have fire in her eyes...directed toward me for my stupid mistake....But, she just smiled.....

What a relief her smile was to me.

Maybe my goof didn't really spoil our chances at a good rating after all!.

And she was right. The judges interpreted my mistake as an indication that I must be a strong  "leader".....since the rest of the orchestra began to play...after I falsely started.

We got an A plus rating.

That was many years ago, but I guess it's never too late to thank Mary Sue and those excellent student musicians in the CHS orchestra who once protected me from looking like a complete jerk..


(Jerry Gaudet informs me that Mary Sue is currently very ill.  I'll let you know if I hear anything more.   -Ed)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Tragic Death of Warren Sparrow's Daughter

Monday, November 20, 2017

By Jerry Gaudet

Great sympathies to Warren Sparrow following the tragic death of his daughter, Dora, from complications in recovery following what seemingly was to be routine outpatient arthroscopic surgery.

Blessings to Warren and his family.

We have this contact information:

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bob Raiford

My good friend and long time broadcaster, Bob Raiford died this morning.  He was 89.
His nightly program, "Raiford at Random" on WBT in the early 50's was when I first heard of him...and instantly became a fan.

As a member of Mr. Balance's "radio class" at Central High, I  personally proposed that we invite Bob to speak to our class.  I had no idea if he would or not, but I wanted the chance to have an excuse to meet the DJ I so admired.  He accepted.

I still remember part of his talk to our class, at one point he quoted "keats....or Shelley," he said "I don't remember which, but he wrote, "I'm a part of all that I have met...."

That's all I remember of his talk...but personally I had met a man....some of whose talent I was hoping would rub off on me.
As a fledgling DJ and radio announcer myself, I became an instant admirer and fan of his. His choice of music was impeccable. His "patter" was different from anything I had ever heard on the air. It was...for a better word...."sophisticated."  Highbrow, if you will....but down to earth at the same time.
And his voice?  Classic old time radio announcer quality...but with sincerity and conviction to spare.

I was very happy and.....honored that Bob and I became friends.

Those two virtues, sincerity and conviction was what got him in trouble.  That and the pure love of radio got in the way of the  his otherwise steel trap mind.   He would have made a great lawyer.  That, in fact, was what he was studying to be....when through a quirk of fate, and an absolutely golden voice pushed him into a totally different direction...a field that was just about the same age as he

As much as he loved radio, his dislike of, in his opinion,  mis-directed management of the medium, tended to "drive him over the edge."   And yes, I'm talking about that time he blew out the control room window of WTOP radio in Washington with a firecracker.  (But in all honesty, that had more to do with too much whiskey and good natured monkey-shines among "good buddies" than anything else.)

The big boss (Meester Big....of WTOP) at the station believed that. too. And although Bob was fired for that incident....he was "re-hired" not long afterward.

Bob didn't have a mean bone in his body.  But yes, some of his antics wound  up appearing mean spirited, they never started out that way.

I consider Bob one of my oldest and best friends.  I will miss him very much.


(Bob's nickname for me.)

Thursday, November 09, 2017


By Jerry Gaudet

"LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 11:30 AM at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please help spread the word!  Invite other classmates to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
We sure hope you'll come!