Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Me 'n' Molly Brown

Several years ago, I would guess about 1995, I was invited to the Molly Brown house in Denver,Colorado for an intimate dinner, You will remember the name from Meredith Wilson musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" and from her notoriety in the famed Titanic disaster in 1912, - I guess there were about twelve of us invited. Below is a photo of a punch bowl from the collection of Molly Brown. I was approached at the Ship's Tavern at the famed Brown Palace (my favorite Friday night hangout) by the curator of the Molly Brown house to offer a personal testimony of what music meant to time and how music had influenced me. I had just sang a song to the audience at the Brown and was singled by the host probably because my age the age of the song were so very incongruent. I, of course, accepted.
We were served not in the main house, but in the upper level of the carriage house (shown below) I wish I had taken notes - there were various performers of local prominence seated at the table. I remember that my good friend Mary was there (she still lives in Denver), We were served a wonderful meal and between courses we were asked to stand and tell a bit about what music had meant to us . When it came to be my turn I stood and told bout my interest in the ancient recordings made by Thomas Edison -those preserving the voices of George Gaskin, Len Spencer, Ada Jones, Billy Murray and Arthur Collins - all of whom (and their contemporaries) their records I collected. I told of what a recoding session was like in 1910, in the days of Molly (actually she went by Maggie) Brown. I spoke of how to properly sing into the recording horn, how to market a recording as a music promoter, I told of the best (and worst ) recording machines - the ones I owned and the ones I would like to have. It was a great dinner and one I will never forget. Below is a photo of Molly serving a dinner at the same home

Sometime in my life, I would like to host a similar dinner -hopefully I will - but, I will always remember this particular dinner at the Brown home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Denver.

No comments: