View Full Version : Musical Generations

Feb-04-2004, 12:17am
I was just thinking about my Moms side of the family, they've always been very musical. I was Just curious who else has a Musical Family. Its actually a very interesting topic, almost, ledgendy.....I dont know! But do You get what Im saying? Whats the word, ahh yes, Ancestry! Ha.

#Heck, somehow In my family,(this is weird) Im related to George Washington on my moms side, and on my dads side Im Related to King Fredderick the 7th of Dinmark. I wonder if that makes me Royalty! Ha! Somehow they're my great beyond great grandfathers.

But Anyhow! Anyone related to any Musicians or anything? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Heres a Picture of My Moms Dad, AKA, My grandpa Roeben, When he was in the Army/War...(one of those lol) Holding his First Guitar, which was a Gibson. Im not sure when It was taken though!! Sorry if its kinda small! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Christine W
Feb-04-2004, 9:10am
My grandfather on my Mom's side played the the trumpet in the german army during world war II (dare I say that). He also played the fiddle and harmonica. My mom used to say he could play anything he heard. I wish some of that would have rubbed off on me. I do believe that is where I got my desire to play, is from him. I remember growing up in germany and listening to him play at that time he mostly played the harmonica.

My father played the accordian and I remember him playing when I was a child. He used to play and do that Russian, kosac (sp?) dance at the same time, you know where they squat down and kick thier feet out. That still baffels me.Thats about as far as the musical ancestry goes in my family.

Thanks for bringing this up it made me think of fond memories.

John Flynn
Feb-04-2004, 9:26am
Great topic! Sadly, there is not much musical history in my family. My dad used to sing a little and my sister played the piano a bit, but was neither one was really serious about it. That's it. They are generally a very supportive family, but strangely, they have never been very supportive about my music. They don't put it down, it's just like it's something that is not on their emotional radar at all. I am really the first and only person in the family to be really serious about music. Go figure.

Mike Crocker
Feb-04-2004, 9:52am
Mom plays piano and sings. Her mother played piano and her father played the fiddle (which I now have).

Dad played piano, sang, composed church music and children's songs, directed choirs, and could play just about anything. His mother played piano and would sing a bit.

My sisters play piano and sing, my brother sings and used to play piano flute and percussion.

Beyond that I don't know.

I was raised to put music ahead of most other things in life, except maybe family, food and housing, so it's little wonder I make most of my livelihood from music.

Peace, Mooh.

Feb-04-2004, 9:55am
I wish I knew where my interest came from...seems I just woke up one day at age 10-11 and said " hey its a great day to play music".....I don't think anyone in my family played...not even the triangle. My 4 little cuz's play now so that great. we got em' started young. the greatest thing is the look his mom gave me when he unwrapped his gift and a strat came out.....muhahahaha now that is priceless. she since has forgiven me. now if I could just get one of them into mando.....hmmmm

cheers all

Feb-04-2004, 10:52am
my father plays guitar and accordeon. his father plays guitar. my older sister took classical training for several years, she was probably the best of all of us, but she quit in junior high sometime

Feb-04-2004, 11:03am
My dad used to tell stories about his Uncle who could play anything you put in his hands. My mom gave my brother the guitar and fiddle he built. Somewhere in my mom's attic is a great banjo neck he built as well. He passed away in the 60's. Not real old heritage but kind of neat, wish I could have met him.

Feb-04-2004, 11:23am
My sister plays piano very well and she has (I not) "l'oreille intégrale".It means that she can say what note it is when she hears a note or a noise(because,as you know,each noise is a note). http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif thread

Feb-04-2004, 11:32am
My Greatgrandmother played and taught piano. She also went to college long before that was the norm. Someone in the family still has her old music stand. It was a really nice stand that had a marble top and a storage area underneath for additional sheet music. She taught my Grandmother how to play piano as well...but the buck stopped there...My parents could barely play the radio! Lucky for me they were/are very encouraging with my musical pusuits! Thanks Mom for those few months of guitar lessions when I was around ten years old....Started my journey there!

Feb-04-2004, 11:41am
My mom has played classical piano all her life and her mom plays organ. I wanted to start playing violin so I started classically. When I changed teachers my new teacher also taught fiddling and mando. Now I've gone off on my own and I'm learnin everything else.
My dad picked up bass when I started goin to fiddling contests to back to me up and my mom picked up guitar. My bro picked up guitar and we had a family band goin for awhile, but it died quickly (good thing). Now I've joined lotsa other bands and I play and jam with my bro all the time still.

Feb-04-2004, 11:41am
At least two of my greatgrandfathers were musical. One played fiddle and hammer dulcimer, and even built some sort of foot pedals for the dulcimer so he could do both at the same time. He wasn't a professional musician, but played a lot of village weddings and dances. The fiddle he made (and later modified into an 8-string) is still owned by a distant uncle of mine, though I'm not sure if he plays it.

One of my grandmothers is a very good singer and remembers all sorts of old songs that nobody else knows. My father played drums and bass at folk dances and later guitar in rock bands, but mostly just messes around with piano these days. One of his brothers used to play bass and mandolin, but that must have been before I was born. My brother plays guitar, bass guitar and piano.

Not really a "musical family" - nobody played music for a living, nobody had any formal training - but a good history of amateur noisemaking.

Feb-04-2004, 11:54am
My mother used to sing a little when she was a kid. My dad played a little tater bug mandolin and harmonica many years ago.My grandfather's brother's grandson is Byron Berline.I don't know if any of this helps my playing, but I know I inherited the love for the music.

Feb-04-2004, 12:08pm
Good thread ! All my uncles on my mothers side were musicions.. Auditioned for the old Renfro Valley Barn Dance When told thye were hired they said Oh We dont want the job we just wanted to see if we were good enough ? lolGrandmother on my fathers side also played piano.

Feb-04-2004, 12:33pm
According to some genelogical research done by one of my aunts, my great-great grandfather fiddled his way over from Wales. #I have always been interested in music. #I play several instruments, unfortunately, rather poorly.

Feb-04-2004, 12:39pm
Mom plays piano and used to played sax in a band back in highschool, retired kindergarten teacher. Gotta be able to play piano to teach kindergarten.

Dad played sax and clarinet and was a semi-professional piano player, played boogie woogie, blues and such in bars when in the Army before college. Entered college as a music major and then decided he didn't want to be a starving musician and transferred to education, was a math profressor for 30s or so and then retired. Now he's back into music and is perpetualy registered in a night class at Juliard. Spends one whole day a week there listening to recitals and hanging out before his night class. Not a bad retirement.

Feb-04-2004, 1:05pm
Elvis was my second cousin. You know how it is in that part of the country - everyone is related. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Keith Wallen
Feb-04-2004, 3:39pm
Just about my entire family on mom's side has played and a few on my dad's side. There are really to many to list. At one time there were 5 bluegrass, 1 country and one rock band that my familiy was in on just mom's side within immediate family. I am a third generation picker and now my generations kids are starting to play. The way we all socialize when we get together is by picking. Its a blast and a lot of fun.

Jim Garber
Feb-04-2004, 3:53pm
Heres a Picture of My Moms Dad, AKA, My grandpa Roeben, When he was in the Army/War...(one of those lol) Holding his First Guitar, which was a Gibson. Im not sure when It was taken though!! Sorry if its kinda small! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Sorry to inform you, nickelcreeker, that that guitar is not a Gibson. Gibson rarely made guitars with slotted headstocks if at all and not ones that looked like that. It looks more like a mailorder guitar, Sears Supertone or Montgomery Ward, maybe.

Nice topic, tho... my family had little music in it. Rumor had it that one of my great aunt's played the mandolin but no one of the previous generation ever recalled having heard her play.


Feb-04-2004, 4:23pm
dad played trumpet during wwii with the swing band "flying yanks". he taught me trumpet when i was eight. played it until i was thirty. hung it up to make a living. dabbled with harmonica. picked up irish whistle and flute about two years ago. mandolin in apr 03. currently: having a blast after a long hiatus.

music (i have discovered) is very important to me!

- tom

Feb-04-2004, 6:14pm
The only musical ability my Mother had was her voice. #My Father had none, (but he comes out to the jams and supports me) I grew up attending Old Regular Baptist Church's where they focused on call and response and acapella singing. #They didn't believe in playing instruments. #I received my mandolin as a gift about 3 years ago, and that is where my musical journey began:)


Feb-04-2004, 7:31pm
Sorry to inform you, nickelcreeker, that that guitar is not a Gibson.

Oi, sorry about that, My bad. Thats just what Iv been told..eep. Sorry!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Its weird how everyone on my dads side cant play any instrument, yet their all such huge bluegrass fans. My Grandma is moving to California soon and wants to sell her Banjo, YES BANJO. I was gonna ask her if she could pass it down.

#My mom has been playing Guitar for like, about 25 years. She always tried to find me a instrument to play. She tried Paino when I was really little, then guitar, didnt work. Then my sis got a violin. She didnt let me touch it!
Then When we moved from Texas to Washington, I got put in this..stupid..fancy private school. For Band I got a darn Trombome. That didnt last long! Then the Harmonica story, I wont go into that.

So My Grandma came to visit telling me about how she loved bluegrass and everything. We were driving around and I heard some mandolin music on some radio station and I asked my mom what it was. I completley fell in love with the sound. Before I knew it I was up all night picking away on my very own mandolin, annoying the heck out of everyone! Ta da! ......now im tired http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Bob DeVellis
Feb-04-2004, 10:47pm
My father played violin in dance orchestras before he and my mother married. A great uncle on my mother's side apparently played madolin very well (something I never new during his lifetime). I have a cousin who's a professional saxaphonist. My nephew has a degree in music, is a music teacher, plays concerts internationally (sax), and has composed a number of pieces. His brother is a drummer. Their father (my brother) can't carry a tune in a wheelbarrow (although he has many other outstanding qualities, for sure). Several of these relatives (father, great uncle) were born in Italy and others grew up in Italian-American households. Music traditionally has been an integral part of the culture and was seen less as a special talent than as a normal activity. Unfortunately, this was much more true among my parents' generation than mine. I think I'm the only one of my generation (siblings or cousins) who plays. Happily, the next generation -- the grandchildren of my parents, aunts and uncles -- have lots of musicians among them, despite being farther removed from their cultural roots. I'd like to think that through my musical relatives (especially my father), I might have a gene or two that give me a slight edge -- heaven knows I need it!

Feb-04-2004, 11:22pm
Well, on my dad's side: my uncle plays ba*(@o, my other uncle plays electric guitar, other uncle plays acoustic guitar, my cousin plays acoustic, and my dad plays acoustic. On my mom's side: my uncle (now deceased) played acoustic guitar and my mom is completely tone deaf. Which one did I get honestly?

Feb-05-2004, 12:18am
One question, Iv always wonders why people on the Cafe cannot spell B A N J O. Its not that hard! LOL!

Feb-05-2004, 1:10am
My father played the guitar and harmonica. I play just about anything with strings to some degree and had the mandatory piano lessons of my youth. Part of my youth not well spent http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif . Two of my kids play and quite well at that. On my mom's side they tried valiantly to no avail. At least they enjoyed it.

Feb-05-2004, 1:22am
I think all my musical ability (or rather, what music ability I have) came down along my mom's side. She's got a nice alto voice, and played piano and folk guitar. Her grandfather could sit down at a piano and play pretty much any tune. Her mother (my grandmother) played (and maybe taught) piano, but more than anything they were a family of singers. As for me, I started in choir as a wee little tyke and sang for maybe 12 years (actually, still do), did the piano lesson thing for about 8 years, picked up the guitar in high school, and of more recent years, fell in love with the mandolin.


Martin Jonas
Feb-05-2004, 8:48am
I'm a third-generation mandolinist! My maternal grandfather started playing mandolin in the 1920s and bought his own instrument in the 1930s. That's the mandolin I play now. My grandmother played guitar and German concert zither. When my grandfather died in 1948, his mandolin passed on to my mother. She bought a roundback in the mid-1950s, which she still plays now, and my grandfather's flatback remained unplayed until I picked it up. On my father's side, my grandfather is said to have played fiddle, but nobody knows much more. My father plays guitar and is the one in the family with absolute pitch.

All of the above might give the impression of a more musical family than we really are; both my mother and I are fairly rudimentary mandolin players and from what I gather my grandfather wasn't any great shakes either, but I still feel like I'm upholding a family tradition!


Feb-06-2004, 8:50am
I grew up in a family where there was always music happening. I remember a visiting aunt once mentioning that she liked visiting us because she could always hear different music coming from different parts of the house.

When my grandson was two years old and I was sitting on my deck enjoying the night air he toddled inside and brought my mando out and put it in my lap. I guess he figured that grandpa was supposed to have that thing with him. (He was right, of course)

I figure that he and his new little brother will remember their grandpa with an instrument in his lap. Not a bad legacy.

Feb-06-2004, 9:38am
To my knowledge my grandfather played fiddle up in vermont back in the 30's. Theres also a story of some uncle that had and extra thumb and was a heck of a banjo player.I never met him or saw it so its just family lore. My mom and dad played the radio while I was growing up.And in my late 20's I got the music bug, started on guitar and switched to mandolin, a wise move. I'm not even related to any famous people but if I'm having a bad hair day my brother says I look like Jerry Garcia http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-06-2004, 9:58am
Dad plays and builds resophonics (Dobros)..my brother plays guitar and bass..I play mando, guitar, bass and a bit of fiddle. Everyone else plays the radio

Feb-06-2004, 11:36am
My father played the guitar and a little harmonica. His uncle was in a little trio (two Gibson 335's and a fiddle) that used to play for dances in North Georgia ("Down Yonder", "Under the
Double Eagle", "Listen to the Mockingbird", etc.) The fiddle player was buried with his fiddle. My brother and I got the guitar bug in high school. Then my brother went through a banjo period, learning from the Scruggs book, and actually eventually could get through "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"
in a moderate speed. I've played guitar intermittently since my teen years and a little less than a year ago, decided I wanted to give mandolin a try, and now, as most all of us are,
I'm addicted and trying VERY hard to be dedicated. This thread is bringing back lots of great memories.

Feb-06-2004, 4:37pm
Great-grandpop played in a mandolin orchestra professionally. I still have his bowlback. Grandpop played violin. It's the one I learned on. Mom and Dad met at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He's a clarinet and sax player and music theory instructor. She's a pianist, solo performer, teacher, accompanist, and operatic musical director. I was learning scales before the alphabet.

Eric F.
Feb-07-2004, 12:32am
My father was a very fine amateur classical pianist. He even had a grand piano AND baby grand for a while. Maybe he suffered from Piano Acquisition Syndrome?

mando bandage
Feb-07-2004, 11:43am
Mother was a classically trained soprano and pianist. #Maternal grandfather played violin/fiddle daily until he passed. All the maternal aunts/uncles sang and played something (alltogether too many play(ed) the trombone, so I did too in band). #

Seems the impetus came from my maternal great-grandmother who would admonish all her grandchildren never to forget that they descended from "the Bach-singing Moravians." # By all accounts, she was a fanatic musician, grand piano in the living room of the farm house in NW Missouri and took the train to Boston every year for a classical music festival.

Mandowannabe, a/ka George Baker: #all this comes down to me through the Welsh "Baker" line. #Maybe we're kin.


Feb-07-2004, 2:12pm
Mom was a commercial artist, dad tap dancer until his mom told him he couldn't go into places like those (nightclubs, this was in the late 30's). Sister and brother were forced to take clarinet. So, I guess no one was musically inclined but me. Sort of.

Feb-08-2004, 2:01pm
Great topic. I love any opportunity to brag about my old man. He used to play with Hank Williams, Sr. back in the day. He's the one on the right, obviously.

Feb-08-2004, 2:02pm
And here's one more, a little more appropriate to the instrument we all love. My old man is on the far left, and most of you should recognize a few of the other folks there. =)