Today’s post is about centenarians.
“Whittling Fiddler” Violet Hensley turned 103 on October 21st, and she made appearances at the annual harvest festival at Silver Dollar City amusement park, as she has done for many decades. Here’s her write-up at the National Fiddler Hall of Fame: http://www.nationalfiddlerhalloffame.org/HallOfFame/violethensley.html
Viola Smith is the world’s oldest professional drummer, and she will turn 107 on November 29th. Here’s a recent article from Jazz Journal: https://jazzjournal.co.uk/2019/11/06/viola-smith-still-laying-it-down-at-107/
Genarians’ list of living celebrities born before 1918: https://www.genarians.com/1918-pre.html
Retired actor Kirk Douglas will turn 103 on December 9th. His extensive filmography includes westerns. Here’s a western song he sang in 1955 for the movie “Man Without A Star” https://youtu.be/Vf_UvzEFutM
Kirk Douglas and Johnny Cash costarred in the 1971 western “A Gunfight.” Here’s a clip from Kirk’s appearance on the Johnny Cash show leading up to that: https://youtu.be/vJAftp921Bo
Dame Vera Lynn is 102, and she first recorded “We’ll Meet Again” in 1939 (which many artists covered, including Johnny Cash) : https://youtu.be/h1xrofiEa4w
Actress and singer Julie Gibson passed away last month at age 106. She appeared in Three Stooges episodes, and in the 1944 western short film “Lucky Cowboy.”
New Orleans music legend Dave Bartholomew passed away this June at 100: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/23/698212277/dave-bartholomew-a-father-of-rock-and-roll-dead-at-100
Dave Bartholomew was most associated with Fats Domino, but he was also a prolific songwriter, and a few well-known country artists like Hank Williams, Jr, Jeannie C. Riley, and Doug Kershaw covered his songs. Bartholomew also wrote the “Ding-A-Ling” song that was a huge hit for Chuck Berry.
The Cavan Project has a list of some of the oldest artists to actually chart. The Zimmers had a member who claimed to be 100, though there was some controversy over his proof of age : http://www.thecavanproject.com/12-oldest-musicians-ever-charts/
Wikipedia list of music-related centenarians: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_centenarians_(musicians,_composers_and_music_patrons)