This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

The Boys in the Band

19 December 2009

The real "little rascals" from a 1909 postcard. Sent from Malta, Ohio to Jefferson, South Dakota. The hats and the dog make this photo a perfect timeless moment.

The photographer wrote the title on what was probably a promotional postcard for the town. Malta-McConnelsville is a two part village in Ohio split by the Muskingum River. It's only a few miles from Caldwell, OH which had a celebrated "Caldwell Kid Band" from 1906 to 1913. And only a few miles in the other direction was the Boys Concert Band in Pike Township, Perry County, OH, dating from 1908.  I wish I could have heard them, they look confident and assured for such young lads.

Addressed to Miss Eva Rusk of Jefferson, S.D.   R.F.D. No.2

This is the band that
gave the concert, a program of which
I enclose in your letter. Show it
to your brothers  —  WS Connor

Many of these boys' bands were started as an extra activity for the local youth, but were usually not connected with any school. Instead it was exactly as depicted in "The Music Man". Some entrepreneur would come up with the instruments and begin a program to provide an activity outlet for boys; promote a community; and perhaps more importantly, give employment for the music teacher/leader.  At a time when little league sports and school arts programs did not exist, it's amazing that there were so many of these bands for boys. And girls too, as you will see soon.


Christine H. said...

I immediately thought of the Little Rascals too. How wonderful that these kids had this opportunity.

Karen S. said...

I just know they had a grand time...and everyone but the darling dog got a hat!

Bob Scotney said...

The dog is determined to be in on the act.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Just a delightful photo! Love the dog!

Joy said...

Malta-McConnelsville is an interesting name for a village only added to by the fact it was separated by a river. Perhaps Scots settlers on one side the Maltese on the other, or not.

Little Nell said...

Those youngsters all look so serious, like little old men, but I bet they had a wonderful time music-making.

Alan Burnett said...

You are right it is a fantastic photograph and a piece of social history. Fascinating description too.

Postcardy said...

an interesting piece of history. I knew there were town bands, but I didn't know there were kids' bands.

Wendy said...

I wonder if the dog beat the drum with his tail.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

This is the most wonderful photo ... you combined sepia, music and dogs all at one time!

I like the history of how these bands came into being. It must have been a great help for the teacher to supply the instruments too.

Have a great week,

Kathy M.

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

Before I read the first sentence I saw the dog in the picture and immediately thought "Little Rascals!" Wendy's comment is hysterical! Great photo!


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