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 }

Hebel's Cherry-Bud Band

22 March 2013

On May 1, 1915, the Capital Journal of Salem, Oregon ran a story with the headline:

"Hebel's Cherry Bud Band"

Is the Latest Sensation

in Local Music Circles

Sousas In the Miniature Perform Wondrously Upon

Wind Instruments --- Petite Evelyn Hebel "Wrestles"

With Monster Tuber and Does Herself Proud

Little Evelyn Hebel is kneeling with her E-flat "tuber" on the left, just in front of her father, Charles Hebel, who stands at the back of his children's band, the Cherry-Bud Band of Salem, Oregon. The name is derived from Salem's nickname, The Cherry City, where the citizens have celebrated a summer Cherry Festival since 1903.

The 20 boys and girls are from Hebel's neighborhood in East Salem, east of 14th and north of Center Street. Their first public performance was planned for Memorial Day of 1915, only a few months after they had first acquired their brass band instruments. Over the next few years, they would become a common feature of Salem's patriotic parades and events.

This lengthy newspaper report also included the names of the first band members:

Claude Burch and Earnest Kubin, solo B-flat cornets, aged 10 and 12 respectively;
Frank Lynch and Hubert Seamater, first B-flat cornets, aged 14 years;
Claude Palmer and Ralph Swartz, second and third B-flat cornets, aged 10 and 9 respectively;
Everett Givens, Lawrence Schunelle and Otto Albers, altos, aged 11 and 10, respectively;
Earl Yarnell and Richard Riley, tenors, aged 11 and 10, respectively;
Ben Rider and Everett Walker, trombones, aged 14 and 10, respectively;
Earnest Zinn, baritone, aged 9;
Miss Evelyn Hebel, E-flat bass, aged 9;
Charles Chase, bass drum, aged 13, and Cecil Stambaugh, snare drum, aged 15.

The Daily Capital Journal, May 31, 1915
Salem, Oregon

Charles Hebel was born in Illinois in 1877 and had called Champaign, IL his home until moving to Salem in 1913. where he set up his own business as a decorative sign painter and dealer in paint and wall paper. He was also a talented and experienced musician. Though his instrument was not mentioned, it was probably the cornet, which was the most common instrument for a bandleader.

Sometime in 1914, he decided to organize a brass band for the wayward boys in East Salem. It's not clear how he acquired the instruments, but they practiced two evenings a week at his shop and on Fridays gave a concert for the neighborhood.

Sensibly, like many other enterprising family bandleaders who had no sons, Hebel also added his three daughters to the band roster.

By 1916, The Cherry-Bud Band had acquired professional band uniforms and become "Salem's Pride". Charles stands on the left, and his wife, Goldie Hebel, who was the band's business manager, stands on the right. The children are a year older now. There are three girls in the center that I believe are the Hebel sisters. The girl standing at the back would be the oldest, Marribel Hebel (b.1900). Marribel's trombone is hidden by her younger sister, Evelyn Hebel (b.1904) with her E-flat tuba and wearing a large black ribbon in her hair. The petite drum major in front would be the youngest sister, Annita Hebel (b.1913).

On the same day, the Cherry-Bud Band also posed on the bandstand in front of the Oregon state capitol. The band had a repertoire of popular marches and patriotic songs that they played for many civic events from 1915 to 1918. The children's band may have been a way for Hebel to market his business name, but I think his real purpose was a genuine desire to help young boys (and his girls) develop an interest in music. In this era, musical training was seen as a career path, just the same as other traditional trades, but it was not usually included in the public education curriculum. Bands like this were also used as an acceptable activity to keep city boys from straying into mischief or worse.

After 1918, the name of the Cherry-Bud Band disappears, though Charles and Goldie Hebel continued to live in Salem until the 1940s. Hebel produced a number of postcards of the band, which he probably sold to help support it. This photo intrigued me, and I wondered if I could find a Google Street View that shows this capitol building as it is today.

Alas, this view is gone forever.

Oregon State Capitol in 1909 ~ Wikipedia

Here is the Oregon State Capitol in 1909. It was the second building on this site as the first capitol was destroyed by fire in 1855. This replacement was finished in 1876 and the dome was added later in 1893.

Oregon State Capitol
Fire at night, 25 April 1935
Image courtesy of the Oregon State Library

On the evening of April 25, 1935, a fire started in paper records kept in the basement of the east wing. The conflagration quickly spread from the ground floors traveling up the hollow supporting columns to the upper floors and the dome. The building was a total loss. The state also had no insurance.

Oregon State Capitol

With substantial aid from the Federal Public Works Administration, Oregon rebuilt its capitol and the new building was dedicated in 1938. The contrast between the old and the new is striking, and not in a pleasing way. Locals soon nicknamed the central dome "the paint can". The statue on top, the golden Oregon Pioneer, was not recognized as a great improvement.

Today the park in front of the fountains is lined with cherry trees, and with the start of Spring they soon should be full of Cherry-Buds.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where the focus this weekend could be other kinds of capitol buildings.


Wendy said...

In the game of "Stump the Music Blogger," you will never be defeated.

I would guess Evelyn was quite the novelty playing the tuba.

The new state capital looks like a mausoleum, and indestructible at that.

Little Nell said...

No insurance? I hope they learned their lesson. What a lovely name for a band for 'wayward' boys. I wonder what they did to be categorised thus; they were obviously not a lost cause.

Bob Scotney said...

A great name for a boy band but it would never catch on today.

barbara and nancy said...

Was he the first "Music Man"?
What an interesting post. That little tiny drum major is too cute.

Brett Payne said...

Sadly, I think the third incarnation of the State Capitol building is unlikely to be consumed by fire, but perhaps one can contrive to obscure one's view of it with the flowering cherries. Perhaps we can just stick to Salem.

I am intrigued as to the reason for the Cherry-Bud Band's brief tenure as Salem's pride. It's demise seems to coincide with the end of the war - was there a decline of interest in such bands around then, I wonder?

I can tell there was a lot of research that went on behind this story - excellent work.

Joy said...

A great series of photographs and story, and how nice to find the names. I can't decide which I like best the cute little girl or the pride of place of the tuba. The 1930s building reminds me of those that Mussolini built.

Postcardy said...

I am amazed again at the variety in your collection as well as your research. I never would have imagined a band named for cherry buds.

Alan Burnett said...

As I post each week's theme image, I always think to myself, "I wonder how Mike will deal with this". And in all the weeks and years we have been doing this, I am yet to be disappointed.

Hazel Ceej said...

I learned something new today - cornet. Thanks for that. I thought the littlest girl on the very first photo was cute.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

I didn't know any of this! The old building was much prettier; I didn't realize that it burned down in 1935.

It was so fun learning about the fantastic Cherry-Buds. You found out a lot about them after all, didn't you?

Thanks for this post, Mike, I loved it.

Kathy M.

Karen S. said...

I too often wonder, hmm what will he find, and you always delight. As for that name, I disagree with Bob- that name would work well today on beer! Okay not a boy's band but it could be bottled well! Yummy cherry flavored!

Boobook said...

Impressive research for this post.

Sean Bentley said...

Yow, that photo of the capitol dome engulfed in flames is super.

tony said...

A Brilliant Post.All Hail The Cherry-Buds!


I like how you've flirted with the theme and bringing it full circle with those cherry trees in the park. The new building doesn't look THAT awful to me. Perhaps not a prize winner, but perhaps more resilient to fire? I hope the State got insurances now....

Annita is just too cute there!!
Great initiative to keep the boys busy, I wonder if any good came out of it, anyone famous after being in that band?

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

Not sure where to start, several things struck me about this post.

1. My first thought about the first photo was that it looked exactly like the old photos of the city park in my home town of Mt. Vernon, IL. I guess city parks look much the same everywhere.

2. Then you said that Hebel had come from Champaign, IL which was a coincidence because is a great rival for my hometown's basketball team.

3. Hebel must have been an early "equal opportunity" bandleader!

4. And lastly, what is it about cities that they always replace beautiful landmarks with such ugly atrocities? Paint can is an apt term!

Liz Needle said...

What a fascinating post. You have done so much really interesting research. How long does each post take you? The photos are brilliant, especially those of the band. I love the first one - I think there are 5 females at least in th one. Probably the wife is the one back right with the large hat. Thanks for making my day so interesting.


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