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 }

Music in the Parlor

23 October 2015

A plucky young lass from Carlisle
strummed the harp with an angelic style.

In the band was her brother,

her sister,


and others, 


and her cousin who played the Base Vile.

His name was Valmah.

It was hard not to notice him.
String bass players, especially the vile ones,
always stand out in an orchestra.

* * *

This postcard is likely American,
and though Carlisle refers to a place in Pennsylvania,
these eight musicians could be from anywhere.
They may be a family group as there are
some similar facial features,
but my guess is that they are a church orchestra
gathered for a rehearsal or performance
in the front parlor of the pianist and the harpist,
who I imagine are

In the lower corner of the postcard is a penciled date of 5-17-07
which may indicate the year of the photo as 1907,
or it may be when the dealer first listed it for $0.50 in 2007.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where old photos are always plucking at the harp strings.


La Nightingail said...

I was looking forward to your post this week
As I knew, once again, the theme you'd meet
With great aplomb
Your post well done
And for the rest of us all, good musical fun!

L. D. said...

It is such a great postcard. The images are so good of the individuals as they all sit perfectly still for the camera to record them. I have never heard of it called the base vile.

Wendy said...

Love your joke about the "vile ones."

Barbara Fisher said...


geeviclady said...

I enjoy the way you break up a photo into its components so that we look more closely at each individual. I always see far more than I do when looking at the group photo - boundforoz

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Love your poetry and I too have learned about enlarging photos and extracting pieces from following your example. Another great post.

Dara said...

Great post - well done.

Karen S. said...

Lovely post, and you know what they say, a family that plays together, stays together!

Jo Featherston said...

Velmah is an unusual name for a male, but I guess you'd need a few more clues to track him down. Sounds like the writer wasn't so keen on the bass!

anyjazz said...

Too bad there isn't just a little more information about the photograph. Even a date would help find this group.


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