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 for the Birds

09 October 2021

 Their music was played loud and brassy,


though the townsfolk thought it too sassy, 


but out in the yard it sounded a treat
and even the tuba sang so  sweet,

 that their neighbors thought it high classy.

This postcard, circa 1910,
offers no clues as to who, where, or when
this brass band of nine musicians,

all female except for a lone man on tuba,
gathered together to pose for the camera.
There is enough resemblance in their faces
to think there is a family connection
of sisters or mothers with daughters,
but we shouldn't assume that the tuba player
is married to one of the women.
He is just as likely to be a brother
or even just a farmer from down the road.
In any case they all look too well dressed for just a rehearsal,
so I think the photo was taken at their concert.
What makes it a curious image is that the band
stands happily below a very impressive bird house
which boasts of a front porch and two chimneys.
What lucky birds.


This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where everyone is welcome
to join the lawn party.


La Nightingail said...

That birdhouse makes the match! Every garden should have one. I have a hummingbird feeder hanging in my gazebo where, once in a while, I've been known to break into song, albeit quietly. Some of the birds like it when I sing. Some don't. Or perhaps it's simply the song they don't like? Whatever. I leave it to them to enjoy or not. :) ("Billy McCoy was a musical boy. On the cruiser, Alabama, he was there at the pian'a like a fish down in the sea. Oh when he rattled off that harmony...")

DawnTreader said...

Some old photos really make one curious about the who/what/why! :)

Barbara Rogers said...

In my imagination I see the bird house as having been made by our Tuba player, who's also dad to the younger girls in the front of the photo...and at least a couple of the women look older, so I imagine one's the wife/mom, and the other a sister. And of course the young women (just look at those waist-lines) are sisters/aunties. Thanks for another enjoyable adventure into relationships between musical players.

kathy said...

Interesting photo! There is almost a dividing line down the middle - are the people on the right a nuclear family and the rest sisters of the older woman on the right? It would be fun to know. And is the bird house a copy of the house they live in? It is fun to speculate!

smkelly8 said...

I wish I could hear them play.

Molly's Canopy said...

I love your series on women musicians. I had no idea there were so many mainly-female bands and ensembles until you began writing about them. This is a particularly entertaining photo since it features the elaborate birdhouse -- quite a palace compared to the little ones around today.

ScotSue said...

Like Molly, I especially like your photogrpahs of women musicians and you have given us a fine selection here.


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