Thursday, March 6, 2014

With A Little Help From My Friends

While the Yesterukes leader (and writer of this blog) is away on extended grandmother duties, this blog will be short and simple as band members contribute photos and comments from each gig.

A first time visit to First Baptist Church Greenwood 
was a good one.

One of our band members said, "It was a thrill to see 
their faces when we started Sweet Georgia Brown."

When people hear us for the first time, they are 
always surprised by the quality of the music.

All of the hours of rehearsal paid off. 
Changes in our regular routine are bound to happen,
but the show went on without a hitch!

With A Little Help From My Friends, The Beatles, 1967

Friday, February 21, 2014

It's Been A Long, Long Time

Yes, it HAS been a long time since a new blog post. We ended our 2013 season just before Christmas and then took a long, much needed break. But the Yesterukes are back together with a couple of practices under our belt.  It's been fun to dust off the old songs and try some new ones.

You could tell by just looking at the band members that everyone had really missed being together. The music is the reason this group was formed, but the friendships that have developed might be the reason we've stayed together for so long. I often hear them say "my ukulele family" as they talk about each other.

One of the best comments about the comraderie of this group came from first-time visitor to our band. She said she was worried about being a newcomer in a long-established group. (If you've ever been that newcomer, often you feel very much like "the outsider" and it's difficult to break into the social circle.) But after her first visit with us, she told me that she was happy to find that she was greeted warmly by many and that our band was a very accepting group. We hope she stays!

Our first program for the year was for an almost all-wheelchair bound audience. It took nearly a half-hour to get everyone rolled into place. They were ready just about the same time as we got our sound system set up. We played our old favorites and a few songs that were new to our list. As we played and sang, we could watched these residents singing along with us, fingers tapping out the rhythm.

When we ended, they had to wait for staff to come roll them back to their room, so we had to chance to visit a little as we packed up our equipment. One lady told our bass player she hoped that we could come back soon. He replied, "Just ask us and we'll come." She immediately shouted back to him, "Well, I would--but I don't own this place!!!"

Another lady told us, "I've been bugging them to get a rock band in here...but ya'll were just as good!"

It's good to be back.

It's Been A Long, Long Time, Harry James, 1945

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Time After Time

Even though there have not been blogs about all we've done, we've been busy playing time after time for so many audiences—groups we have been with before and new groups, too. Take a look at our last few weeks...

First Baptist Church, Simpsonville
We entertained a couple of hundred folks at the JOY club.

We loved seeing the surprised look on the faces at 
First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, when they
heard us play for the very first time.

We "sang for our supper" (actually it was lunch) 
at Washington Baptist Church, Greer. 
We enjoyed the food. They enjoyed the music.

Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Center in Laurens
 is the birthplace of the Yesterukes. 
We were happy to play for their Christmas dinner.

Our final gig of 2013 was at the beautiful
Greenville Women's Club.
What a wonderful way to end our season!

We are taking a well deserved winter break. 
Look for us back here in February 2014.

Time After Time, Sammy Kahn & Jule Styne, 1947

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'

When the mid-morning program at Quillen Manor was over and the wheelchairs were rolling away to wait for lunch, one lady walked slowly to the front with her cane. She told me, "I cried this morning. Your music brought back so many memories. You've made me very happy." And she left smiling.

Enough said.

Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin', Rogers & Hammerstein II, 1947

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening

The senior adults at Edwards Rd. Baptist Church 
started gathering just before 6:00 PM.

We watched as they just kept coming...
so many tables filled with people 
who had come for an evening of fun.

I think we would sing and play without being fed.
But we will all admit we love the 
church dinners we get to enjoy. 
This one was spectacular.

I ended up sitting with the lady who made the caramel cake.
Keeping my fingers crossed I get the recipe.

But we were there to provide the entertainment.
And visit a little with each other.

We heard so many comments that our band 
was the best program they've ever had 
after we played there a couple of years ago. 
We did our best to live up to their high expectations.

And when the evening was over, 
we were rewarded with a standing ovation. 
We don't always get one, so we truly appreciate
the evenings when everything is just right.

One of our own members said after the program, "We brought our A-game tonight." And I think she was right. We can't always explain why one program goes a little better than another one. There are so many factors. Could have been the caramel cake. Could have been the wonderful audience. They just radiated excitement during this program. And that gave us an extra boost of energy. We love a gig like that!

A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, Frank Sinatra, 1944

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain

Heading up the mountain was a treat for the Yesterukes.
The leaves were just beginning to show some color.

We were there to play for the NC/SC Airstream Rally.
Those people are as passionate about their Airstreams
as we are about our ukuleles.

The Yesterukes got a chance to spend a little time 
just hanging out and visiting with each other.
We were lucky this year--the weather was perfect!

Before we played, the Airstream Unit 
treated us to a delicious lunch.

And then we treated them to an hour of some favorite songs.
We even discovered that one of the 
Airstream people played ukulele. 
We asked him to join us (he's on the left) 
and he was thrilled to be part of the show.

We had a fun day in the mountains.
Maybe they will invite us back another year.

She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain, folk song, late 1880s

Friday, October 4, 2013

You Make Me Feel So Young


What do Yesterukes like to do as much as make music?

They like to be together and talk to each other.

And they like to eat.

So this week, we moved our practice from our regular location... a location with more space. 
Space for lunch, for practice, for visiting.

Before our practice—and yes, we practiced hard
—we had time for good food and fellowship.
Being together is as important as performing.

One band member said yesterday, 
"The Yesterukes makes getting old worthwhile."

Be watching for our updated look. 
When we started this group seven years ago,
it never occurred to us that we would be playing for years.
Simple T-shirts were enough then.
Now that we've realized we're in this for the long haul, 
we're moving up to shirts with collars!

You Make Me Feel So Young, Frank Sinatra, 1956