MerleFest celebrates music from the Appalachian region and boosts the local economy
Ages 102 and 88, these friends find in harmony in their ‘Senior Song Book’
BRYN MAWR, Pa. — Alan Tripp, 102, and Marvin Weisbord, 88, know it’s never too late to chase a life-long dream. The two friends are both residents at a retirement community outside of Philadelphia, and they just released an album together: the “Senior Song Book.”
Described as “music like the 1940s with words for the 2020s,” the songwriting duo enlisted help from their fellow residents as vocalists and musicians to record songs such as, “I Just Can’t Remember Your Name,” and “Looking in the Mirror,” that playfully express the sentiments of an aging community.
“What’s it like to be mature … to have grown-up lyrics from people who look at life realistically?” Tripp said. “The lyrics are for the present and the future. The music is reminiscent of the past.”
Tripp caught the songwriting bug in the early 1960s when he started writing advertising jingles. “I wrote a little jingle for Kool Cigarettes and they paid me in cash, $75. I hadn’t seen $75 in one place!” He went on to write the iconic “Choo Choo Charlie” jingle for the candy Good & Plenty.
But it wasn’t until after Tripp’s 99th birthday that plans for recording an album were set in motion. Together, Trip and Weisbord wrote and recorded eight songs, and they continue to perform for friends at their retirement community, Beaumont at Bryn Mawr. “I felt very emotional about today’s performance,” said resident Eta Glassman. “They made me happy and they made me sad.”
You can stream the “Senior Song Book” on Spotify.
This report originally appeared on WHYY’s “You Oughta Know.”
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