Monday, May 24, 2010
2001: REMEMBERING BILL BAGGOTT
Funny how visions of the past keep running through my mind. On Sunday night, I was watching the PBS presentation of the Lawrence Welk Show. At one point, Joe Feeney, the noted Irish tenor on the Welk show, sang the Irish classic "Too ra loo ra loo ra." I immediately had a vision of Bill Baggott singing that same song, only without the "twang" which is an inherent part of Joe Feeney's beautiful tenor voice. Back in the 1940's a guy by the name of Mel Torme' was dubbed the "Velvet Fog." "Velvet" in that apt description would have been quite appropriate for Bill Baggott. One would have to experience Bill's incredibly beautiful voice....especially in a song where he called forth an incredibly beautiful falsetto. That Welk program brought with it visions of all of us who were active in Louise Baird's Room 300 Hamilton High School choir back in mid-century Hamilton. I suddenly recalled those long ago operettas, singing once again with Lee Belardino, Clark Perry, Keith Kauffman, Bill Hellewell, Jack Pyrah, Jerry and Bob Miller, Bill Mathey, Joe McManimon, Jerry Black, and Bob Hayes. And who could forget those HHS choir girls? Betty Beiger, Mary Ann Cahill, Janet Hessler, Shirley Baker, Mary Lou Littwin, Joanne Feeser, Mary Pyrah, Shirley Whitebread, Beverly Cowell, Sylvia Arena, Arlene Seabridge, and Judy Britton. What beautiful music we made! Our harmony was incredible. It's the stuff dreams are made of folks; especially as I pile on the years!