One Man’s Opinion on Records 11/7/1954

Number 4 in a series of 22 columns by my grandfather, Lawson E. Parker, for the Fort Lauderdale Sunday News.

Warning:  SpongeBob makes an appearance.

I wish I could put hyperlinks into the jpg of these scans, then as you read the name of the band you can click and listen, instead of scrolling down to the video. I tried scanning some into PDFs using word recognition or whatever it’s called, but that didn’t work.   Hyperlinks  would be possible if I retyped everything, but that’s not going to happen.

Speaking of typing, I typed a letter to a childhood friend on Grandpop’s 70 year old typewriter the other day; my hands still hurt.   I gave up using the normal asdf jkl; method Mr. Taylor taught us in 9th grade and used the two index fingers like Grandpop did and Dad still does;  it’s the only way with that beast!    But I love the font, so all my cards and letters will be typed on it from now on.

Every time I hear the SpongeBob tune, which is more often than I should admit, it bugs me that I  know it from somewhere;  now I know where.

2nd Warning: Grandpop calls Satchmo a sell-out.

OMOoR 4 Nov 7 1954




One Man’s Opinion on Records 10/31/1956

Third in the 22 part series of columns by my grandfather, Lawson E. Parker, for the Fort Lauderdale Sunday News.

I’ve heard Bix Beiderbecke’s name all my life. I didn’t know anything about him, though, until the internets came around and I could Google him.

Of course Grandpop loved the Wolverine Orchestra;  Bix was his favorite musician, and Grandpop was a U.of Michigan Wolverine.

On a side note, October 31 was my great-grandmother Grace Parker’s  birthday and my great-grandparents’ anniversary.

OMOoR 3 Oct 31 1954

Victor Moore, on drums, was a realtor in Fort Lauderdale when Grandpop wrote this column.  Apparently, he didn’t live as hard as Bix (cornet, far right) did.


One Man’s Opinion on Records 10/24/54

Second in the series of 22 articles by Lawson E. Parker.

Grandpop BROKE his records???   I guarantee Great-grandpop didn’t know about this!   However, I don’t recall Great-grandpop ever listening to or talking about any music whatsoever, so maybe he didn’t care.

Here is the first mention of my dad, Joe, the “son with a knowledge of electronics.”  He was a freshman at U.F. studying electrical engineering when Grandpop wrote this, and though my dad does love his father’s music, he also loved swing, which Grandpop disliked as “ear-rending modern jazz.”   I love all of it, but I also like everything that came after, and Dad doesn’t… except of course  Dave Brubeck and Erroll Garner.

Grandpop just taught me a new term: blind pig.     It’s a speakeasy.   I bet Great-grandpop never knew about THAT visit!

And FYI, the Dixie Land Jass Band is the correct name, not a  typo (Grandpop didn’t make typos).   The band changed the spelling to “Jazz” in their second year.

OMOoR 2 Oct 24 1954 (2)

I have trouble imagining my Grandpop as a 13 year old, let alone playing THIS on the piano.



“Ear-rending modern jazz”?  Really, Grandpop?   What did you think of rock and roll that hit the airwaves soon after you wrote this?

Word UP. 


One Man’s Opinion on Records, 10/17/54

This is the first of my grandfather Lawson E. Parker’s 22 week series -from October, 1954 to March 27, 1955 -in which he expounds upon his thoughts about one of the most important thing in his life: music.  These appeared in the Fort Lauderdale Sunday News, the Sunday edition of the Fort Lauderdale News (known as the Daily News and Evening Sentinal until 1953where he was a music reviewer, columnist, and news editor. His wife Berenice I. Parker, my grandmother, was a classical music reviewer and social columnist for the same paper, which today is called the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal.

Ironically, I am currently listening to the so-called “cool sounds”… of “modern” jazz  and what he calls the -crying, moaning, wailing of today’s vocalists  (Peggy Lee is just finishing up “Fever”; I believe Nat ‘King’ Cole is next).     He would hate most of my Pandora channels, but I DO have a Bob Crosby channel and a Bix Beiderbecke channel.   Here is a very modern tune of which I think Grandpop, his son (my dad), and his 11 great-grandchildren would approve.

I love that he refers to his baseball years, when he was 7 to 15 (that’s 100 years ago!!).   He never told us about sneaking in to see Ty Cob play at Navin Field, but the Detroit Tigers were ALWAYS on the television.  He would not be happy about Tiger Stadium today…

Just like Grandpop, I can neither “play boogie-woogie like Jimmy Yancey or catch a fly ball.”   His sarcasm gene didn’t skip any generations, either.

OMOoR 1 Oct 17 1954

Ty Cobb,  Detroit Tigers


Navin Field, American League Park Detroit
Navin Field, American League Park Detroit



Word UP.