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'Sweeter softer side of the Sixties' swings into Senior Center

Posted: September 18, 2013 8:03 p.m.
Updated: September 18, 2013 8:03 p.m.

From left, Rita Roth, Nancy Tulli, and Marie Oleson of the Silvertone Musicians - dressed in 1960s garb - sing some of the decade's classics during the "Sizzling Sixties" concert at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center in Newhall on Wednesday. Photo by Dan Watson.

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SANTA CLARITA - There were peace symbols. There were tie-dyed clothes.  There were love beads, sandals and plenty of music at the swinging seniors Sixties Concert and Dance Wednesday - just no drummer.

So, as a result, the groovy trip down memory lane became a stroll of sorts, described by one musician as: “The sweeter softer side of the Sixties.”

It was standing room only at Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center in Newhall as more than 150 people showed up in bellbottoms and fringed vests to hear 90 minutes of music popularized decades ago.

“I think it went really well,” said band leader and piano player John Swinford, director of the center’s music program.

On one side of his piano were about 15 singing women, the Silver Belles, and on the other side were their male counterparts, the Silver Beaux.  Together they formed the Silvertones, all of whom sang to the accompaniment of a rhythm section made up of guitar, trumpet and violin - but no drummer.

Although a complete drum kit was set up center stage, no one sat behind it.

“Well, because there’s no drummer, this is the sweeter side of the sixties,” trumpet player Barbara Jones explained.

Looking across the stage, beyond the drum set, Jones pointed to a long-haired - albeit thinning long-haired - guitarist wearing a headband.

“And, I’m married to the hippie playing guitar,” she said.

Her husband, Tom Jones, and violinist David Null joined her in creating the music for the Silvertones as The Memory Makers.

“It was a great trip back to the 60s - the mellow 60s,” said Robin Clough of the Senior Center.

Songs included “Moon River,” “Roses Are Red,” “Somewhere My Love” and the Beatles’ song, “Michelle,” featuring Jones on trumpet.

And, although it took a while to convince those people who were reminiscing to get up and start dancing, dancers

Rudy Pavini and Tommie Ward, in her blue hoop skirt, started it off.

Just as The Silvertones were playing the closing notes of their musical return to the 60s, a half-dozen other couples got up to dance in the center aisle.

They’ll get plenty of other opportunities to dance, said Jones.

“We play all the time,” she said.

How many years has she been playing trumpet?  

“Sixty-seven years,” she said. “Between being a mom and a grandmom.”
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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