Grand Bank mu­si­cian en­joys mile­stone

Ge­orge Grandy cel­e­brates 80th birth­day

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL - Al­lan Stood­ley Down Mem­ory Lane Al­lan Stood­ley is a long-time res­i­dent of Grand Bank. He can be reached at am­stood­ley@hot­mail.com and he wel­comes com­ments on this or any other ar­ti­cle he has writ­ten.

It was in the Ma­sonic Hall at Grand Bank two weeks ago when Ge­orge Grandy once again stepped up to the mi­cro­phone and an­nounced, “Ev­ery­one on the floor for a Paul Jones – ladies on the left and gen­tle­men on the right – P-A-U-L J-O-N-E-S!”

My mem­ory, and I’m sure that of ev­ery­one else of my vin­tage present, flashed back to the 1950s and 1960s when we were all young and “the Paul Jones” was called to start the Satur­day night dance, pro­vid­ing ev­ery­one an op­por­tu­nity to mix and dance with dif­fer­ent part­ners.

This occasion was a cel­e­bra­tion of Grandy’s 80th birth­day and the hall was jam-packed with fam­ily and friends who came to bring best wishes and pay trib­ute to a gen­uine lo­cal mu­sic leg­end.

Grandy with his guitar, and his two sons, grand-son and sonin-law round­ing out the band, treated ev­ery­one to an evening of top-notch entertainment as he once again belted out the al­ways pop­u­lar songs of Elvis Pres­ley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Alan Jack­son, Ge­orge Jones and Merle Hag­gard.

Grandy was in a way a trail­blazer for lo­cal mu­si­cians who fol­lowed him. Prior to his ap­pear­ance on stage in the mid to late 1950s, lo­cal mu­si­cians with their but­ton ac­cor­dions, gui­tars, drums and pi­ano-ac­cor­dions supplied great mu­sic but lit­tle singing.

Grandy changed all this when, from the be­gin­ning, he not only pro­vided the dance mu­sic, but in­tro­duced lo­cal au­di­ences to the pop­u­lar rock and roll songs of the era. His favourite song early in the evening “to get ev­ery­one up and go­ing,” as he ex­plains it, was his ver­sion of the Elvis Pres­ley song ‘Blue Suede Shoes.”

Other mu­si­cians at­tended his birth­day party to help out with the entertainment in­clud­ing Larry Guin­chard and friends, and “the Jam­mers” from St. John’s.

Grandy be­gan play­ing guitar at a very young age. The first time I re­mem­ber lis­ten­ing to him sing and play was at a Ju­nior Red Cross meet­ing when I was in Grade 7 or 8 back in the mid-1950s. Over the past 60-plus years he has trav­elled all around the prov­ince and made nu­mer­ous vis­its to the French Is­lands of St. Pierre et Miquelon, en­ter­tain­ing thou­sands of peo­ple along the way mak­ing “mu­sic and friends.”

Re­cently I spent some time with Grandy and his wife Doreen rem­i­nisc­ing about his life and the in­flu­ence mu­sic has had on their en­tire fam­ily. In Part Two we’ll get to know more about him and some of the ups and downs he’s had to face.

AL­LAN STOOD­LEY PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

The Ge­orge Grandy Fam­ily Band in­clud­ing, from left, son-in-law Darin King, grand­son Chad, Ge­orge and his son Troy. Seated in front is Ge­orge’s son Todd.

AL­LAN STOOD­LEY PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Ge­orge Grandy cel­e­brated his re­cent birth­day by tak­ing the stage at the Ma­sonic Hall in Grand Bank for a per­for­mance with the band.

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