Concert a homecoming for musician

By Susan Gamble, Brantford Expositor

Old musicians are never played out.

That might as well be the theme for the upcoming concert hosted by the Grand River Council on Aging next month.

The group is bringing together some old-style musicians with some old-style music for anyone who loves big band, light jazz and rhythm and blues from days gone by.

And some of the well-known names on the stage count their time in the biz by decades, not years.

Playing with the ever-popular George Rose Band will be 80-year-old GLEN SILVERTHORNE on drums, 70-year-old guitarist KENNY MARCO is coming home from Saskatoon with his band and his only-slightly-younger buddy FRANK DIFELICE will sit in on drums for him.

"I didn't need anyone to tell me I'm getting old," joked Kenny on Thursday.

"I already knew that - all my jobs these days are at three in the afternoon! I can be home by dinnertime."

The former guitarist for Motherlode and Dr. Music, who will always be remembered for the iconic Canadian songs When I Die, One More Mountain to Climb and Sun Goes By, enjoys residual payments from tunes still airing on classic rock stations almost 50 years after he recorded them.

These days, he's more picky about which gigs he wants to play and one of those choices is a return to Brantford.

Kenny was engulfed in a whirlwind of memories and emotion when he was back to play in last year's Jazz Festival, surrounded by friends from 50 years ago wanting to reconnect.

With age comes a realization of the importance of the past.

Growing up, Kenny was surrounded by music. He "grew up" in a music store next to College Skate Exchange on Colborne Street that his dad owned.

"I went there every day and it consumed me. Dad had his own orchestra and I remember when I was about three or four when he brought me on stage and the rhythm and drive of the music infected me."

Kenny's Brantford cousin has been tantalizing him with some snippets of the past.

GERRY DEFRANSISCO discovered some old records featuring both Kenny's dad and his own musician father and has been sending Kenny bits and pieces from the recordings.

"They're from 1947, the year I was born, and when I heard his playing, it was like he was talking to me!"

The Grand River Council on Aging's Musical Matinee Concert will be at the Sanderson Centre from 2-4 p.m. April 19. Along with the bands, concert pianist SHIRLEY HUTTY and ballroom dancers BRIAN and KELLY SLOAT will make appearances.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the box office or through the council at 519-754-0777 or by emailing

* * *

Ice cream can solve all the world's ills says SARAH DISHER-NEDDOW.

As the owner of Dairee Delite, she knows how to dish the cold stuff but, when it comes to her hometown, there's definitely a warm place in her heart.

So when she was approached with the idea of writing a little tribute to Brantford for a birthday book of love for Canada, she jumped at the chance.

"It was easy. What makes Brantford special to me is the small-town community feeling. It's such a great place to be."

While some make a business out of denigrating the city, Sarah focuses on Brantford's innumerable positive characteristics.

"I know no city is perfect, but there are things here I'm so proud of and, if you can focus on what makes us great, you make the things around you even better."

Sarah's short tribute to the city was included in the book, 150 Stories, which also includes authors like ADRIENNE CLARKSON, GORDON LIGHTFOOT, HILARY WESTON and DALTON MCGUINTY.

The book was launched last month at a gala reception where Sarah snagged the Lt.-Gov.'s autograph. And copies of the anniversary special are free - but with a catch. You have to go to Queen's Park and visit the LG's office in person to get the book.

"I'm pretty proud of this, especially when you look at the other authors involved. I try to be a booster because, being a small business, I depend on the community and it's so supportive of us."

* * *

If you have news about something funny, interesting or quirky, contact Susan Gamble by phone 519-756-2020, ext. 506233, email SGamble @EXPSGamble