Quite a life!! Dick ----- Forwarded by Dick Spottswood/dick/AmericanU on 06/02/2005 10:12 AM ----- "Lance Ledbetter" <[log in to unmask]> 06/02/2005 09:45 AM To: "Art Rosenbaum" <[log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>, "Nick Marino" <[log in to unmask]>, "kip lornell" <[log in to unmask]>, "jurassic" <[log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>, "David Evans" <[log in to unmask]>, "Wayne Daniel" <[log in to unmask]>, "Joyce Cauthen" <[log in to unmask]>, "Mick Buck" <[log in to unmask]>, "Laura Botts" <[log in to unmask]>, "April" <[log in to unmask]>, "Norm Cohen" <[log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>, "Todd Gladson" <[log in to unmask]>, "susan" <[log in to unmask]>, "Dick Spottswood" <[log in to unmask]>, "Malcolm - Venerable Music" <[log in to unmask]> cc: Subject: Fw: Kasper Malone KASPER "STRANGER" MALONE 1909 - 2005 We regret to inform all the friends and extended family of Kasper "Stranger" Malone of his passing on May 30, 2005. Those who knew him will smile when they hear that he left in typical Stranger style, in his sleep, with the book "Life is Worth Living" open in his lap. In 1912, when he was three years old, Kasper Malone's brother gave him a beat up old cornet. By the time he was five, he was playing loud. The cornet was the first of many instruments Kasper played in his ninety-five years as a musician. Up until the moment of his death, he still actively played clarinet, flute, double bass, and guitar with musicians all around the country and the world. His life is like a musical history of America. He played swing with the Jack Teagarden All Stars and old time with Clayton McMichen, Riley Puckett, Lowe Stokes & the Melody Men. He played in silent film orchestras and radio bands, and he was on some of the first recordings ever made by Columbia Records. He also played orchestral bass, and was first chair of the Tucson Symphony for over ten years. But Stranger Malone was more than a musician. He was a self educated, worldly, open minded, kind, hard working ethical, and deeply spiritual human. He was a voracious reader. He loved to travel and meet new people. Even at 95, if you mentioned any song title, he could tell you, not only the year it came out, but the month, the composer, the performers, and some interesting anecdote about the song. He was gregarious and generous to everyone he met. Yet he was also a very private person. And every morning when he arose, he said to himself, "I am no better than anyone I will meet today, and everyone I meet today is no better than I." Kasper Malone was born in 1909 on a farm near Paducah Kentucky. His given name was Kanoy, but he wasn't too pleased with that, so he changed it to Kasper. As he puts it, "I was born before birth certificates, so I just named myself." When he was fifteen, he sold his personal effects and left home. He was picked up by two boys headed to Miami, but found Miami too expensive so he headed back north. His ride stopped for gas in Armuchee Georgia and there just happened to be a band tuning up. Kasper said, "I'll get off here." Someone in the band saw him and asked, "Who's that little Stranger (he was about 5 feet tall) with the big horn?" He joined the band and became "Stranger" ever after. He spent three years with that band, and in that time picked up the clarinet, and began playing for silent film orchestras. During this period, Kas hooked up with Clayton McMitchen and Riley Puckett and together they formed the Melody Men. Until 1928 they made two recordings a year with equipment sent down from New York City. Columbia Records set up a studio in Atlanta at 15 Pryor Street. They also played at the radio station WSB housed in the old Biltmore Hotel. With Gid Tanner they recorded the record "A Day at the County Fair." In 1929 on New Year's Day, he placed an ad in Billboard Magazine for a clarinet player. A response came from Schnitz Seymour's Miniature Circus, in St. Louis Missouri. Kas got the job, and became part of the entourage that played at show theaters throughout the Midwest. Kas was in the house band for many radio stations, and earned enough money to pay $35 for a Model T, an open roadster with no top. On a windy day he got in the roadster and drove to South Dakota arriving at 4:00 p.m. at the local radio station. Happy Jack, the old time fiddler, was on the air and Kas just happened to have his double bass in the car. "You're on the payroll," he was told by Harvey Nelson the personnel manager. He became a "doubler," playing clarinet and flute, and also creating sound effects using chimes and other inventions. While on that station, Kas was given his own show along with singer and pianist Olive Nelson. The popular show was called "Olive and Stranger," and they played modern music. Kas also played with the Rosebud Kids, a German family named Kosta, from the Rosebud Indian Reservation. "Five dollars was pretty big and I got $10 for a dance on the side from the radio station," says Kas. In 1934 he got his San Francisco Musicians' Union card, sold his car, and got a job playing on the cruise ship S.S. Cooledge which needed a bass player. They played concert and dance music and for forty-seven days travelled to Hawaii, Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Manila. Upon his return, he learned that someone needed a bass player on the boat to New York City and so he boarded the Grace Line ship Santa Elena and headed east. In New York, he stayed just long enough to find out that he preferred the prairies to "conditions prevailing" and headed westward once again, joining Jack Savage in Columbus Ohio in a band promoting Crazy Water Crystals, a medicinal tonic from Mineral Wells, Texas. England forebade commercial broadcasting, and so to sell the medicinal tonic there, the company set up a store in London but advertised from Luxembourg. Though Kasper was invited to join the band to travel to Luxembourg (they stayed there 18 months), he had met his first wife Virginia and with her, settled down in Yankton South Dakota and had two daughters. In 1943 Kasper began a stint of 2 years and 12 days on Catalina Island in the USS Maritime Service Band led by Phil Harris. After the war, times were tough, so in addition to playing at a club near Glacier Park, Kas also carried mail. In 1953 he joined Jack Teagarden's Jazz Orchestra at the Royal Room on Hollywood Boulevard. Kas and Jack became fast friends and Kas continued to tour with him for three years, as well as living with Jack and his family. With the Teagarden All Stars, Kas played string bass and was featured as well on flute on such numbers as "Stardust," "Indian Summer," and "Body and Soul." Kas and Jack discovered that they had a number of strange "coincidences." Both had the same injured finger. Both had a brother named Clois. Both bought a five dollar baritone horn when they were nine years old. Both were given a baritone horn by an uncle when they were ten. Feeling a yen to settle down, Kas accepted a job with the Tucson Symphony and was hired on the staff of the University of Arizona. In the Symphony he was Principal Bass, and at the university he taught bass for thirteen years. During that time he also participated in the American Symphony League Orchestra summer workshops, which became one of his most treasured experiences. The one-hundred piece symphony included players from every major orchestra around the United States and Europe and was led by master conductor Dr. Richard Lehrt from Pasadena California. As seen already, Kasper's life has included much travel. In 1969 he walked around Ireland with a backpack and a flute. He found the Irish to be exceedingly hospitable. "The Irish won't let you walk," he recounts. While walking in Ireland he was picked up by a Catholic nun who took him right away to play with her choir. After his Irish adventure, Kas got a Eurail Pass and travelled around Europe using his music as a passport and an introduction to adventure. In 1973 Kas moved to Winsbach Germany where he was to marry his second wife and spend the next twenty years. In Germany he taught privately with the world famous Boys Choir and had private students in clarinet, flute, and bass. In 1993 Kasper decided it was time to come back to the United States. He returned to Rome Georgia, found it "ideal" and settled there in the middle of town where he lived to the end of his life, just one city block from where he played the Rivoli Theater in 1925. Since returning to the United States, Kasper "Stranger" Malone never slowed down his playing. From his first appearance on 78 RPM records for Columbia in 1926, to his latest performance on EMWorld Records in 2003 with Elise Witt, Kaspar "Stranger" Malone's 77 year career in recording is unchallenged for longevity. It is suspected that he will be entered in the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest career in recording history. The Georgia Music Hall of Fame recently presented "An Evening with Stranger Malone" highlighting his long and diverse career in music. Stranger also received the 2004 Founder's Award from the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Swannanoa Gathering is planning to award him a Lifetime Achievement Award at this summer's gathering.