Looking back

A century ago, homegrown bands were common, and a lot of fun

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 5/12/20

A few weeks ago, River Reporter columnist Johnathan Charles Fox interviewed the members of Brotality, an award-winning Christian metal band from Narrowsburg, NY and Clarks Summit, …

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Looking back

A century ago, homegrown bands were common, and a lot of fun

Posted

A few weeks ago, River Reporter columnist Johnathan Charles Fox interviewed the members of Brotality, an award-winning Christian metal band from Narrowsburg, NY and Clarks Summit, PA. 

Echoes of the past: In 1909, Dr. J.T. Male of Long Eddy “got a number of fellows interested in forming a band and we had a meeting and decided to try it,” wrote Morgan McKoon decades later. This was the Adelphi Band of Long Eddy. They hired Mr. R. North to teach them and started practicing in the school, but they moved to McKoon’s father’s store because he “made no charge for rent.” 

 As soon as they learned some music, they performed on a street corner, McKoon said, then moved on to picnics and dances, raising money for the big drum and uniforms. 

The band played the Catholic “15th of August picnic” and “two other big affairs,” McKoon writes, “the Obernburg and Hortonville picnics. We played at Campbell Hall in Roscoe and at other affairs.”

 The Adelphi Band wasn’t the first in the area, of course. McKoon remembered one from the 1890s. “I don’t remember hearing them play,” he writes, “but I believe they practiced some in a room on the second floor of our store.” (Did Mr. McKoon charge them rent?) “I remember seeing a bottle of Tincture of Myrrh there, which I was told the men used to toughen their lips.” 

 Thanks to the Basket Historical Society and its newsletter, The Echo, which reprinted McKoon’s memoir.

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