Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, July 22, 2018, pg. 4

Albion certainly has become a musical town, with an emphasis on rock and blues bands in recent years. There are musical venues at such places as the Bohm Theatre, Cascarelliís, Dickersonís Music, Stirling Books and Brew, Swinginíat the Shell, and now the Albion Malleable Brewing Company. Each week there is something musical going on, and the large number of vehicles parked in the vicinity of an event attests to the popularity of these concerts. Itís part of the "new Albion"unfolding before our very eyes (and ears, too). How about producing a slogan or bumper sticker such as: "ALBIONóMusic City of Michigan?"

I wonder, how many youth in our community are taking music lessons of some sort? I know that the music lessons I took here for many years while growing up in Albion came in handy later in life. If your child is musical, encourage them to take lessons with the instrument of their choice. Their "small musical beginnings"will grow into something positive so that those around them, and their community as well will enjoy listening to them play/sing as they progress in their musical talents.

During the 1930s and 1940s, area music lovers flocked to the east side of Duck Lake, ten miles north of Albion, to the Duck Lake Resort to dance and listen to various swing bands and vocal groups. In my archives I have an undated flyer proclaiming "Harry Tripp and His 8 Felix Cats. Music As You Like It. Featuring Doloris Bellinger, the Child Wonder in Acrobatic Dancing. Frank Maher, Master of Ceremonies. Duck Lake Resort."

Also from the Duck Lake Resort, from our Historical Notebook we present a postcard photo labeled "Jack Howardís Band at Duck Lake Resort North of Albion, Michigan."This dates from 1939. This five-person group obviously was a "swing"band of the War period. Do any of our readers recognize this band? I have no information about them, but this band attracted the attention of the postcard maker who took numerous photographs of the Albion area in the early 1940s. [UPDATE: Left to right: Oats Alcorn, Dom Zanotti, Jack Howard, Arnold Schepel, and Gaylord Potter playing the xylophone. Gaylord Potter was organist at Win Schulerís in Marshall for many years and played on the WALM radio program "Luncheon at Schulerís."Thank you Vicki (Potter) Knickerbocker of Marshall for this information.]

I encourage our readers to "get involved"in our local music scene by attending the various music concerts. A great place to start is at the "Swinginíat the Shell"series. It begins on Sunday, July 22 at 6 pm in Victory Park. Concerts will be held here weekly through September 9. Iíll see you there!

[POST ARTICLE:] We have an update from our July 22 article about the Jack Howard Band photograph. Vicki (Potter) Knickerbocker of Marshall has identified those in the photograph, including her father Gaylord Potter on the far right playing the xylophone. Gaylord was organist at Win Schulerís in Marshall for many years and was the "star"on the WALM radio program "Luncheon at Schulerís"in the 1960s. This is a 1939 photograph. Left to right: Oats Alcorn, Dom Zanotti, Jack Howard, Arnold Schepel, and Gaylord Potter playing the xylophone. Thank you Vicki (Potter) Knickerbocker of Marshall for this information.

Jack Howard Band circa 1942


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