Kitchen bands a Christmas hit

The legendary Radley Gourzong of East End, playing the fiddle in the photograph on the left, is shown performing at an annual Rotary Senior Citizens Christmas party sometime in the mid-1980’s. Phoebe Spence of Gun Bay, East End, and Cyril Rankin of North Side are pictured on the right, attending the same dance.  

Besides making music for Rotary, private functions and district “Kitchen Dances,” Mr. Gourzong played for many dignitaries and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He also played on stage of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  

A Kitchen Dance was most popular around Christmastime when the whole district and band squeezed into someone’s kitchen for music and dancing. Mr. Gourzong usually had a backup of several other musicians, including the late Julia Hydes.  

The images are from the book ‘The People That Time Forgot’ by George Nowak, available at the National Museum. All proceeds from the sales of this book go toward museum projects. 

Radley Gourzong plays the fiddle at a kitchen dance.

Radley Gourzong plays the fiddle at a kitchen dance.

Phoebe Spence of Gun Bay, East End and Cyril Rankin of North Side at the Rotary dance.

Phoebe Spence of Gun Bay, East End and Cyril Rankin of North Side at the Rotary dance.
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