Sunday, October 2, 2016

Turk's Melody Boys

"Music by Turk's Melody Boys," says the advertisement for a dance at Niksch's dance hall, providing no further detail, as if everybody knew who Turk's Melody Boys were … or as if they were so obscure that there was nothing to say about them.

2016-10-2. Melody Boys
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Hobart Gazette, 29 Sept. 1922.

Googling "Turk's Melody Boys" turns up only a few references to a band called Johnny Turk's Melody Boys, which got some air time on West Coast radio broadcasts circa 1926; for example:

2016-10-2. Johnny Turk and his Melody Boys
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Eugene Guard (Eugene, Ore.) 27 July 1926 (via

I wonder if Johnny Turk's Melody Boys got their start in such humble places as the old Deep River schoolhouse? But theirs wasn't a story of a rise from small beginnings to great fame: after a few radio broadcasts they seem to have disappeared, and have not resurfaced in any modern-day account of American musical history that I can find.

The woman whose obituary takes up most of the left-hand column of the Gazette page above was Christina (Blank) Hazelgreen's sister.

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Here's a summary of local auto accidents in the space of a week:

2016-101-2. Accidents
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Hobart Gazette 22 Sept. 1922.

Dr. Phillip Forsberg was a veterinarian, and I suppose his wife, Mary, was the "Mrs. Forsberg" whose identity eluded me when she sang in Ainsworth. They both rest in Hobart Cemetery, beneath a literary epitaph. Their "house by the side of the road" was at 56th and Broadway (WWII Draft Cards), which was in Ross Township (1940 Census). Phillip was a friend to man's best friend, anyway. And Mary, who gave her occupation in 1940 as assistant school principal, was a friend to children, we can hope.

The Carlson fruit farm and its melons were on the west side of S.R. 51, somewhere near what is now Indian Ridge Golf Course.

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