When two buddies have a combined age of nearly 200, they surely have been there, seen that, done that. They shouldn’t be any longer interested in doing something new. It is time to just sit back and take it easy. But things are different when these two friends decide to ‘start getting young’ at the age of 88 and 102.
Alan R. Tripp, 102 and Marvin Weisbord, 88, an “upstart” have a zest for life. Age had never stopped them from enjoying the latest in the musical world. The music that young people of today make is ordinarily not enjoyed by the older generation.
The old artists have moved on. They no longer are creating anything new. So Alan and Marvin decided to release a new album filled with new songs. They have been writing songs for the past two years. The feel was old, but they kept the lyrics modern, in sync with the times. These songs are familiar and identifiable. The lyrics speak of modern times, of today’s issues, Marvin told Hannah Batanson at the Washington Post.
If you feel young, and if your point of view is young, and your mind is working, then you are lucky, says Alan, the older of the two. The harmony between them is very simple. They admire the same song or songwriters but they have their individual taste and styles. The songs are about their issues, getting old, forgetting names, and losing friends.
It began when Alan wrote a song after he turned 100. The song was about life, growing old and sadly, losing friends. Marvin Weisbord, a fellow resident at the Pennsylvania retirement community loved it and wanted to set it to music. It was to be a surprise gift for Alan. The two friends were pleasantly surprised to hear their own lyrics being sung. One song led to another and pretty soon they had an 8-song album, with two remixes. They named it the “Senior Song Book”.
This was their first foray into the musical world, with neither having written music nor produced before. But they carried on with it undeterred.
Love is a recurring theme in their songs. But apart from this universal topic, their songs are centred around love that blossoms in the twilight/sunset years. One song laced with humour professes great love for the lady, but with a hitch. The singer can’t remember her name.
Though songwriting is something new that they have tried, Marvin is a gifted jazz pianist. He and the Wynlyn Jazz Ensemble, his band, and members from the community have banded together for the album. The songs have a fun-and-jazzy 40s feel.
The songwriters financed their venture. But they have by now sold out their CD version. The ‘Senior Song Book’ is still available as a hard copy and can even be bought online. They hired the Morning Star, a reputed studio in Philadelphia.
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But selling an album was never Alan and Marvin’s goal. The duo just wanted their senior community to get together for some wholesome fun and experience the joy of falling in love with a new song. They have inspired senior guys to be young once again, write a song for themselves. Their single ‘I Just Can’t Remember Your Name’ is a fun and catchy number.
This album should definitely attract people who grew up to the songs of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. It is straight from the songs of the Great American Songbook.
The eight songs touch on many subjects ranging from reciprocated love to breakups and also about the need to self-reflect. The audience, they insist is everyone. Even for the song ‘I Can’t Remember Your Name’.
It took the duo 2 years working 30-40 hours each week to finetune the songs. They both worked in their offices, a few minutes apart. Their family and friends are happy at their success and they have received calls and letters from across the country from ordinary people and even musicians.
They would love to see songs from the album featured in a movie. But at the moment they are content that they have proved that older people can and should test the boundaries and try new things. Alan believes that it is the urge and the ability to do something that keeps people going at this age. That is what keeps them healthy and happy. They make us agree that when you are over the hill, you only begin to pick up speed.