Frank Sinatra had a residency in Las Vegas. So did Elvis. The Fountains at Albemarle in Tarboro, NC, may not have the glitz and glam of Vegas, but it does have its own artists-in-residence. And those artists are striking the right note with their neighbors.
Tom and Barbara Kane are your average married couple by day but by night, they are a husband-wife musical duo known as “The Sweet Loves.” Every Saturday at 6:30 p.m., the Fountains at Albemarle residents play for a crowd of about 50. Their neighbors stop by to hear their favorite tunes from the 1930s to 1960s, with Barbara playing the piano while Tom handles percussion instruments such as the vibraphone, xylophone and marimba.
“We were afraid our music would be too loud for our neighbors when we moved here,” Tom said. “But people walk down the hall and stop to tell us how good the music sounds. There’s a lady on the other side of the wall next to us, and she loves hearing our music and has become best friends with Barbara.”
Despite being married 55 years, the couple hadn’t played music together until recently.
“Tom and Barbara have brought new energy to our community, creating a standing event on Saturday nights that so many of our residents look forward to attending,” Fountains at Albemarle Executive Director Julie Daugherty said. “We feel like we have the hottest ticket in town, right here in our retirement community.”
Tom and Barbara met in their sophomore years at Florida State University and bonded over their shared love of music: Tom was in the marching band, and Barbara was in the orchestra. By senior year, they were married. Before moving into The Fountains at Albemarle, Tom worked as a city planner and Barbara was a music teacher. Thankfully, for them and the rest of The Fountains residents, the COVID-19 pandemic re-ignited their passion for music. Now they’re happy to share that passion with whoever will listen.
“Music has been a part of every experience we have together,” Tom said. “We want to share our love for music with others who enjoy it. We just love what we do and feel as though we are getting more out of our concerts than what we are giving.”