Alan R. Tripp, 102, and Marvin Weisbord, 88, may be the oldest professional songwriting team in music history.
The residents of not-for-profit life plan community Beaumont at Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr, PA, released an album Nov. 15.
“Senior Song Book,” with 10 tracks (including two remixes), written with fellow older adults in mind, features musical styles ranging from swing to tango to rumba and beyond, with big band-style orchestration.
“We found a secret: If you write music in the old style of the 1940s, the big bands, people love it. Not just older people, but younger people,” said Tripp, the “pilot” of the effort. “But the words must not try to compete with the old times. They were too saccharine, too sweet. They weren’t the reality you get when you become older — and I’m a little older. But now in this reality of looking back at life, we could sing new words with new ideas based upon our viewpoint of what makes life good.”
At 15, Tripp imagined a career as a songwriter; the Leavenworth, KS, native took some of his compositions to sell at New York City’s famous hit factory, the Brill Building. After knocking on several doors, however, he quickly discovered he could use those skills better in the advertising world.
“I found out that being a songwriter at that point was not compatible with eating,” he recalled. “You could do one or the other. So I went and wrote a jingle for Kool cigarettes, and I got $75. To me, it was all the money in the world. So I went into advertising.”
Now he considers himself semi-retired. “I’m also writing another book, which I had to stop in order to do this,” he said.
“Our residents are remarkable!” Beaumont at Bryn Mawr posted on its Facebook page.
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