Big band music of the 1940’s is what 94-year-old Roland Taylor knows and loves best.
Ever since taking up the trumpet as a junior in high school, Taylor has played his favorite type of music whenever he’s had the chance. He’ll get his next opportunity the night of Saturday, Sept. 15, at a fundraiser at McIntyre Auditorium for the Edgecombe County Veterans’ Museum.
“Everything I do is from memory. The tune is in here,” said Taylor, pointing to his head, in an interview at his apartment at the Fountains at the Albemarle. He began singing one of his favorites, “I Can’t Begin to Tell You What You Mean to Me,” and later played one of his most requested songs, Hogie Carmichael’s “Stardust,” on his trumpet.
Taylor pulled out a stack of cards he keeps handy with the words to some of his favorite songs written on them — among them, “Some Enchanted Evening,” An Affair to Remember,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
“All of these songs were popular back in the big band days,” Taylor said. “Harry James was my idol because he was the greatest trumpeter I’ve ever heard.”
Taylor got his start playing the trumpet when a man named Charles McCuller came to his rural school in Whitakers and got a group of young people together to form the Twin County Boys’ Band. Taylor took lessons from McCuller, helped him teach beginners, and boarded with him in Rocky Mount the summer before he enrolled as a freshman at North Carolina State in 1935.
He joined a freshman dance band at the beginning of the school year and played with several other bands and orchestras during his time at college, as the first chair trumpet. Taylor loved playing the trumpet so much he played with a band at Carolina Beach 98 nights in a row the summer he graduated in 1939. The next year, he went to work for Marshall Field & Co. in Spray, where he played with the company band at parties. He was drafted into the Navy in 1943.
Playing music that was popular during the time of his service in the presence of other veterans in Edgecombe County at the upcoming show has special meaning for Taylor.
“We have something in common. Sometimes you find someone that served on the same kind of vessel you did,” he said. He recalled making several trips back and forth across the English Channel bringing supplies to Army and also remembers the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944.
“There were waves of ships that went in for the invasion and we were on the second wave of ships going to the beach area,” said Taylor.
Taylor’s job was serious, but he also had some free time during his service days, much of which he spent playing “penny poker,” and, of course, playing his horn in the barracks. Taylor was a “bugle boy” of sorts; he was appointed corporal. of the color guard for his platoon in Chicago before going overseas.
Taylor married a girl from New Orleans after his time in the service, and has played his horn only recreationally since then. He has played at several churches, including First Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. and the Methodist Church in Enfield.
These days, Taylor delights residents at the Fountains with his half-hour Sunday afternoon performances. The sprightly nonagenarian doesn’t plan to stop playing for audiences any time soon, mentioning that he is “available” to play at funerals and weddings as needed.
Even though Taylor has had plenty of experience, he still practices before every performance.
“I enjoy playing and I like to perform perfectly with no flaws at all. I try to do a good job every time I play a song.”
Big band music of the 1940’s is what 94-year-old Roland Taylor knows and loves best.
Here is your chance to celebrate your graduate’s Special Day by announcing their graduation in our Congratulation Page.
Hats Off To Our Graduates!
The announcements will appear in The Daily Southerner on June 7, 2013.
Deadline for placing announcements will be Tuesday, June 4th by 5:00pm.
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- Local News
Dr. Deborah Lamm, president of Edgecombe Community College, received the national ACT Career Preparedness Award on behalf of the college Tuesday. Shown from left to right are Dr. Jon Whitmore, ACT CEO; Scott Montgomery, ACT vice president; Sid Baker, education program specialist, NC Office of the State Superintendent; Dr. Lamm; and Virginia Edwards; editor-in-chief, Education Week.
Edgecombe Community College receives national award
Edgecombe Community College (ECC) received a national award Tuesday night for its efforts to prepare students to be successful in careers and the workplace.
Edgecombe was among four honorees that received national awards in Washington, D.C., during a gala that concluded ACT’s inaugural College and Career Readiness Campaign.
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- Edgecombe Community College receives national award
14-Under softball tryout
The Tarboro Parks and Recreation Department and Edgecombe County Girls Softball League will be having tryouts for 14-under girls fast-pitch softball Wednesday, May 29 from 7 - 8:30 p.m. at Farmington Park in Rocky Mount. The is located at 319 Wellington Dr. There will also be a tryout Thursday, May 30 at Indian Lake Sports Complex on field 1 in Tarboro from 6 - 7:30 p.m. There is a $10 fee for Tarboro residents and a $35 fee for non-residents. For more information call the sports complex at 641-4202, Kathy Webb 252-813-4697 or Jamie Lindsey 252-883-0883 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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My 13 years have been lucky
It was 13 years Sunday that a drought was broken in Big Spring, Texas, After that, we ate Mexican for dinner with a gathering of family and friends.
The next day, a Saturday, Stephanie and I joined one another in marriage under a beautiful little gazebo by Comanche Trail Lake, fed by the historic spring from which the community draws its name.
- My 13 years have been lucky
Brittney Joyce Corbett and Kenneth Robert Chasse, Jr. were united in marriage on April 6th, 2013, at 5:30pm at the Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount. The Rev. Carrol Bradbury officiated the ceremony.
The Rehearsal Dinner was hosted by Shirley and Donald Foreman, Grandparents of the Groom and also Elisha and Kenneth Chasse, Parents of the Groom, at Pizza Inn in Rocky Mount.
The Bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Durwood Corbett of Macclesfield, NC. The Groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Robert Leonel Chasse, Sr. of Pinetops, NC.
- Corbett/Chasse Wedding
- Obituaries Archives
CURTIS LEE DAVIS
PRINCEVILLE — Curtis Lee Davis, 60, died Sunday, May 19, 2013. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2013 at the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church (2225 N.C. Hwy 97 East) with burial in the Morning Family Cemetery.
Arrangements under direction of Dickens Funeral Service.
- IRENE EVANS
- SHIRLEY A. GOLDSTON
- JOHNNY LEE LAWRENCE
- CECILIA AMANDA PUDDY
- CURTIS LEE DAVIS
My husband and I love to entertain. We also love fondue. I have 4 or 5 fondue pots. I use them regularly. Some of them I have had for a long time.
Fondue began as a way to use up old, hardened cheese. The original fondue was cheese with wine. You then dipped hardened pieces of bread into the mixture. In America, the 1950's was the height of the fondue craze. However, it appears to be making a comeback.
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Edgecombe Events May 24
Edgecombe Events should be submitted by noon the day before publication. Items eligible include notices of local meetings and activities of non-profit organizations, clubs, schools and civic groups in the community. Information should be brief and typewritten, neatly printed or via e-mail. Questions? 823-3106 or e-mail: email@example.com. Leave a daytime contact phone number.
- Edgecombe Events May 24
- Our Community
Edgecombe Garden Club honors members
The Edgecombe Garden Club met May 1 for their noon luncheon at the Fountains of the Albemarle. After President Pauline Nicolosi greeted everyone, Sandra Joyner, Devotion Chairman, read “Torch” which was about our tongues torching good or evil.
Hostess Barbara Getzug described her specially designed flower arrangement of mock orange, snowball, purple columbine, and many varieties of roses. President Pauline, Hostesses Gloria Wall and Louise Fleming did the table arrangements. They contained wiegelia, azalea, ivy, mock orange, and ligustrum.
- DAR AWARDS
- Edgecombe Garden Club honors members