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Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

 
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Angels in our Midst (Ray Farrell)

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:43 PM CDT
Berthold Auerbach said, music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.
  
For a Pensacola man who is twice widowed and who lived through the horrors of World War II, music does just that.
  
He's keeping the music playing for himself and for others to keep life full of joy. 
Ray Farrell, 91 years young;  My mother would take me to the theatre, the Vaudeville Theatre where he was playing and I would sit right down next to the orchestra pit, close to the drums and I'd watch my dad play.

Ray Farrell has been wielding drum sticks since he about three years old.  He was only four when he hit the stage for the first time.  Following in the footsteps of his dad, a professional musician and instructor, Mr. Ray played in his father's orchestra for some of the greats..

Ray;  I remember being with my dad and playing with his orchestra with such entertainers as Eddie Cantor, The Schnaz, Sophie Tucker,

That list goes on and on.  Ray Farrell did put down the drum sticks for a while to serve his country.
  
He began his service in the State Guard and then
Ray;  I was inducted into the service in November, 1942 and spent the next 20 years going around the world.  I was in the Battle of the Bulge. 

Mr. Ray did a little drumming on the side while he was in the service but was afraid he'd lost his touch until he started getting requests.

Ray;  People have been kind enough to ask me to play with them and I'm thrilled to death over that.

Invitations from local greats like 
Ray;  Frank Horn, Ray Parker, Charlie Witts, Joe Occhipinti, oh, Al Martin.  I play with Paul Stewart.

Ray;  When I play the drums, all other thoughts go out of my head.  Just me, the set of drums and the other musicians in there, I have a ball.

Not only is his talent impressive; so is that the fact that he's doing it at 91 years young.  And drumming isn't the only thing that keeps him busy.

Carolyn Speed, Ray's Fan;  I think he runs circles around me, actually.  He's out doing things every single day.  He plans drums a couple night a week.  He golfs out at NAS.  He dances. 

Ray;  I like to dance.  And even though I have to walk with a cane now, if I can hold onto a girl, and the prettier she is, the more I hold on, I can manage to still dance on the floor.

Carolyn;  He's a charmer.  There's no doubt about it.
He just has a great time living.
Ray;  You like to see people happy and enjoying themselves.  And if you can be an instrument to bring that about, then you have such satisfaction yourself.

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.

 

Angels in our Midst (Ray Farrell)


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