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Shirley from Madison

Shirley From Madison

This past week, I received in the mail the “100 years” card from WPR. It only took me a second to spot the face of my first music teacher, Prof. Edgar Gordon. His smiling face, looking so jolly, stood right out in the collage of faces. Seeing his face brought back from the past, a very special memory.

Our family moved to our new home in the Village of Maple Bluff in 1928, where I have lived for 92 years. Back then, our village was not a part of Madison, so we had our own school, the Lakewood School. It was run by the Village Board. The grade school did not have a music teacher on the staff, but we had our music class come to us, each week, from WHA’s School of the Air.

Music was a fun time. We all looked so forward to hearing Prof. Gordon’s welcome and listening to his instructions as how to sing. Our music books were the old brown, paper-back Levine 55 song books. It was full of wonderful songs, and to this day I can sing “Santa Lucia” and “Funiculi, Funicular” by heart.

A favorite memory of my early childhood was the day Prof. Gordon invited all his country kids to come to Madison, to Music Hall on the UW Campus, for a music festival. It was exciting! We gathered together on the hill outside Music Hall and sang all the songs we had learned that year. Prof. Gordon, known to us as “Pop” Gordon, made it such fun. How I loved music!

When I entered the UW Music School as a student in 1942, there was Pop Gordon, still taking kids on a journey to Musicland. What lucky kids!

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