Interviewing Jim Bolle and children from the orchestra and cast of "Noye's Fludde"
BROADCAST: Jun. 23, 1965 | DURATION: 00:49:02
Interview with Jim Bolle and young musicians Cheryl Griffin, Clyde Jennings, Lotilda Hudson, Joseph Johnson, Stephen Graham.
Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.
Studs Terkel [content removed, see catalog record] This is the entrance of the children. Benjamin Britten's miracle play, Chester miracle play put to music, "Noye's Fludd". Known in English as "Noah's Flood." It's being performed around Chicago by Chicago schoolchildren in various areas, members of the orchestra, there are singers, there are actors, performers and five of the instrumentalists, members of the orchestra, are seated around the microphone with Jim Bolle of the Chicago Community Music Foundation and we'll hear more about where this is being performed in town. And Cheryl Griffin, who is 11, violinist, and Clyde Jennings, who is a violinist, he's 11. Lotilda Hudson is a violinist. She's 11. And Joseph Johnson, he's a trombonist, like J.J. Johnson, he's 12, and Stephen Graham is 12. He plays the violin. So we have five--four string men and women and a brass man and you'll go to, Jim, go to Raymond School, on 36th and Wabash and all live in the--is it Stateway Gardens? The Stateway Gardens--
Jim Bolle Right.
Studs Terkel Project.
Studs Terkel You know, if we talk, in hearing this music, the piece we just heard, say, Joseph Johnson, you know, trombone, what--did you recognize this piece we just heard, this part of the?
Joseph Johnson Yes, sir. I liked it.
Studs Terkel What is it about it you liked?
Joseph Johnson I like when the children come marching in singing "Kyrie".
Studs Terkel You like that "Kyrie," there?
Studs Terkel What's you're feeling--is this the first time, Lotilda--keep your [free open?]--Lotilda Hudson. Is this the first time you heard of Noah's flood? You know the story of Noah's flood?
Studs Terkel You never heard it before?
Jim Bolle Never, huh? [laughter] You just sit there and play your violin, hope that something's going to happen, huh?
Studs Terkel Did any of you ever hear the story of Noah's flood before you took part in this? Cheryl?
Cheryl Griffin No.
Studs Terkel You didn't either?
Jim Bolle Oh, what, a bunch of people.
Joseph Johnson But I did once.
Studs Terkel You did, Joe. And, Stephen? Where did you first hear it?
Stephen Graham I didn't take part in "Noah's Flood" but I heard it on TV.
Studs Terkel Oh, you heard this on TV?
Stephen Graham Yes. It was in a cartoon and it was telling about how people were fighting against each other and Noah was a peaceful man. So God said that he would send, that he would send a flood upon the earth and so it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights. And he built a ark and he got in it. And [after?] forty days it came to rest on this mountain peak--I forgot the name of it--but he sent out a crow and it didn't come back. So then he sent out a dove to see if it was dry enough to let the animals out and the dove brought back a bush--a leaf off of a branch off of a tree, I mean--so he knew it was dry enough to let them come out. The water had gone down.
Studs Terkel You heard that on TV? Did you ever hear the story itself? The Bible story?
Lotilda Hudson No.
Joseph Johnson Yes, I did, once.
Studs Terkel Joseph?
Joseph Johnson One day Noah, he was standing in [line?] and then Jesus sent an angel down to tell Noah that it would rain 40 days and 40 nights and he told Noah to build an ark and take in most of the animals that he could. So he took in most of them then when it rained he kept them for 40 days and 40 nights and when it was clear he thought he would send out a dove.
Studs Terkel In thinking about the--you're taking part in this, the music, the instruments, the instruments you're now playing--you learn this at Raymond School, Lotilda?
Studs Terkel The violin? How long have you been playing violin now?
Studs Terkel For two years? Is there a piece that you, that's your favorite? Anyone?
Lotilda Hudson "Baa Baa Black Sheep."
Studs Terkel You like "Baa Baa Black Sheep"? She likes that. Why? Why do you like that one?
Lotilda Hudson Because every time I go home I'll be practicing on the family, that song. My little sisters want me to play "Baa Baa Black Sheep" so that's how come I'm beginning to like it.
Studs Terkel Oh, so, you've got an audience at home? How many are in your family are there?
Lotilda Hudson Five.
Studs Terkel Five. And you have--where are you in age? Are you the oldest?
Lotilda Hudson No, I'm next to my sister.
Studs Terkel Next to your sister and you live at the Stateway Gardens?
Studs Terkel But you have an audience--when you come home playing, your little sisters like it? That's a good audience right there. What about you, Cheryl? Cheryl Griffin. You and the violin. How long have you been playing it now?
Cheryl Griffin A year and a half.
Studs Terkel A year and a half. What, is there a favorite you have?
Cheryl Griffin "Clair De Lune"
Cheryl Griffin Yeah.
Studs Terkel Ooh, what's a, why? What is it about "Clair De Lune" that you like?
Cheryl Griffin I just play it so much I'm just beginning to like it. [laughter]
Studs Terkel Oh, that's good. You get [unintelligible] the more you play it the better you like it? What about you, Clyde? Our friend, Clyde Jennings. Also a violinist.
Clyde Jennings Well, I to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" because I like to play the G string a lot.
Studs Terkel Do you have an audience at home, the way Lotilda does?
Clyde Jennings No. I only play for my little brother sometimes.
Studs Terkel How many in your family?
Clyde Jennings Three.
Studs Terkel Three. So your little brother hears that "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"?
Clyde Jennings Uh-huh.
Studs Terkel I know Cheryl is looking for things in her purse there. Cheryl, that's all right. That's okay. I know there was something involving the program you were looking for. How many in your family, Cheryl?
Cheryl Griffin Five.
Studs Terkel Five altogether. Do you have audiences the way--at home, listening? You just--
Cheryl Griffin When I practice my mother let me go in the back room and [stay?] because I don't practice that much [laughter]
Studs Terkel Oh, she wants you to practice more?
Cheryl Griffin She said my sisters is not supposed to be in there because they distract my attention.
Studs Terkel Well, the artist needs--
Studs Terkel That's good. The artist needs privacy. What about, Joseph, you and the trombone? What led you to the--you're the one brass man here. All four of your friends here, all violinists. What led you to the trombone?
Joseph Johnson Because I wanted something that shines and plus I wanted a big instrument.
Studs Terkel You like the idea of it shining, huh?
Studs Terkel Yeah. So is it pretty rough on you playing? You're 12 now.
Joseph Johnson Mmm-hmm.
Studs Terkel How long have you been playing the trombone?
Joseph Johnson For two years and a half.
Studs Terkel Two years and a half?
Studs Terkel Well, what do you tackle? What pieces do you like to--
Joseph Johnson "[Review et du?]" and "The Rose of Tralalee" [sic].
Studs Terkel You like "The Rose of Tralee"? That's an Irish song.
Studs Terkel You like that one? Of course, yours is a slide trombone?
Studs Terkel Do you have a favorite trombonist?
Joseph Johnson Mmm-hmm.
Studs Terkel Oh, for the audience that may not take jazz it happens that Joseph has excellent taste. J.J. Johnson is--Joseph Johnson--is one of the finest, most sensitive of jazz trombonists. Have you heard many of his records? Is that it?
Studs Terkel How did you know about J.J. Johnson?
Joseph Johnson Well, I kept listening to records and then I heard it on TV. And then so one day my mother--I mean, I went up to my friend's house--and his father had a J.J. Johnson record with Benny Greene. And so I listened to it and then I began to like it.
Studs Terkel So you started playing, what, at the age of 10? Nine and a half, 10?
Joseph Johnson Yes.
Studs Terkel You were taking up that trombone?
Studs Terkel How about you and the violin, Stephen? Stephen Graham. When did you start? You're 12.
Stephen Graham Yes.
Studs Terkel When did you start playing violin?
Stephen Graham I've been playing for about a year and a half. One of my favorite pieces is "Now The Day Is Over".
Studs Terkel "Now The Day Is Over". Why do you like that one?
Stephen Graham Well, because it's pretty.
Studs Terkel It's pretty. You like pretty music, it sounds. So we're, here you're involved now with "Noah's Flood". You're playing, you're part of this four: Cheryl, and Clyde, and Lotilda, and Stephen are part of the string section of the orchestra. Jim, Jim Bolle, and Joseph, Joseph Johnson is part of the brass. How big? We have five members of the Children's Orchestra now.
Jim Bolle Well, the Children's Orchestra is about 40 people in this. There is a professional group, a string quartet, and the bass, and a couple of piano players. And then there are a lot of students. There are the people that play violins and cellos and so on. And then there are a lot of recorder players. And then there are the bugle and trumpet players. It's a great big brass group up in the balcony of the church that play at the big moments when the animals come into the ark and when finally they all leave. So there are quite a lot of people. Then there are almost 150 children that sing as animals, the children of Noah and their wives. There are a lot of--Mrs. Noah has a lot of gossips in this piece--Mrs. Noah is a drunk and she has a lot of very drunken gossips and these are great character parts for people in the eighth grade and they can stagger around.
Studs Terkel You all--this guy--you have a lot of fun doing this?
Studs Terkel Well, do you all take part? Do your instrumentalists, do you also take part as the animals or the children?
Studs Terkel Oh, here, it's you, Joe.
Studs Terkel What do you play?
Joseph Johnson I play the part of a peacock because they don't have, you know, in the play, well they didn't have any trombone. Or trumpets.
Studs Terkel Oh, so therefore, you don't--I see-you don't blow trombone in the play so you act the role of the peacock?
Joseph Johnson Yes.
Studs Terkel So, what's a peacock to you?
Joseph Johnson Well, it's just a regular old pretty animal to me.
Studs Terkel Just a pretty animal. What else is a peacock to you? What is a peacock? When you hear the word peacock, what is he? He's pretty but what else?
Joseph Johnson And he has a whole lot of wonderful colors.
Studs Terkel He's also very vain, he's proud, too, isn't he?
Joseph Johnson Braggin'.
Studs Terkel Bragging, oh, he's a braggart?
Jim Bolle Typecasting, I guess. [chuckles]
Studs Terkel But all you four violinists, though, you just play the violins only in this?
Studs Terkel Well, what do you like about "Noah's Flood" when you watch it? You've been playing now and is there one part of it you like the best? It's okay to be funny. Is there one part of "Noah's Flood" that any of you like the best? Stephen, or Lotilda, or Cheryl, or Clyde?
Clyde Jennings I like the part that the lady, the boy comes up to the lady as if he's going to pull her up and he hit her and he runs back and then when both of the boys come capture, Mrs. Noah, well those gossips starts running and hollering.
Studs Terkel Oh, you like that part? Why--because of all of the excitement that's happening there? It's funny. Who--what part do you like, Cheryl?
Cheryl Griffin I like the part when they raise up their bottles of whatever they have and fall down to the floor and Mrs. Noah starts gossiping and when they come and capture Mrs. Noah, well, the rest of the people that was with her they get mad and start talking.
Studs Terkel You like that? That's, you know, that's a very funny thing. The two girls here, you know, Cheryl Griffin and Lotilda Hudson both like Mrs. Noah and the gossiping. You notice that? They like the--
Studs Terkel What about you, Clyde?
Clyde Jennings I had never heard it before.
Jim Bolle Clyde didn't go on the first performance. He's going to come out and see it this time but he's just started the violin.
Jim Bolle He's not as far along as the other people were. We had a performance last May 2nd so everybody knows this pretty well except Clyde because he's just coming in the first time.
Studs Terkel Oh, Clyde, you're in for an experience then. You haven't seen this before?
Studs Terkel So you are you going to see it and also take part. Joe? You're the--what part of the "Noah's Flood" do you like the best?
Joseph Johnson I like it when they first come in. They be glad, you know, that he would take 'em in. And then they start singing "Hallelujah" because they're getting out the ark.
Studs Terkel Yeah, like you mean all the animals?
Joseph Johnson Uh-huh.
Studs Terkel You like that part. What about you, Stephen?
Stephen Graham I haven't seen it.
Studs Terkel Oh, you haven't seen it yet either? Oh, so Steve is just breaking in, too?
Jim Bolle Yes. Stephen was out in Winnetka before but he just came in.
Studs Terkel Tell me about your experience. You've been playing this in different--I know aside from Clyde and Stephen--Cheryl, Lotilda, and Joe have taken part in this before. Where has this been playing, "Noah"? This is--of course, our four guests here--five guests--from the Raymond School on the South Side there. Also have friends from, who play with them from the Holy Angels School at Sacred Heart.
Jim Bolle Right. Well we did a, we've done one performance before at Sacred Heart Church in Winnetka and Raymond School and Sacred Heart have a, an exchange, they've worked together in the last couple of years and during the spring cleanup week in the Chicago schools, school is still going on in Winnetka so several of the children went out to Winnetka. This is the second year they've done this and live with the families and go to the school at Sacred Heart. And we did a lot of the rehearsing for the first performance of "Noah's Flood" during that week when we had a lot of the people out there. Two of the people here, Lotilda and Steve, were out in Winnetka. Some of the people weren't in the performance and they went to school with the people in Winnetka and they saw how the other people--which of course is a parochial school and they're in public school and of quite a different background. Then we're going to play "Noah's Flood" later on this summer in several different churches and temples, I believe, in the city. We have two different casts of soloists and lots and lots of people that play in it and it gets bigger every time.
Studs Terkel Is everybody invited? Everybody invited to see this?
Jim Bolle Yes. Everyone is invited. We have some expenses--there's always going to be--we've got to charge for that. But we've taken it around.
Studs Terkel I'm thinking, Lotilda and Stephen, you've both stayed in Winnetka--
Stephen Graham Yes.
Studs Terkel What's your feeling?
Studs Terkel Lotilda? Is it strange to you?
Studs Terkel That's alright. What about you,
Stephen Graham Stephen? Do you think you can-- It wasn't strange to me because I--it wasn't strange to me because I went last year. So now we left the school about two o'clock and it took us about an hour and a half to get out there and I stayed with a boy called--his name was Colin Potter[?]. And their work was--they were farther than we were in some things and slower in others. They were farther in arithmetic but not as far in geography.
Studs Terkel Oh, that's interesting. So you went to Winnetka school, too, to the same class, is that it? Is that the idea?
Studs Terkel in the 5th grade class. No, but I mean you were in the fifth grade class at Raymond, Lotilda, and then you went to a fifth grade class in Winnetka?
Studs Terkel How did you find it? Was it harder or was it just as, the same?
Lotilda Hudson It was the same. Except for the geography. They were on a different map than we were. Because I could hardly find [none of 'em?]
Studs Terkel You're telling me, it was tough for you in geography.
Lotilda Hudson Yeah.
Studs Terkel What about the other, what were the other courses you had? Other subjects?
Lotilda Hudson Well, in arithmetic we had a page to do for homework and I got a 100 on that. It was [cents?], it was on fractions. And we had a spelling test. We had to do 32 words and I only got around two wrong. And that's all they had out there was spelling and arithmetic and geography.
Studs Terkel So you didn't do too bad, then?
Lotilda Hudson Yes.
Studs Terkel It wasn't too difficult aside from geography, the map was different. What about you, Stephen? You said you were ahead in geography. What grade were you in?
Stephen Graham Sixth.
Studs Terkel You're sixth at Raymond and sixth in Winnetka?
Stephen Graham Yes. Everything was easy. Except for the arithmetic. I had to catch on sort of quick, you know, fast. But I eventually caught up after the boy I was staying with explained to me how you would do it.
Studs Terkel That's interesting. So Lotilda had a rough time in geography course with a map where you found you were ahead in geography? Yeah. But the arithmetic she'd find you had a little difficulty with arithmetic. You just switched around there.
Studs Terkel Tell me, what's your favorite subject in school at Raymond, Joseph?
Joseph Johnson I'd say reading.
Joseph Johnson Because I like to read about stories and find out what happens, you know? Like, read about the future and the past.
Studs Terkel Is there a story that's a favorite? Is there one that you--
Studs Terkel You like to read the stories about the future and the past?
Studs Terkel We'll come back to future and the past. Cheryl, what about your favorite subject?
Cheryl Griffin My favorite subject in school is social studies.
Studs Terkel Why do you like social studies?
Cheryl Griffin Because I like to read about our great men like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Foster.
Jim Bolle I'm glad you got a musician in there. Someone has to learn something about this.
Studs Terkel What other great men do you read about?
Studs Terkel Luther Burbanks [sic], Abraham Lincoln.
Jim Bolle Well, that's pretty good.
Studs Terkel Have you ever heard--do you ever read--ever hear about George Washington Carver?
Cheryl Griffin Yes. He was a Negro scientist that did many things with peanuts and plants and all sorts of things like that.
Studs Terkel Clyde, what's your favorite subject?
Clyde Jennings My favorite thing at school is reading.
Studs Terkel Any particular story you like best to read? What kind of story?
Clyde Jennings I like to read books like, like something like "Robin Hood" and
Studs Terkel "Donald Duck" and stuff like that. You like "Robin Hood"? Yes, sir. What do you like about "Robin Hood", Joe?
Joseph Johnson I like what he does--steal from the rich and give to the poor.
Studs Terkel Robin Hood. What about you, Lotilda?
Lotilda Hudson I don't like it.
Studs Terkel No? Any subject? [laughter] Oh, you don't like "Robin Hood". What do you like in school? What subject?
Lotilda Hudson Spelling and arithmetic.
Studs Terkel These are the two. What's a good word to spell? What--should we shoot a tough word at her? Nah, huh? [kids whisper "encyclopedia" to him] Yeah? What? No! Encyclopedia. Spelling encyclopedia, that's pretty rough.
Stephen Graham You could spell it by the sound.
Studs Terkel Can you spell encyclopedia? That's pretty rough. No, that's too--
Jim Bolle Somebody is giving clues here. Cheating.
Studs Terkel The whispering that goes on here, they also want to give Lotilda the toughest words in the book. We'll come back to the music--should we hear some more "Noah's Flood"?
All The Children Yes!
Studs Terkel And then we'll talk about "Noah's Flood" again. Alright. What are we about to hear, Jim?
Jim Bolle Well this is the place where the--
Cheryl Griffin I want to hear where the part where I
Jim Bolle play. Oh, you'll hear the part where you play in a minute. [laughter] This is the place where the animals come marching into the ark and you'll hear the peacock comes in towards the end with a lot of other animals--
Studs Terkel That's Joe, the peacock.
Jim Bolle That's Joe, the peacock, yeah. [content removed, see catalog record] Around the table we're singing--could we try that--the audience, people that can hear you--do you want to try the "Kyrie" now? I know the music isn't--how does it go? You start leading, Joe and Cheryl. Just try it now.
Joseph Johnson [leads children in singing "Kyrie"]
Jim Bolle Fine thing when people are singing or not singing.
Studs Terkel The funny thing is Stephen was hiding and Cheryl, who was singing before, you were singing partly there, and old Joe was almost doing a solo. That was good. Tell me, when you hear the "Kyrie" what does it do? Is it--it was like a march, isn't it there?
Cheryl Griffin Yeah, the animals are marching up to the--
Stephen Graham Ark.
Joseph Johnson They was kind of glad to get on. [laughter]
Cheryl Griffin And they don't want--when everybody was up there they put their heads down and pretended like they were asleep.
Joseph Johnson Yeah, that was the fun part because some people were really sleeping. [laughter]
Studs Terkel Well, this is more of the experiences. Well, you know, as Stephen was saying, the tempo--were you saying the tempo?
Studs Terkel No, Joe, you were saying, you were saying it was faster here?
Joseph Johnson Uh-huh. But, see, I guess if we didn't have, you know, the rest of the, you know, the people that really knew how to play, well, if we didn't have them I guessed they wouldn't have taken it that fast of tempo.
Jim Bolle Oh, you think that, huh? That's because you weren't playing, huh? I think they had a smaller church there and they had less animals. We have an awful lot of animals to get marching in so we gotta go fast, yeah.
Joseph Johnson Sure did. Standing outside. Remember I laughed at ya?
Cheryl Griffin If we didn't have Claudia and Esther and them in there--
Joseph Johnson Yeah, it would--
Cheryl Griffin It would have been messed up.
Joseph Johnson have been messed up because they was taking the lead part.
Jim Bolle These were the advanced violin players that were there.
Cheryl Griffin I was playing part, too.
Jim Bolle Well, good. Alright.
Studs Terkel That's good. Later we'll hear some of the violins later on because Cheryl wanted to hear the violins--they're applauding there--I think, how many animals are there all together? Do you know? Have any idea? Any of you have any idea how many animals there are altogether?
Joseph Johnson I'd say I'd guess the way he would really put it, Noah, would really put it, he would have took two of each kind of animal. And then they would increase, you know. But they [had the same amount?].
Studs Terkel But I suppose if Noah, if you took as many animals as Noah took you'd need a million stages wouldn't you?
Studs Terkel How many participate all--
Stephen Graham Or a million arks.
Studs Terkel What's that, Steve? What are you saying?
Stephen Graham Or a million arks.
Studs Terkel Or a million arks. Yeah. Let's see, how many take part all together. How many--
Jim Bolle Oh, someplace between 150 and 200. There's a whole list of animals. All those things the children are singing are all these--some of them are very old and obsolete and some of the people never knew what they were. But there are, oh, I don't know, about 60 pairs of animals that are just listed there in the text.
Studs Terkel And this is written, of course, Benjamin Britten wrote this in Middle English. You make this now the English that is of today?
Jim Bolle Yes. We just pronounce it as if it's plain English as the children do on the record. Of course, they're from Suffolk and they have a rather different accent.
Studs Terkel Tell me, friends and neighbors, tell me about the music that you're playing, the instruments. You're all in the Music Department at Raymond School?
Joseph Johnson Yes, sir. [others agree]
Studs Terkel How often do you take violin and trombone there? Cheryl?
Cheryl Griffin I take violin Wednesdays and Fridays. I'm supposed to take it on Saturdays but most Saturdays I can't make it because I have to go to Girl Scout meetings. And sometimes I have to go to Lyon & Healy's--take my sister to Lyon & Healy so she can go to that--I mean--piano lessons.
Studs Terkel Well how old is your sister?
Cheryl Griffin Nine.
Studs Terkel Oh, so you're eleven, she's nine. You go to Lyon & Healy. How do you get to the Lyon & Healy building?
Cheryl Griffin Umm, let me see now--
Cheryl Griffin bus? My father drives.
Studs Terkel Oh, your father drives you. So you go there once a week, then?
Cheryl Griffin Mmm-hmm. She goes every Saturday.
Studs Terkel She goes every Saturday.
Joseph Johnson [whispering] Can she play?
Studs Terkel Does she wait--she plays what--
Studs Terkel play. She pretty good?
Cheryl Griffin She plays half as good as David.
Studs Terkel Half as good as David? Yeah?
Cheryl Griffin A boy that plays violin with us.
Studs Terkel Any other members, any of you have sisters, brothers also who play instruments? Or are you the only ones?
Joseph Johnson My sister, she used to play trumpet.
Cheryl Griffin My baby sister wants to take up, play the harp.
Studs Terkel She does? How old is your baby sister?
Cheryl Griffin Seven.
Studs Terkel Seven. And she wants to play the harp. That'd be nice. Is she going to?
Studs Terkel My mother's going to let her take it. How did she know of the harp?
Cheryl Griffin This program comes on once a week and they play the harps and they have piano in there. So one day say said, she asked my mother, could she take it, my mother said she would see about it.
Joseph Johnson I just this last Saturday--
Cheryl Griffin My mother said she would like to have her take it because she said the harp is a beautiful instrument.
Joseph Johnson Last Saturday, well, we was gonna, we were fitting to ask Mr. James about--could we wash his car, you know. And then, so. he said, yes, we could wash it. Wash his car Wednesday. Well, that's today. So we asked him, what if we don't wash the car? Could we, you know, do something else. He said no.
Studs Terkel Mr. James. Is he your teacher?
Jim Bolle Yes. He's a teacher.
Studs Terkel Music?
Jim Bolle He's a trombone teacher, right.
Studs Terkel Trombone teacher. I'm thinking about the different instruments each one chooses--the instrument that you like. I'm thinking of--oh, right--before, you sang the "Kyrie" here. Some of you were singing. Joseph wasn't. And Cheryl was singing the "Kyrie". The others, I know, it's new to you, Clyde, you're going to see it for the first time and you others are veterans in this.
Cheryl Griffin I'm going to see it the second time.
Joseph Johnson I get to see the boy who I met last, I'd say it was last May.
Studs Terkel Oh, how's that? What's that, Stephen? You're saying what?
Stephen Graham I was asking if this boy's name was Bob [or Derek?]
Joseph Johnson Yeah.
Studs Terkel You mean you meet--oh, this is--you make friends there from other schools, is that it? Have you made--
Cheryl Griffin I have made about--
Studs Terkel Cheryl?
Cheryl Griffin Three girlfriends there because that was my first time being in Winnetka. No--I've been to Winnetka three times because I went Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Studs Terkel So you met three friends, you made three friends there. Where are they from? Are they from Winnetka?
Jim Bolle Well, they have an orchestra, too. We have some of the kids from Winnetka and some of these youngsters from other parts of the city that meets at the fieldhouse at Stateway Gardens and we have this orchestra--it doesn't just play "Noah's Flood"--we've played a lot of pieces so they now know quite a lot of kids. These are mostly high school-aged kids that have come out from Winnetka. And then we have a lot of children from Englewood that come over. Next year we're going to have a pretty big orchestra this way. But we just, we just got started on that.
Studs Terkel Is "Noah's Flood" [also played?] on the South Side, West Side of Chicago, too?
Jim Bolle Yes. We're going to play it in, oh, at least three churches this coming summer and then in the fall. So it looks like it's going on forever, I don't know. [chuckles] Get new cast into it. But they, these children at Raymond, the music foundation has been working with them and this has all been music after school. And there are about, oh, I guess there about 90 kids that have, that take instruments of various kinds and they've been going for a couple of years and then we're going to stretch this out. This is a supplemental thing to the music department. But a lot of these programs like the program going to Winnetka are special extra things that happen at the school. They have a Junior Great Books course and they have a lot of courses. The kids go to a lot of concerts although you wouldn't hear it unless you kick them and pry that out of them. They are sometimes pretty sharp. Sometimes.
Studs Terkel Well, right now Cheryl's looking at me with a telescope.
Jim Bolle Oh.
Studs Terkel She's close up, she thought I vanished, she made up a telescope through her fingers there. I'm thinking of--Cheryl, you say that your little sister saw the harp on television. You watch television a lot?
Joseph Johnson Yes. I looked at--
Studs Terkel Joe?
Joseph Johnson Al Hirt last Saturday.
Studs Terkel The trumpet player?
Studs Terkel Al Hirt. And so, what do you, when you saw Al Hirt what was your thought?
Joseph Johnson I was hoping he would play his new hit record, "Cotton Candy".
Studs Terkel "Cotton Candy". Do you follow that--do you follow the new hit records a lot? Cheryl?
Cheryl Griffin Oh, just the teenage records.
Studs Terkel Which one, for instance?
Cheryl Griffin Like the Twine, the Jerk. [nervous laughter]
Cheryl Griffin Shut up, the Shake. [dismissive to whispered suggestion] [laughter]
Studs Terkel Well, you named a couple.
Stephen Graham The Bump. The Bump. The Shotgun. The Frug. The Hip. So you're-- The Frug.
Studs Terkel You're up on the new ones, pretty much the new rock n roll hits?
Cheryl Griffin Yep.
Studs Terkel Cheryl, do you like the new dances, too?
Cheryl Griffin I know how to do all of them.
Stephen Graham The Barracuda.
Studs Terkel What? Can you--The Frug and the Watusi?
Cheryl Griffin the Barracuda? The Watusi is out.
Studs Terkel Is that out? Oh, is the Watusi--oh, I didn't know that. The Watusi is now out. What's in?
Stephen Graham It was out once then it came back in.
Studs Terkel What's new? What's the popular one now?
Studs Terkel Yeah.
Stephen Graham The Freddie. The Freddie. Freddie and the Dreamers.
Joseph Johnson I [said? did?] that dance.
Stephen Graham Yeah, he jumps all around when he sings [laughter].
Studs Terkel Who?
Stephen Graham Freddie and the Dreamers. He [moves around like that?] like he's got bugs in his pants. He jumps all around when he sings.
Stephen Graham He kicks his legs way up high.
Lotilda Hudson He looks like a clown. We looked at "Hullabaloo" last night at 9 o'clock and Freddie was on there. And when he was on I called my mother and uncle in the back to look at TV. They started doing the Freddie and my mother and my uncle went back in the back. She said, "Uh-oh, that's not for me." They went back in the back--in the front, rather. And she said that all these dances are kind of cuckoo [laughter]. Especially the Freddie.
Stephen Graham Tell him about the Barracuda.
Studs Terkel The Barracuda?
Lotilda Hudson The Barracuda is not cuckoo, that's
Studs Terkel a hit. [laughter] Oh, so the Freddie and the Barracuda are the two 'in' dances now? Pretty much? Yeah.
Stephen Graham The Twine was an in dance but it didn't--
Studs Terkel Who?
Stephen Graham The Twine was an in dance but it didn't stay in too long.
Joseph Johnson Yeah. That's what we like to play all the time.
Cheryl Griffin Yeah. This boy in our class, in our violin class, his name is David.
Cheryl Griffin He took piano lessons.
Stephen Graham He was playing it for us.
Cheryl Griffin So one day when we were taking, used to take violin in Room 214, well, he played the Twine and I was in the middle of the twistin' part of the Twine when Mr. Bolle walked in. [laughter]
Studs Terkel Mr. Bolle didn't stop you, I hope, did he?
Cheryl Griffin Yes.
Jim Bolle Oh, the ten of them.
Cheryl Griffin It was in the middle of our violin class. That's how come we don't know nothin'.
Jim Bolle Oh. That's a good reason.
Studs Terkel Why do you like these, the Barracuda, say, the Freddie, or the other dance, the Twine? Why? What is it about these dances that you like?
Cheryl Griffin They easy and--
Stephen Graham We go around a lot.
Cheryl Griffin It's something to do.
Studs Terkel Yeah.
Stephen Graham Give us a demonstration. [laughter] Give a demonstration.
Cheryl Griffin Very, very funny. [laughter]
Studs Terkel You may have heard Stephen ribbing Cheryl, asking her to give a demonstration.
Cheryl Griffin I don't want to lose no weight, I'm skinny enough. [background laughter]
Joseph Johnson Mr. Bolle [unintelligible] Saturday how you practice.
Studs Terkel So, I'm thinking with these dances, did you ever try--I'm just, I thought of something. I know it's not "Noah's Flood" but I wonder if some of these dances are ever played on the violin? You ever hear them played on the violin?
Stephen Graham No.
Cheryl Griffin Play what? Are you saying dances?
Studs Terkel Yeah.
Joseph Johnson We played some jazz songs.
Stephen Graham I heard "Duke of Earl" played on the violin.
Lotilda Hudson I have. [crosstalk]
Studs Terkel Would you object to that, Jim?
Jim Bolle No. All you have to do is get their fingers down that [fast?]
Cheryl Griffin You can, if you know, if you listen to the record enough or you have seen somebody play it, you know, your fingers almost like, nearly--
Stephen Graham Claudia?
Cheryl Griffin Claudia, a girl--not in our violin class but she's been playing longer than we have--and you could play jazz songs on a violin.
Studs Terkel Mmm-hmm.
Joseph Johnson Well, I usually--
Cheryl Griffin I'm not that good yet so I can't play it.
Cheryl Griffin I can play ["Gorilla"?] on it.
Joseph Johnson It's one song that I like--is--I can play "Java", a little of "Java". And I'd say "Mary Poppins" songs.
Studs Terkel What was that? You
Lotilda Hudson wanted to say something? "Supercalifragi--
Stephen Graham ListicExpialidocious."
Joseph Johnson And I also can play--I'm taking
Cheryl Griffin music lessons from William. You have, huh? One time I was in this teacher's room and we had a party so she said we couldn't bring any jazz records. We had to bring classical music.
Lotilda Hudson We get a lot of jazz [records?]. [laughter]
Jim Bolle What kind of a party did you have then?
Cheryl Griffin We had to bring things like, um, you know, classical, like, what's that?
Joseph Johnson Haydn's--
Cheryl Griffin "The Blue Danube".
Studs Terkel "The Blue Danube." Uh-huh.
Stephen Graham And "The Waltz of the Flowers"
Studs Terkel Yeah. For the party?
Studs Terkel "The Blue Danube" for the party? And she
Studs Terkel wouldn't let you-- The only fun of the party was the eating part. [laughter] She wouldn't let you bring any jazz records in for a party?
Stephen Graham [in background] Somebody snuck--
Studs Terkel And she wanted you to have "Blue Danube". Did you do this very gentle waltz to "The Blue Danube?"
Cheryl Griffin No, we just sat down and listened. [laughter]
Cheryl Griffin I can dance some. I can dance a waltz if I wanted to. But that music was too slow.
Studs Terkel Yeah.
Stephen Graham And then once we had a teacher and she brought everything. But she forgot to get a record player so she brought out the tambourines and we had to beat on the tambourines. And had to let that do. Instead of bringing jazz records.
Studs Terkel Well, I have a tambourine. You could dance, though, to tambourines, couldn't you?
Stephen Graham Not the way they played them.
Joseph Johnson [laughter] I played in a--
Joseph Johnson Joseph? We had a party for all the sixth [grades?], that was last Tuesday. Well, maybe--
Stephen Graham [whispering] It was yesterday.
Lotilda Hudson It was this Tuesday.
Joseph Johnson I played a solo and a duet with Willie. Well, then we went to get refreshments--I was all freshed out.
Studs Terkel You were all freshed out?
Stephen Graham How many times you go around there?
Studs Terkel How many times did he
Stephen Graham go around? I didn't go around. Neither did--I went around at the end. [starts whispering to Joseph]
Studs Terkel What did you say?
Cheryl Griffin The party I told you about--
Studs Terkel Yeah.
Cheryl Griffin If I could play violin that good, well, we could have did some [awful?] playing and could have danced and all that but the waltzes, that was, [clicks tongue twice] it was just 'out'. [laughter]
Joseph Johnson Mr. Bolle? We were going to have an assembly, well, I wasn't going to play out of the--you know, change the rhythm of the sound in our music book--change the rhythm.
Jim Bolle Good thing Mr. James wasn't there, wasn't it? [laughter]
Joseph Johnson Uh-uh. You know, get a snappy rhythm.
Studs Terkel Well, do the teachers understand this? I mean do they, you know, that you'd like a snappy rhythm sometimes? Or have something jazz?
Cheryl Griffin And now I have a teacher, I have a teacher now, her name is Mrs Darnell. I'm not going to tell you nothing bad.
Jim Bolle Oh, good. [laughter]
Studs Terkel Yeah. Very diplomatic.
Cheryl Griffin Miss Darnell, when we have our parties she gets, she lets us pass out the stuff, get the records ready, make sure we have everything settled, she goes out the room and we have fun.
Studs Terkel Oh, she lets you--she trusts you.
Stephen Graham [unintelligible]
Cheryl Griffin And once I was in Mrs. Ferguson's room. I was in second grade. We had a party and when we got through having a party so much popcorn it was enough to feed three rooms on the floor. And the desks was turned over. I was in second grade. The desks were turned over. Yes, I'm a [bunch?] of fun. [laughter] So she said if we stayed and cleaned up she would give us what's left. We stayed and cleaned up and I came home and had a big, fat bag full of some junk. My mother asked where had I got it from. She said, "I ain't never seen you save nothing from a party before." I don't save nothing.
Joseph Johnson Let's get back to music. [laughter]
Studs Terkel But did you, do you, you, after the desks, though, you cleaned up the room after it was over?
Cheryl Griffin Mmm-hmm.
Studs Terkel And then she rewarded you, your teacher, with the popcorn that was there? Sounds fair enough.
Stephen Graham Our [arithmetic?] teacher once--we had a party and we had a--cakes leftover and candy and she sent half the children home and let the other half stay and eat. It wasn't very fair, I don't think.
Lotilda Hudson Our teacher she don't give out nothing [but lists?]. Whoever bought stuff she went to [lick?] it and then she passed it out.
Clyde Jennings Yesterday our teacher he gave us a party and he left out the room, he had two big tubs of Kool-Aid and so we was playing records and everybody was tore up and thirsty and everything. So, and I said, well, let's get some something to drink. But then we went and drunk all of it up and when the teacher come back he asked what happened to the Kool-Aid but they said we weren't gonna have no more party no more. So we ate up all the popcorn and everything. But they said he just wanted to test us out to see how bad we would be in the next party tomorrow.
Studs Terkel Oh, so you were going to have a party?
Clyde Jennings Uh-huh.
Studs Terkel You were going to have a party.
Clyde Jennings That was yesterday.
Studs Terkel Cheryl?
Clyde Jennings And when we got through with the party all the popcorn was on the floor. Cheese popcorn, candy, all that stuff. And while the teacher was gone these kids were all like, 'candy school', and they were throwing stuff at all the kids and falling around on the floor, getting dirtied up and everything. My teacher came back and he caught them right in the middle of the act and he got mad and he said that we might not have a party today.
Stephen Graham What was the name of the teacher?
Jim Bolle No. [laughter]
Lotilda Hudson I know we're going to have a party.
Cheryl Griffin When I left out the room to come here my teacher was showing her wedding slides and her honeymoon slides when she went to Montreal and her slides about when she went to Hawaii in 1963, the year before she got married. You should have seen her when she got married.
Stephen Graham She got married?
Studs Terkel Yeah.
Cheryl Griffin And she had on her wedding dress.
Stephen Graham She got married.
Studs Terkel Was it a good looking dress?
Cheryl Griffin She looked all right in it. [laughter]
Jim Bolle It's a good thing you're going to a new teacher.
Cheryl Griffin She looked all right. But, you know, her attitude--she didn't--
Studs Terkel Now, tell me, do you have favorite teachers? Do you have favorite teachers?
Cheryl Griffin One favorite teacher, my kindergarten teacher, her name was Mrs. Lemon. That was my favorite. Let me see, next to her is Mrs. Darnell. And next to her is Mrs. Ferguson.
Studs Terkel Do you--yes, sir? Certain teachers you like?
Clyde Jennings My first [favorite?] teacher is Mrs. [Teemer?], then Mrs. [Ayres?] then Mr. [Bolle?].
Studs Terkel Wait, before you--I didn't mean for you to name them all--that's okay. But why--what is it about these teachers that you like? What do you like about them?
Cheryl Griffin Well, Mrs. Lemon was nice. We could have our way. Mrs. Ferguson, she's okay but she knew what to do. And Mrs. Darnell, teacher I have now, she will murdalize you. I must say, in all through school you have one very good teacher. But I like Mrs. Darnell. Other people say she's mean, like Lotilda and Steve. [laughter] She's mean, they say, she's mean. She's not mean she just, she said what she gives us we need it at home. She says we don't get enough chastising at
Joseph Johnson home. Chastising. I'd like to hear you say that in front of your teacher.
Clyde Jennings When I first came to Raymond--
Cheryl Griffin She's gonna listen to me on the radio. She says she's going to turn on the radio.
Joseph Johnson Oooh, I'd keep quiet. [laughter]
Clyde Jennings When I first came to Raymond School my first teacher was Miss Dunlap [laughing in background] and mostly every week she gave us a party so every week on a Friday we was tore up and when I went to my next teacher she was nice and all. She'd let us do anything we wanted to.
Studs Terkel Well the reason why everyone is laughing because Cheryl is pantomiming and [acting up here?] What do we do--well that's fine. You think some day you'd want to have jazz in the classes, you know? Well, I imagine some teachers do allow that, don't they, Jim?
Clyde Jennings We had the jazz today.
Studs Terkel Hmm?
Clyde Jennings We got jazz today.
Lotilda Hudson We had some records like that today. We had the Twine, the Bump, "Shotgun".
Stephen Graham [sings "Shotgun" melody] "Shoot it for me right now"
Joseph Johnson Our party, we don't have--if we do have a party we would have it at our teacher's house or we don't have it at all.
Stephen Graham We had a teacher in fifth grade named Miss Williams.
Clyde Jennings I
Stephen Graham had a party with her. You know, Miss Williams? Well, one reason why I liked her was because she would always--we'd be doing right in the middle of some arithmetic or a lesson and then she'd tell us to put down the books and we'd discuss all that afternoon and we
Studs Terkel wouldn't have to do any more work. Mmm, I see.
Cheryl Griffin And one thing I like about Mrs. Williams, one afternoon for one hour we read. The next hour, 2:00 to 3:15, we eat fruit, talk, play checkers--
Stephen Graham Yeah.
Cheryl Griffin Play games, do anything we want to.
Stephen Graham She would call it 'fruit time' and--
Stephen Graham we could play records and stuff and eat--
Cheryl Griffin Then in the afternoon we don't do no work at all but in the morning you do work and you don't have much homework. You would have enough homework but on Fridays you don't have no homework. But in my room now we have homework everyday including Friday. And last year, the teacher I had, we had homework for the whole summer.
Studs Terkel Don't you like homework?
Cheryl Griffin Not for the whole summer.
Stephen Graham the whole summer. We had--our teacher told us to--
Studs Terkel But you like homework--
Cheryl Griffin And plus, if I have homework for this whole summer, I'll have homework for summer school plus homework to take back in September.
Stephen Graham We had homework--the teacher gave us a big old sheet of orange paper and told us to write out all the multiplication tables but didn't nobody do it but one person.
Stephen Graham Don't ask me, he was crazy. [laughter]
Clyde Jennings This one thing that I like about my teacher, one thing that I don't like about him, well in the afternoon he lets us go outside mostly everyday and play ball, He lets us go outside and play ball with different classes and, let's see, day before yesterday, well, he was mean to us, he gave us 60 problems to do. They were all multiply and division and fractions.
Lotilda Hudson Well, when he came out to play basketball--I mean baseball--with our team, with the boys in our room, well they lost and our team won and they got mad. And they didn't want to play another game with them.
Lotilda Hudson Uh-huh. Clyde and their room.
Cheryl Griffin And my room played a game with Mr. Jason and we won them.
Stephen Graham They can't play.
Cheryl Griffin Nuh-uh. They don't never win a game. [laughter] Our room won, y'all. Our room won. They, see, it started drizzling, my teacher was outside with us so the girls had to go in the room but the boys didn't get back. When the boys got back the girls were going home. Teacher said, "I didn't know they were going to keep them out that long". So the girls came in and we looked out the window and a boy in our room--my teacher say he acts stupid but he score high on his reading and arithmetic tests--and we looked out the window and Michael's standing out there laughing at us because we had to come in. It's raining outside and they're still out there playing ball.
Studs Terkel Hmm.
Cheryl Griffin And we was in the--and we asked the teacher when it stopped raining--it stopped raining and was just drizzling--could we go back outside and she said no. All we did was sit in the room and look at each other.
Joseph Johnson Let's change the subject.
Studs Terkel Yeah, all right. I think so. I was just about to suggest that just about, too.
Cheryl Griffin Put on some more of "Noah's Flood."
Cheryl Griffin I want to hear my part.
Jim Bolle You want to hear your part?
Studs Terkel We're gonna come to that right now. And you know, Joseph, let's change the subject, to what--to "Noah's Flood"?
Joseph Johnson Yeah.
Studs Terkel All right. Let's go back because I want to ask you one thing about "Noah's"--we talked about school, about enjoyment, and about not enjoying--about all these things and teachers you like and those you like less but we come back to "Noah's Flood," this music. I know Cheryl wants to hear her part--the part where the violins come in--but why do you like "Noah's Flood"? Do you like "Noah's Flood," Cheryl?
Joseph Johnson I wouldn't mind owning the record.
Studs Terkel You wouldn't mind owning the record?
Cheryl Griffin I have the whole record of "Porky [sic] and Bess". The--all of it. The real--and I, when this, when we just got television fixed last week. And when I come home and when I don't have no homework I play that. Everybody else in the class, I just listen to it and I follow the parts. The part I like is when Bess comes in, Porky [sic], comes in and sings and the part where Jake gets killed. The rest of it, it's okay, but that's the main part.
Studs Terkel That's the part, that's where you got, you mean that's the scene in the home, the home of Jake's widow, isn't it?
Cheryl Griffin Mmm-hmm.
Studs Terkel That's the part where the, that's the wake, isn't it? The mourning scene. You like that part?
Cheryl Griffin And the part where Bess--
Studs Terkel Serena,
Studs Terkel is that where Serena sings? Nuh-uh. Bess. Bess sings.
Cheryl Griffin Bess sings. I like the part where it first begins and Bess sings "Summertime". That's the beginning part. I know that. I know almost all of "Porky [sic] and Bess" by heart.
Studs Terkel Do you? Do you know "Summertime"? Can you sing part of that, do you think, now? No.
Cheryl Griffin I know it but I don't feel like singing it.
Studs Terkel Well, what would you do if, say if you had the record, of "Noah's Flood" at home, what would you do? Joseph?
Studs Terkel You would, huh? What other records--do you have a lot of records at home? Do you have records at home, Stephen?
Stephen Graham Yes.
Stephen Graham Well, I like, if we have, I like to play the Christmas records all the time.
Studs Terkel Christmas records.
Joseph Johnson I like to play, the only records I like are my mother's albums.
Studs Terkel Your mother's albums. Which are those?
Studs Terkel Oh. You like Ray Charles?
Cheryl Griffin Especially the one where he sings "Bye Bye Love".
Studs Terkel You know we'll go back to--we started hearing the music from "Noah's Flood," remember? We started hearing that?
Joseph Johnson Yes.
Studs Terkel And then I think we'll go off hearing that same music, you know, hearing the part--this is the part where the--
Jim Bolle Well, the other place where the children come into the ark, you mean this?
Studs Terkel Yeah. Where the violins, Cheryl would like to hear where the violins are. Do you know where that is?
Jim Bolle Yes, we'll get the, we'll get the place where the violin is so Cheryl can go off hearing that.
Studs Terkel She'll go off hearing that and we could just, maybe, one last thought, go around as hear this--Jim? Before we pick out the spot on the record. Where will "Noah's Flood" next be performed?
Jim Bolle Well, the next performances is at Sacred Heart Church in Winnetka. It will be this Sunday at 7:30.
Studs Terkel Well that will be after this particular broadcast, so, what about future performances?
Jim Bolle And then we hear it again, after that we will hear it in the end of the summer and I don't know what the dates. This is a cooperation of, always, with about 97 agencies. This, the Urban Gateways is going to be helping on so that people will hear it but I think there'll be announcements around. Some elite children and then a lot of other ones will be in it.
Studs Terkel Well, thank you very much, Jim Bolle, and to my guests. We're going to hear the music now with some of the violinists who will be there, and Cheryl Griffin can hear the violins and Clyde Jennings and Lotilda Hudson.
Stephen Graham Where's Clyde at?
Studs Terkel Clyde over here and Lotilda Hudson over there, violin, and Joseph Johnson, the trombonist. He's the peacock, though, in "Noah's Flood". And Stephen Graham, the violin. Thank you very much. Anything else you care to say? Anybody? Any last comment?