Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Farewell Del Courtney

I saw today in the Honolulu Advertiser the obituary for Del Courtney, the little old guy who led the big band that we used to dance to at Blue Tropix on Kapiolani Boulevard in 2001 - 2002, and also on occasion in the Royal Hawaiianʻs Monarch Room. I think the last time I danced to his band was probably at his 93rd or maybe even 94th birthday, which would have been one of the Monarch Room performances. Del was 95 when he died of pneumonia on Sunday.

A cute memory I have of Del Courtney was the time at Blue Tropix when his band just finished up playing Night Train, and then Del introduced Night Train as the next song in the set, to which the band responded, "We just played that!"

Another thing I remember about going to dance to the Del Courtney and his orchestra is this other little old guy - I donʻt know what his name is - who would always do some kind of wierd dance performance during the band breaks. These were not performances that were arranged with Blue Tropix or anything - he just took it upon himself to "entertain" everyone by bouncing around the dancefloor with his cane and a hula-hoop. He would get mad at anyone who tried to dance to the recorded break music that might be playing while he was performing.

Oh yeah, and another memory I have of dancing to Del Courtney and his orchestra was getting to dance with Frankie Manning, the granddaddy of the Lindy Hop! :)

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