As the old saying goes, “Every picture tells a story.” Pictured above is me on guitar, my cousin Susan Miller standing in the middle, my Aunt Oma(Susan’s Mom) on mandolin. We lost my Aunt Oma Corder this past week so she could play bluegrass music in the heavenly angel band. She was so precious and such an inspiration to me and so many others that ever got to know her! Her life revolved around music. She started playing music along with her nine other siblings (my Mom being one of those) at their old home place, called Coal Holler in Missouri. Our whole family has been blessed with the gift of music and it’s been passed on to us from four generations! Oma was part of a musical group called the “West Sisters.” She and her sister, Mae Corder West, had their own radio show on KMA radio in Shenandoah, Iowa back in the 1940’s. She spent her entire life pickin and singin and was honored with being in the music business for over 50 years! She had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Bill Monroe among many other fine bluegrass musicians of our times.
I started playing with the family band that she and her husband Bob started about 30 years ago. We were known and are still known as the “Corder Family Bluegrass Band.” Shows were always booked as far away as Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. We performed at the Iowa State Fair every year for 12 yrs straight, the Des Moines Farmers Market, numerous Bluegrass Festivals and several small town celebrations in Iowa and Missouri. So, I dedicate this blog today to my Aunt Oma, cousin Susan and my family. We had a wonderful celebration of her life this past weekend with a music jam to send her off! We sang and picked for her the whole evening and we know she wanted it that way. She always had a smile on her face and her mandolin in hand. I will really miss her, her love, and her love for life and music. But I will also carry that deep love in my heart forever for her.
I will end this today by saying, please help support Bluegrass Music in Iowa! Next weekend is our annual festival at Honey Creek Resort on Lake Rathbun in southern Iowa. Check out our website for festival details and musical groups that will be performing. www.iowabluegrassmusic.com
I’ll be hosting my first acoustic music jam for the fall months at the Simpson Barn here in Johnston on Sunday, November 18th from 2:00pm-4:00pm. You can come take a seat and listen or bring your instrument and join in the fun! Treats are welcome and I put on a pot of coffee.
See you down Bren’s Bluegrass Road!
Written by Brenda Smith, Johnston’s Park Department