These two seniors, aged 88 and 102, just dropped their first album
TORONTO -- There are relatively few songwriting teams -- well past their 80s—who are dropping new music, but Alan R. Tripp and Marvin Weisbord are now among them.
The pair, who are aged 102 and 88 respectively, released a brand, new album aptly called the “Senior Song Book,” whose tagline is: “music like the 1940s, words for the 2020s.” While the pair said the tunes are for everyone, the lyrics touch on issues relevant to people in their golden years.
Tripp told CTV News Channel on Tuesday that as people age, “you can have very best friends and you lose them or sometimes they move away. But what you find is (at my retirement community), you make new best friends and that’s what makes getting older satisfactory.”
The origin of the album, which came out Nov. 15 and is available for purchase online, was Weisbord’s idea for a birthday gift for his friend, Tripp.
Two years ago -- shortly before he turned a 100 years old -- Tripp wrote a poem about aging and people in the twilight of their lives losing loved ones. But the words inspired Weisbord, his fellow Pennsylvania retirement community resident and friend, who decided to set it to music.
“That summer, I was thinking about what I could give him for his birthday that he doesn’t already have and decided to write a song using lyrics,” he said. Although Tripp plays jazz music with some of the retirement home residents, “I’d never written a song in my life.”
So he went to his jazz teacher and asked for the pointers. The song he came up with became one of the album first tunes, “Best Old Friends.” Weisbord said, “the next thing you know, I have another song on my desk, then another, then another.”
The rest of the album came together over the next two years.
The pair have billed themselves as the oldest songwriting duo in history, which is made all the more interesting since Neither Tripp nor Weisbord had ever written or produced music, much less an album before.
The album contains various musical genres including big band, swing, tango and even, rumba. According to the Washington Post, people who also helped put the album together were “Weisbord’s band, the Wynlyn Jazz Ensemble, as well as five singers recruited both from the band and the two men’s retirement community, Beaumont at Bryn Mawr.”
Thealbum also weaves humour and irony in its songs and lyrics. One of the chorus lyrics in album’s single, “I Just Can't Remember Your Name" is “I know I ought to kiss you, but baby there's an issue. I just can't remember your name.”
The album, which the pair self-funded themselves, also touches on various other themes such as bad breakups, missed connections and the need for self-reflection.