Retirement for many baby boomers sure doesn’t mean sitting in a rocker til we die! Take the acoustic folk group Huxtable, Christensen and Hood. They sang together when they were young and single, and now decades later, as group member Carol Christensen of the Washington DC area writes for BoomerCafé, they’re singing into retirement.
When college freshmen Terri Huxtable, Liz Hood, and I began singing together in 1966, we never expected to still be doing it fifty years later, with a third CD by our folk/acoustic group Huxtable, Christensen and Hood. But here we are, and this newest CD has made it into the Top 100 played nationally on folk stations so far this year.
Originally all living in Saratoga Springs, New York, which was a folk music center during the 60s and 70s, we never pursued music full-time, since each of us had demanding careers in other professions (Terri as a teacher, Liz as a Public Broadcasting administrator, and me as a painting restorer at the National Gallery of Art). But with all three of us having retired last year, we had more time to devote to music-making; the CD “Under the Weather” is the result. It includes British and American traditional tunes, American Songbook selections, and original compositions by Terri, accompanied on period instruments like reed organ, piano, recorder, and accordion.
After our freshman year we had lost touch, only reuniting once we all were living again in Saratoga several years after graduation. Inspired by the traditional British folk revival, we began performing in local coffee houses, eventually graduating to larger folk festivals. Along the way we were signed by Philo (later Rounder) Records, resulting in our first CD “Wallflowers,” then by Andy’s Front Hall where we recorded our second album, “Melancholy Babies.”
Eventually I moved to the Washington DC area to work at the National Gallery of Art, but we continued to meet in Saratoga and perform several times per year. Our music was the cement that preserved our friendship despite being geographically separated.
But we always had a lot in common. As young single women, we all had emotional ups and downs, and rehearsals sometimes devolved into ‘emergency biscuit’ sessions where we sang, baked, and emotionally supported each other through various romantic entanglements gone awry.
Now that I’m living part-time back in Saratoga, we are able to rehearse more often and return to more frequent performances. On the new CD, it’s a family affair because we are accompanied by Terri’s husband Michael Jerling, a noted singer/songwriter, and my own sons Jonathan and Ned on flute and snare drum, as well as my husband Fred Parker on spoons.
So the music-making has become an affair of the heart as well as a testament to our fifty-year friendship.
Buy their recording – click here.