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Pickle Piano Co. In the News


September 4, 1998


Ron Skrabacz


Chicago Daily Herald


Neighbor, pg. 1


Senior has a blast making beautiful music

Jim Keller of Streamwood loves to keep busy, and he loves to entertain.

Little wonder, then, that he's been part of Matt's Melody Makers, a local club of musicians and entertainers, since 1984.

The 12 members of the group, sponsored by Pickle Piano Co. of Bloomingdale, perform primarily for nursing homes, retirement homes and other senior citizen groups. Their show is called "Bus Tour of the USA" and includes music and songs reflecting towns and regions across our country.

The songs are geared to their audience and come from an earlier era.

"We play the songs that they can relate to," Keller said. "None of it is rock and roll or heavy metal."

The audiences also are treated to skits and jokes, along with several changes of costumes and scenery. Instruments range from an organ and digital piano to an accordion and harmonica. The variety provides something for everyone.

The group, which recently performed at Streamwood's Lexington Health Care Center, is fast approaching its 70th show. The shows are free and run for about 75 minutes. The next one is scheduled for Thursday at New Horizons in Naperville.

Keller, 69, has missed only one show due to illness and recalls another one being canceled completely in 1992 while he recovered from open heart surgery.

He always tried to keep busy following his retirement from Westinghouse and found the music group to be even more important after his surgery.

"If you don't have something to keep your mind busy, particularly people that have had the surgery that I've gone through, you can become very depressed," he said.

"I enjoy what I do and I look forward to the shows. We have a lot of fun with them. I've been very happy with it all."

With a schedule that is booked solid for this year, it is obvious he is not the only one happy with their work.

In addition to Keller, the group includes Mildred and John Hall of Bartlett, Florence and "Steve" Stevenson of St. Charles, Al Brons of Villa Park, Wilma Wise of Naperville, Trudy Petko of Winfield and two West Chicago couples - Barb and Harry Eichman and Eileen and Ed Ulbricht.

Pickle Piano Company
104 West Lake Street
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Telephone: 630-894-2992
Fax: 630-894-2743
E-mail: questions@picklepiano.com

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