Many thanks for keeping this lapsed & former member on the email list. In occurs to me that you might be interested in my personal connection with Percy Danforth. Years ago I lived in Ann Arbor MI and knew absolutely zilch about rythm bones or Percy D, but as it happened our daughter was taking piano lessons from Fran (Mrs. Percy) Danforth.
One evening I caught a performance of the Gemini (a couple of local lads, identical twins, who entertained and performed on quite a number of folk instruments, including rhythm bones, and in the course of the show they got old Percy up on stage to hold forth; quite a show and I was vastly impressed.
My wife mentioned that Percy was Fran’s husband. I took over the weekly transportation detail and while our daughter pounded away upstairs I introduced myself to Percy downstairs, asked all the right questions, and he taught me how to manage the bones. Over the ensuing weeks & months Percy & I became good friends and remained so until he left us in 1991, I think it was.
Did you know that, in addition to his solo shows and appearances with other musicians, he used to perform with the University of Michigan’s Percussion Ensemble? Wife Fran, herself a professional teacher of music and composer, always seemed a little embarrassed by Percy’s musical exploits until his collaboration with the Percussion Ensemble which in her eyes evidently conferred a measure of dignity and legitimacy, and she quit rolling her eyes when the subject of ‘The Bones’ arose. Anyhow, I thought that you and maybe others might be interested in this tenuous connection to one of the more illustrious figures in our field of interest. I still have a set of hickory bones (now a little shopworn) that he signed and gave to me. Best regards, Robert Lindy