Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Ken

Ellen and Ken Bloom @ his Bar Mitzvah Party
Sportsman's Lodge, Sherman Oaks
Many, Many Years Ago
Yesterday was my brother's birthday. He is seven years older than me, which makes him OLD. I've written about Ken in previous posts. He's a musician and instrument builder. Ken and his wife, Ginny live in North Carolina, in a small town. For years they lived in big cities, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Those were the best places for Ken to make a living as a musician. Since he's been concentrating on his intrument building business, it really doesn't matter where he lives, as long as he has a wood shop and his tools are handy. They seem to like North Carolina just fine, although I wished they lived in California. I miss them both.
Ken has been very actively constructing dulcimers, guitars, banduras, banjos, etc. for many years. In fact, I'm waiting for my custom-made ukelele....hopefully, it will arrive before my birthday in July. I've enrolled in ukulele classes at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica and they start on July 17th. Ken taught me how to play guitar and banjo when I was just a little girl. I still play occasionally and I think it would be fun to play the ukulele. I need more hobbies!
Ken has recorded many albums and CDs over the years, mostly old-timey, American folk music. When he still lived in L.A. during the late 60's and early 70's, Ken performed with Linda Ronstadt's band, The Stone Poneys, and was a member of one of Michael Martin Murphey's first bands, The Lewis and Clarke Expedition, a rockin'-country band during those Byrds and Flying Burrito Bros. years. The L&C E was on the same label as the Monkees. Ken used to come home with all kinds of clothes and other gifts that girls across the country were sending to Colgems Records for the Monkees.
Ken has played so many types of music over the years: Rock 'n Roll, Country, Blues, Folk, Dixie-land, orchestral, marching band, Russian, Ukranian, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Scottish, etc. He has quite a career playing music for historical military re-enactment camps too. He's still a kid at heart and loves to dress up in his Revolutionary War uniform, sit by the campfire and play and sing the old tunes.
Kenny, my dear brother....have a wonderful birthday celebration. I'll be thinking about you!
Your little Sis



At 10:15 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You look so adorable. And I sure recognize that style dress...did it have a big bow in the back?

At 11:35 AM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Yes, Christine! There was a huge bow in the back, petticoats underneath. I also had an adorable pink hat that I wore to the temple service. I'll tell you, in private, the year I wore this dress. Since we're the same age, I'm sure you can guess!!!

At 4:08 PM PDT, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

:) Is it just me, or does your bro bear some resemblance to Alfalfa in that picture?

At 4:33 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Oh Monkeygurrrrrl! You are sooo right! It must be the wide opening mouth and those big Dumbo ears of Ken's! He still sings, but he's grown into his ears since he was 13!

At 7:56 PM PDT, Blogger Lori said...

Hey Ellen, can I listen to some of your bro's cds? I love folk music. Any blue-grass in there? That's my secret favorite!!!

At 9:57 AM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Lori!! I love bluegrass too. I do play the banjo, you know. There's a pretty big bluegrass community here in L.A. Have you ever been to shows at McCabe's or Boulevard Music? The Fret House out in Covina has some good shows too. We will talk!

At 6:42 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Ell,

What a nice comment on my nefarious career. Ginny and I love the tiny town we live in but we do wish you guys lived closer! I'll do my best to get thaT special uke to you by your birthday. I'll do my best to give it that country flavor that I know you love. Talk to you soon.

At 3:38 PM PDT, Blogger DarcyArtsy said...

I just saw David Lee Roth doing bluegrass covers of old Van Halen tunes! Nooooooooooo

At 1:42 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently read about another's attempt at playing the ukulele:


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