Thursday, January 8, 2009

Arnold Douglas Habbe...a lasting tribute


It always seems strange to me that important family information can just vanish. Maybe someone of the younger generation has misinterpreted family history and has re-told stories that simply weren't completely true. That is usually the case with me. I tell partially true stories and probably re-create history. Of course not meaning to, but simply just hearing stories as I was growing up and then repeating them in my own way. Maybe embellishing, maybe just repeating as a child might repeat something. With the recent death of a great aunt, I would like to start putting down some family history and before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I am not starting with someone more special than someone else, just someone I have special information on at my fingertips. Arnold Douglas Habbe, my father's father was a very creative and talented musician. I personally never encountered his music making but am assured that talent thrived with this gentleman. By checking with some historians at Indiana University I have been able to document that Arnie, as we called him, was an Alpha Tau Omega during the 1926-1927 school year. During his stay in Bloomington he played in a band with Hoagy Carmichael. On Wednesday May 2, 1928, Arnie was one of 8 musicians who played with Hoagy and recorded 7 songs, 2 of which were released. The songs recorded that day were: "March of the Hoodlum's", Walkin' the Dog" (Arnie appears to be playing the guitar first, then a banjo), "To a Wild Rose", "One Last Kiss", "One Night in Havanna", "Shimme-Sha-Wabble", and "Smile". It appears that Arnie was aquainted with Hoagy as early as 1925 because it is Arnie that is supposed to have suggested the title for Hoagy's song "Boneyard Shuffle" which was recorded in May of that year. Arnie also played in a band called 'Hitch's Happy Harmonist' which was led by a gentleman by the name of Curt Hitch whom is believed to be from Evansville, IN where Arnie was from. I never knew the musician Arnie, just the loving kindness of a man who was soft spoken, funny and loved to do the cross word puzzle. The only musical talent I got from him was when he taught me to whistle when I was 8....a talent not soon forgotten. I hope you have enjoyed a little piece of my family history. Blessings for a wonderful evening.

6 comments:

nlhope said...

Unfortunately, he believed he must choose between musician and family man.

Beth said...

I love your blog Hope! I liked getting the e-mail from you that you posted something because I went right there! I forget about people's blogs...

Love you!

Beth

Martha (Habbe) Rodgers said...

Hope, your article on Arnie is absolutely great. I enjoyed hearing him play his instruments. I believe he played by ear. I got to know him very well as he and Martha spent vacations, holidays and many weekends with us in Evansville while he worked in Terre Haute for 10 years. He was a very kind, gentle man and had a great sense of humor. He would buy me a big box of candy at Christmas when he and Martha stayed with us a week and he would eat most of it. He was a great father-in-law.

Love,
Martha (Habbe) Rodgers

stephanie said...

Reading this post was a treat!! How interesting....What a great post....

Jen Kershner said...

Hope,
I thoroughly enjoyed that store. Thank you so much for sharing it. I hope to see you Thursday! Hugs, Jen

Jen Kershner said...

Umm, hello! I meant Story. My hands can't keep up with my brain!