Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!!! Thanks for a great year!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Season of "Happy Days Are Here Again"!

Just like there are so many fish in the sea, songs to be sung, there are libraries and communities to be visited and explored. That is what I am most looking forward to this season of the show. In the brief hiatus(part of which was spent worrying a bit about our arts and cultural heritage funding during the government shutdown etc..), I realized how much I missed touring with the show. I missed the travel, the new sights, the communities and community members young and old, and how the show is just a tidge different for the different audiences!! I look forward to sharing this show with new and familiar faces, and watching it grow. So for those Minnesotans reading this blog, I could be coming to your town soon....
Photo of Rhonda Laurie & Sidewalk Cafe courtesy of Jana Frieband

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hope to See You Soon!

Well the first leg of this wonderful tour ended in June and things had come to a grinding halt when the government shut down as the programs are funded by Legacy Funds. Well, apparently the Legacy Bill was signed after the government ended the shutdown. What that means for programming remains to be seen. I would love to continue to meet all the wonderful new people and explore all the important spots in this wonderful state. However, this year has been amazing and something I will never forget. Thanks to all of you who made this possible. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jeepers Creepers!

I never thought I would find a clip of this but here it is...Louis serenading Jeepers Creepers...

Louis Armstrong-Jeepers Creepers-1938 by redhotjazz

Here's a link to Louis and Jack Teagarden's non-movie version.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Delano to Paynesville to...

Delano Library greeted us with open arms. We even had a few folks/friends from Minneapolis drive out to see the show!! One of them was Andrea Canter who took some super photos!

Someone asked for a CD from the show. It is certainly something I would love to do. I tried to get a grant to do it but did not get it. Hopefully there will be a way to record these tracks soon and have a CD available at the shows...

After the gig, Robert and I went down the block for lunch...homemade soup and salad at Three Crows, and we sat right outside on the river on the first beautiful day in May!!!

More to come about the rest of our trip later....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May Triple Header! Delano to Paynesville to Little Falls!

Looking forward to the next three performances all in one weekend. We actually will be performing the show five times in May! That's alot of happy days. On Saturday we will have the wonderful Rick Carlson joining us for the first time---super excited about that. Hope to see some local TC folks in Delano as this is the closest the show will be to the Twin Cities.

Here's the upcoming May schedule:

Delano Public Library Friday May 6th @ 1 p.m.
Paynesville Library Friday May 6th@ 7 p.m.
Little Falls Senior Center Saturday May 7th@ 2 p.m.
Hinckley Library Friday May 13th @ 2 p.m.
Cold Spring Assumption Senior Center Sunday May 22 @ 1 p.m.

for more info :

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Aitkin MN - a northern gem

Well, it was a beautiful drive up to Aitken. For quite a bit of the drive you have Lake Mille Lacs (enormous!) on your right. It so happened to be thawing out so I was driving through a mysterious fog that added some intrigue to the drive. I felt like it could have been an X-Files episode (without the aliens).

On my way up I stopped in Garrison to look at the lake. I found a big fish.

The lake was beginning to thaw and the air was opaque. Drive a little further, and I arrive in Aitken. Aitken has a really nice library and everyone there was so welcoming. The librarian, Mary Beth made me feel right at home. There was a local group that arranged for refreshments after the show.

The room was full and over 40 people showed up and stayed for the whole show! My accompaniment was Robert Bell on guitar, Tony Baluff on clarinet and Keith Boyles on bass. They were awesome!
There were many lips mouthing the words to the songs and many came up to me and the trio after the show to share their appreciation. Photo courtesy of Cortney Walbridge.

After the show, we were all pretty hungry, and we asked Mary Beth for a suggestion. So we went to the Tuscany Room, and had a nice lunch.
Nothing like a Tuscan oasisi in the north woods!!!

Time to head home. But not before I peek in at the old Depot Museum. I caught them just before closing and had a quick peek. Note to self: return to see the rest.

This was a great trip for me. I really felt like we connected with our audience in a meaning full way. If music conjures up memories, well then there were a lot of memories in the room that day. It was palpable. I look forward to the next...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Next Stop Aitken

On April 9th, we will perform Happy Days in Aitken MN.

I understand that Minnesota born film actress and singer Judy Garland performed at the opera house in Aitkin as a young child. A small display related to Ms. Garland can be found in the converted opera house, now Butler's store, in downtown Aitkin. You can be sure that I will visit there!

I just need to figure out where I should stay the night before. Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

North Branch Library

Performed the show at North Branch Library. When I arrived, Sue Monroe was shoveling as it was a blustery snowy morning. Cortney greeted me as I entered the beautiful new library building.

I had a different band for today's show and they were wonderful! We had Robert Bell on guitar, Keith Bowles on bass and Tony Balluff on clarinet.

Afterwards we visited with folks. After packing up our gear and heading out, we decided to stop and get a bite to eat. After all, it was lunchtime! So we headed down the road and stopped at the Rustic Inn in Stacy, MN

We had a delicious lunch and were served by the best waitress: Her name is Rhonda!

After pie and coffee it was time to hit the road. When I get some photos from the show I will post them. TTFN

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Isle on Mille Lacs Lake

Gary told me the story of Father Hennepin as we waited to perform at the Isle Community Center. Soup and pie was served and lots of folks were congregating as we waited. Father Hennepin State Park is right there in Isle:

I had to take this photo from the road at the park, so it's not much to see but a few ice houses and I think the Isle water tower in the distance.

Anyway---we had a great crowd. Alot of folks told us it brought back memories, and we even got a suggestion!!! Katherine took a nice video of one of our tunes. Visit my facebook @ and you can see us playing Love Is Just Around The Corner.

Next stop: North Branch Library March 12th @ 1:30

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chatfield Show-2/17/11

What a great time had by all in Chatfield. There was magic in the air the whole trip. What can I say? Monica and the library staff were so welcoming. It was a great celebration and we were glad to be a part of it. So many of the audience members came up to me after the show to express their appreciation. It is the 96th birthday of one of the awesome Carnegie Libraries!! A lovely posting and some photos are on the libraries' website at:

Staying overnite at this beautiful bed and breakfast: Oakenwald Terrace made the trip so much easier. If you ever stop in, ask to see the "Doll Room". Woke up the next day and after a wonderful breakfast at Oakenwald, headed over to the (Amazing!) Chatfield Brass Band & Music Lending Library where they house a remarkable collection of catalogued band music. Go to: and check out the great history of this place. Band leaders, take note. Thanks to the wonderful volunteers who keep up this national treasure!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Got Rhythm

One of the songs in the show is "I Got Rhythm"

by George and Ira Gershwin, originally written for the show "Girl Crazy". Here is a great article @NPR which speaks to the evolution and the significance of this song to the jazz world:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Next stop Chatfield, MN

We are headed to Chatfield MN to perform " Happy Days Are Here Again" at the Chatfield Public Library on Thursday February 17th at 7 p.m. It is the library's 96th birthday. For more info, go to:{14A1F0B2-6638-47B6-BD07-7301073CFE13}&DE={919386CF-23F9-4DE2-968D-EF21693C3229}

I am excited to see a new part of MN. I will keep you posted on the whole experience. Think I will be staying overnite as it is a two hour drive from the cities and I would rather not rush away and drive the winter roads later at night. I can then leave in the morning when it is sunny and light and I can see the countryside. More later...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rhonda Laurie Sings for the Crowd

Cortney took this photo at the Elim Home in Milaca. What a doll! It was a beautiful space and this is the place that has the amazing sound system. Gary Schulte on violin, Jeff Brueske on bass, Reynold Philipsek on manouche guitar.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Name Is Barbra - Happy Days Are Here Again (Live)

Early version by Barbra Streisand. She has always been such an inspiration to me. A woman marching to her own drummer.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 1-January 28, 2011

Well, we had our first two performances of "Happy Days ARe Here Again: Uplifting Songs of the Greatest Generation" on January 28th 2011. See: for background info on me and this show. Also see:
The first one was in Princeton at the Elim Home. It went well and the rehearsals definitely paid off. Reynold, Gary and Jeff were amazing and kept the show going and flowing. Everyone was attentive and responsive. As the first time doing a touring show, with a script that I collaborated on but did not actually write, I did not really know until I performed the script whether it would feel right. It felt right and I received feedback that the show flowed very well. It has a good mix of song and dialogue, and it will only get better with time.
The second show was performed at the Elim Home in Milaca. They had a great sound system, so I had the added benefit of s Sennheiser cordless mic system. We singers like to hear ourselves through a really good system!!! The second show was great! Alot of toes were tapping and foks were quite enthusiastic. I met the local reporter Mr. Larson(sp?) and he interviewed us for the local paper. I will keep you posted.
I am hoping to post photos as we go along.
Next show-February 17th-Chatfield MN at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Public library which is turning 96 years old. A great cause for celebration!! Hope to see lots of folks there.