Interpreted Capriccio’s……#118 (the 60’s)


The accomplished half of the Willson family, Gary’s wife Kaye,  making a reference to Gary’s inactivity following the demise of the band, although preparations for a musical change of venue having begun,  the securing of a Chamberlain Rhythm mate, the invisible but audio percussionist would accompany Gary at the keyboard bass and piano.  Unbeknownst to Kaye,  during her employment hours,  Gary having cultivated and compiled an impressionable piano consonance, for his new solitary entertainment venue.  He realized a new professional pilgrimage would only come to fruition by acknowledging that first step.  The dormant musician finally taking the initiative,  calling  Ruth Sallee,  the agent not having any confirmed prospects, but hearing a rumor earlier,  that Jim Mullen’s,  who plays piano bar at The Apartment Key Club on North Hudson was leaving.

The evening hour finding the musician venturing to the Sieber Hotel and Apartment Complex at 13th and North Hudson, in Oklahoma City.  The club occupying space next to a corner dry cleaners occupying the north end of the apartment complex,  its entry portal plaque labeled  The Apartment Key Club.   Not a key member,  Gary engaging  the push button buzzer for entry,  a return buzz un locking the door,  entering taking stock of his surroundings.  To his immediate right,  a piano  stationed at a circular piano bar , able to seat six, and a dance floor with a jukebox .  To his left,  a row of booths extending the length of the room.  The bar  across from the booths, with tables positioned between it, the dance floor.   Gary estimating that the quaint club would seat about 60.

Gary questioning the bartender about management,  being directed to a person seated at the bar.  The musician introducing himself to Bob Francisco one of the owners,  conveying what he had heard about a change in the clubs entertainment.  Bob acknowledging that it was true, their conversation continuing, the pianist attempting to explain,  besides the piano and his vocals, he also played keyboard bass , and had an electric sideman drummer.  He could tell from Bob’s expression that he wasn’t getting through to him, but Bob cleared the air with a statement, his partner and co-owner,  Jerry Gross, who was somewhat of a musician and did the entertainment hiring.  Jerry was out of town,  but would be back tomorrow afternoon. If the pianist wanted to set up and audition,  he would contact Jerry.  The two agreeing on 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon for the meeting.

Arriving for the audition,  Gary having no difficulty setting up at a circular piano bar, the  Electric Piano designated for keyboard bass resting atop the clubs console piano.   With the Rhythm mate electric percussionist adjoining the piano bench, everything was in place for the performance.  Gary providing a scenario of songs that he deemed appropriate, ones  to enlighten the two owners of his versatile repertoire.  He had a suspicion that his trio sound would impress the two, the owners alertly taking notice of the piano, bass,  and drum sound.   The audition completed,  the pianist leaving the club with a feeling of accomplishment,  being given a start date for six night per week,  but the real satisfaction would come later with a success of his first attempt as a solo performer.

Gary recognizing that Jerry Gross and Bob Francisco were entrepreneurs, the Key Club a result of their vision.   The club,  a discreet bastion for singles to gather,  providing for intimacy, and also an intermediary place for couples to meet before descending “On The Town”.    And in the same respect,  assembling at the conclusion of an evening.   A boon to the club was the proximity  of Mercy Hospital,  with its ample supply of nursing and healthcare personnel.  The club accommodating the hospital employees with a short-wave  radio receiver tuned to the hospital frequency,  enabling off duty staff member to keep abreast of any activity.   Gary’s introduction to a solo performance was pragmatic,   the Key Club provided an acknowledgement,  enabling an interpreted capriccio’s  new found platform and  music to blossom beyond the presence of delectation,  Gary experiencing a gratifying  acceptance from the clubs clientele.

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