Let’s raise a toast

Charles and Betty were on their honeymoon in 1932 in Phoenix, Arizona. In their hotel lobby, from a back room they heard a piano player play a song that the couple had never heard before. They immediately fell in love with it. The piano player said it was something he had written and the newlyweds asked him to write down the lyrics. The piano player obliged but did not write his name on the paper.

Twenty or so years later, Dave, a student at Stanford, and his friend Bob were driving down highway 99 from Stanford to Los Angeles. Dave thought he would stop by and see his girlfriend Katie in Fresno. Katie was not home at the moment, so her mother, Betty, thought she would entertain the two young men by playing the song she first heard on her honeymoon over twenty years before. The two men loved it.

A couple of years later, Dave, Dave Guard, and Bob, Bob Shane, got together with their friend Nick Reynolds and formed the Kingston Trio. Their first album, The Kingston Trio, was released in 1958. One of the songs on that album was Scotch and Soda — the song first heard by Charles and Betty in 1932. Bob Shane’s voice lent itself to the song so he had the honor of singing it. Since the piano player did not write his name on the paper with the lyrics, Dave Guard took credit as the composer although the group tried for years to find the original composer. It was released as a single in 1962 but the single did not sell that well — after all, it had been on an album for four years at that point. The song proved to be one of the Trio’s most loved songs.

I don’t know what happened to Katie. Betty lived until 1986. Charles lived until 2004.

Among other siblings, Katie had a younger brother, Tom. Tom liked to play baseball. He played it rather well, as Charles and Betty — Seaver’s — youngest child helped the New York Mets win the World Series in 1969. Tom passed away this week at age 75.

2 thoughts on “Let’s raise a toast”

  1. lady red the music lover

    Your email to me was flagged by gmail as not being from you. Sheesh. I went WAY out on a limb and clicked your link anyway, lol.

    Beautiful song, beautifully done.

  2. Hi Matt! Like lady red, my gmail flagged the message as spam. I took a chance too and followed the link, glad I did!

    I never would have guessed that was a KT song. My dad was a big fan, that album cover looks familiar but the song – not at all. I do remember serveral of their tunes, though, from hearing my folks play them.

    Very nice site you have set up here, thanks for the heads up. You always have such interesting stories and this one didn’t disappoint.

    RIP Tom Seaver, I though he was closer to my age (29 + 38) and didn’t know he had passed. I used to love baseball (football, basketball), we’ve kind of written them all off due to recent actions.

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