It Really Was Such A Night!

It’s possible that I haven’t had as much fun since I was a teen and went to the record hops in Maxbass, N.D. That is until last Friday night when I sort of acted like a teen again. If I’d had socks on I probably would have danced them off, but since I was socks-less, I just danced my sandals off.

I noticed in the Herald’s City Briefs that Maury Finney and his musician friends were playing the American Legion in East Grand Forks that night. I decided — there was no way Jim and I would miss this. We love to dance but rarely do unless it’s at a wedding reception. And knowing these renowned musicians had prepared a show and dance, why it would be a huge treat for the community. Better even than a DQ blizzard!

Those of you who have lived around here for a long time know Maury Finney. He and his wife, Faith, were owners of Maury’s TV and Appliance in East Grand Forks for many years. Lots of people attended Faith’s wonderful cooking classes that came with the purchase of a new kitchen range or microwave.

And along with their business, Maury played sax in a band and recorded in the studio he built in his home. Wow! What an incredibly talented player he is. It was great fun visiting with Maury and Faith in between sets. They still live in East Grand Forks but spend part of the winter in Florida where Maury continues to play on.

Besides Maury, Friday night’s band was made up of the Finney’s son Steve, bass; Al Finney, Maury’s brother, guitar; Dave Jeffrey, drums; Gary Emerson, on his white piano, and Lanny Aaker, guitar. Brenda Beck and Vicki Anderson also sang with the band that night.

Maury (left, son Steve Finney (middle) and Al Finney (right)
Gary Emerson made his white piano sing and dance

 Oh my, they are all fantastic together and how could one sit on the sidelines with wonderful oldies being played such as, “My Little Runaway,” “Green Green Grass of Home,” and “Yakety Yak.”

I thought for a minute Jerry Lee Lewis was in the house, but it was Gary Emerson doing, “Great Balls of Fire.” Then I thought the Big Bopper had come in, but once again it was Gary doing, “Chantilly Lace.”

At one point Jim and I danced past Marlin and Bev Helgeson and I had to stop to ask them, “Is this Maxbass or what?” Maxbass is their old stompin’ grounds, too. 

It’s so good to go back to relive the great tunes of the past. Jim agreed. “The type of music they played and the people who were there made it a lot of fun,” he said. The people there included a lot we knew and new friends we made, Betty, from Minot, and Gary, from Mayville.

I believe music, whether you’re making it or dancing to it, is what keeps us young. We need more of this sort of fun on a Friday night in small town America.

Thanks Maury and friends. Play it all again — please!

Until Soon

1 Response

  1. Good to read this Naomi. Gary Emerson and I played together with a popular San Francisco band back in the sixties. I’m still playing here in California and I just hooked up with Gary again through

    Anyway, keep up the writing and whenever these guys are in there, please forward it to me.

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