The "Honky Tonk" Man
Mt Cotton Hall - Old Time Dance
21 March 2009
Mike's website: http://www.mikewoollett.com
Dot used to be a great piano player in her younger days as did her Aunt Violet - sister of Tom Biddle, the fellow mentioned on this site in association with the very first Australian television broadcast in 1934. Violet used to play ragtime for old time dances so music was very much a part of Dot's life.
One night when searching the internet for clips of Winifred Atwell to play for Dot, a match came up with "Mike Woollett" .. didn't understand why until I went to YouTube and saw his piano playing. He is absolutely devoted to playing Winifred Atwell music and with such a laid-back, warm, humourous style, it is instantly infectious. The music is so upbeat, you feel like tapping along. Our first introduction to Mike Woollett:
but there are many more on YouTube as well.
From seeing the unbelievable music on YouTube, wrote to Mike to ask where he performed and as happens with Dot, synchronistically he just happened to be playing at a dance the next week at the Mt. Cotton Hall. Although it was on the other side of Brisbane, was worth the drive. Dot used to go to many dances in her youth so the combination of the old time music Mike plays and seeing people dancing was priceless.
Bought two of his CD's that night so that Dot could have them playing in the car whenever we were out driving. They are so uplifting, wouldn't leave home without having them in the car. His latest CD "Make It a Party with Mike" is even more toe-tapping & uplifting. Dot often taps along to the music in the car or sways her hands. Whenever Dot goes on long drives, Mike's CD's are definitely packed. Even sitting in traffic jams is a pleasure because the music is so enjoyable.
Dot has been to a few of these dances at Mt Cotton to hear Mike play and to see the dancing. Several people there have got to know her and come up to talk to her even though she is unable to speak. One night a particular fellow even came and sat opposite her and sang the words to the song being played and swayed her hands to the music. It's hard not to be moved with the magic of the moment.
In the above photos, Mike is in the left photo playing on stage while Dot watches the dances. Mike's website doesn't work on all browsers .. Internet Explorer seems to handle it better. His CD's are available from the site.