It takes no coaxing to get Rudy Marcucci to break into song. Rudy has been singing and entertaining for most of his eighty-nine years. A regular once-a-week participant at the Danvers Council on Aging’s Kiosk for Living Well, Rudy recently demonstrated his love of singing when he jumped into the limelight to serenade his audience and was clearly in his element. From the smiles on the crowd and the applause, it is also obvious that his talents are appreciated.
Rudy smoothly rattled off several verses, not skipping a beat while swinging his body to the rhythm of his own voice. On this particular day at the Council on Aging, Rudy began with “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. It seems as though that could be Rudy’s theme song. One can envision Rudy back fifty years when he and his friend formed a two man comedy show.
“I was the straight man and Ralph was the comic. I was also the singer. We called ourselves “Ralph and Rudy” and we performed all over the state. We had an agent and he would book us into nightclubs and other social events.”
Rudy met Ralph in Ralph’s barber shop in Salem. They got to know each other and were themselves particularly entertained by the likes of Abbott and Costello and Jimmy Durante. In fact, they fashioned their comedy after Abbott and Costello. “We thought we were good enough to go big time. But we both had young families and Ralph had his barbershop business. We couldn’t just go on the road with those responsibilities so we decided we would stay within New England, although we did travel to Ottawa to perform once. We performed all through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and up till Ralph’s passing in 1999.” Rudy continued as a solo performer for a time after Ralph’s death, changing the name to “Rudy Marco”.
Rudy wrote a couple of songs, one which he wrote for his wife Irene titled “Why Are You Blue?” After asking me if I would like to hear it, he began singing a couple verses of this sentimental tune.
Why Are You Blue?
Why are you blue?
When you know that I care for you.
Why are you so blue?
Can’t you see that my arms long for you?
Here in my heart you must stay,
Forever and ever I pray.
So why are you blue?
For you know that I’ll always love you.
He wrote the song because he was away so much; Irene would cry when he sang it for her.
Rudy remembers singing for his parents’ friends when they would visit and he would get small change as a reward. He thinks he inherited his talent from his mother who was always singing and from whom he learned “all the Italian songs.”
After high school in 1944, Rudy was drafted and joined the Army. He spent his time in Germany as part of the Occupation Troops. “Our duties were to guard the German prisoners. It was dangerous. Even though the war had ended, our lives were always threatened by the enemy who were still out to kill us.”
When Rudy returned from the war he began working at Sylvania. He was trained as a glass blower and rose to the level of a Master Glass Blower by the time he retired. He is an artist at heart; talented in painting and drawing, although he has not used those skills in a long time.
Rudy met his wife Irene, who is deceased ten years, and declares he fell in love upon first sight. “She was so beautiful. She looked like an actress.” They married and raised a son and daughter in Beverly before moving to Danvers. Rudy joined the Northshoremen Barbershop Chorus and shared his talents for ten years with them.
Today Rudy says he has no complaints. His health is good. He appreciates his independence. He most especially appreciates his son and daughter for all they do for him which has helped to maintain his independence in his own home. He proudly tells me he does his own yard work and really enjoys that.
Rudy’s love of music and entertaining, his good health, the support of family, and his desire to remain independent, contribute to this man’s enjoyment of life. The fact that he can still share his talent at the Kiosk for Living Well at Danvers Council on Aging and bring joy to others is a bonus. Rudy is just one of the many active seniors involved at the Kiosk and with the Social Seniors Supportive Day program. It is a wonderful meeting ground for older adults to share stories, music, and friendship. The Council on Aging is an inviting and engaging spot where people can connect and interact. It is well worth the effort to check them out at www.dcoa.org or read more about the Kiosk for Living Well at our website, http://nselder.org/what-we-do/live-well-age-well/