Playing a musical instrument in school can be very beneficial to a child. It is a shame that each year, more schools cut their music programs and deny their students from participating in activities like marching band. Many of my readers used to be (or still are) musicians. I used to be a tuba player. I played the instrument for about 20 years in several different marching bands and look back on that time as a really happy time of my life. When doing some research recently, I found a list of celebrities who played the tuba. You might be surprised with some of the names. Did you play an instrument in school? If so, what instrument?
This American television journalist was the host on CBS morning news programs. He starred on The Early Show and its predecessor CBS This Morning for seventeen years before moving to NBC in 2011. In the twenty-five years as a news broadcaster, Smith has contributed to some of the finest shows on television. Amongst his credits are: The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, 48 Hours, and CBS News documentaries. He has played the tuba as part of his on-air appearances with the likes of the Salvation Army Band and with the Muppets in 1994 on their “Kermit Unpigged” album (“All Together Now“).
When I was young, I used to watch Captain Kangaroo each day. The Captain, played by Bob Keeshan (who is NOT the father of Ozzy Osbourne), lived in a place called the Treasure House and would tell stories and have regular guests on the show. One of his fellow cast-mates was Mr. Green Jeans, who was a local farmer. He was known for his farmer’s hat and his trademark green denim overalls. Mr. Green Jeans was played by, Hugh Brannum. Brannum was a musician before going into acting. He played the bass with Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians and during World War Two, he played tuba, which he played in the Marine Band. As a side note, Brannum was not the father of Frank Zappa, which is common internet myth. The rumor comes from a song by Zappa, Son of Mr. Green Genes.
Here was a surprise! Aretha Franklin was named by Rolling Stone as one of the “100 Greatest Singers Of All Time.” The Queen of Soul also used to play the tuba, but she did. According to the book “Aretha Franklin: Singer,” Franklin joined the school band as a child, but was too late to play the instrument she truly wanted, the flute. Instead, she was given the only instrument left: the tuba.
This performer has done it all: actor, director, producer, Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer, and writer. You probably know him best from The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock. Griffith was always talented. In high school he was a member of the drama club and band, where he played the tuba and the trombone. Later, in college at North Carolina University at Chapel Hill, he majored in music. From there, he started singing and working in the movies and on early television.
This Canadian comedian, singer, actor and screenwriter was an original cast member on Saturday Night Live. He’s also a founding member of The Blues Brothers with John Belushi. While Dan Ackroyd played tuba in the movie, My Girl (1991), he was dubbed over by tuba player, John Allred. However, he actually played tuba in high school.