Thursday, May 7, 2015

Song on the Beach

Family Photo Collection of Midge Frazel
When I was about the age in this photo, my grandparents had a cabana at the Bonnet Shores Beach Club. (Facebook page).

There was a Musical Theater in Warwick known as the Tent, where many celebrities appeared for a few days to a week. 

One day, while we were sitting on the beach, a man approached up from the side of the beach where there was a few Quonset huts that were for rent. The man asked my mother if I could come play with his little girl about my age. When my mother shaded her eyes, she realized she was looking at Gordon MacRae (1921-1986). She was so awestruck, all she could do was nod in the affirmative.

The man asked if I could bring my sand toys and I put them in my wicker basket and he carried them for me. When we arrived, he introduced me to his little girl and his wife. 

We played in the sand while they watched. I didn't have any idea how famous he and his wife were or that they had other children. Since it got to be noon, the father walked back to make sure it was ok if I ate peanut butter sandwiches and lemonade with them. So we had lunch and played down near the water after that. My mother walked down to where we were playing and took the big basket back. As we sat in the wet sand near the water and then an amazing thing happened. The man threw his head back, put his arms up in the air and began to sing.

I think the ocean stopped. No one on the beach moved. All there was was the sunshine and his voice. It was an incredible few moments I will never forget.

He was starring in Oklahoma and that is what he sang. (YouTube Clip) He was singing to the ocean. It was so powerful that my whole body vibrated. Music was never quite the same. 

I wish you'd been there. 


  1. Hi Midge, How simply sublime that you got to hear an informal concert spontaneously preformed by one of the Broadway greats! Nice that you have the memory of playing with his daughter, too! Wonderful post.

  2. Oklahoma and Carousel are my two favorites. After college I was a cocktail waitress at the Golden Lantern Restaurant in Warwick. The Musical Tent was just down the road. One night Paul Anka popped in and joined the lounge singer in singing a few tunes. He caused quite the hubbub. It was very busy that night because many people would drop in after the show and all I can remember was how short Paul Anka was.

  3. What a great memory to share! My mom was a singer and she could sing all the tracks from Oklahoma by heart. I am going to finally get that DVD too.