Please pause and listen to Jerry and the gang play "a kjore vatten aa kjore ve"
Jerry and Me, by Bob Selbrede This is the spot where I get to talk about my relationship with Gerald Elmore Gilbertson. I knew Jerry when we were still in grade school. At that time, he had been given the nickname of "Sonny". His younger brother, and only sibling, Vernon Gilbertson, was given the nickname of "Bud", which he proudly carries to this day. I was not aware at the time that Jerry had a propensity for making music. I just thought he was a normal, but spoiled kid. Jerry was an outgoing guy, and he made friends easily. I don't know what prompted it, but early on, his parents, Edwin and Gylda Gilbertson, bought Jerry a guitar and his brother an accordion. Keep in mind that Edwin played the fiddle rather well. Also, Ed could Hop Waltz with the best of them. I'll swear to that!
Obviously, something happened along the way, as Jerry picked up on the accordion, kept the guitar, and brother Bud got interested in playing the drums. While Jerry was in high school (1939 and up) he already had a recording made of his music, made by the school principal (I have a copy) at the time. It was a steel record and, contrary to present custom, it was recorded from the inside out. This resulted in his starting his first musical group, which was then called, "Gilbertson's Crackerjacks", most members of which were yet to enter high school. Their repertoire was extremely limited, as Jerry had earlier joined a travelling troupe called the "Yodeling Ropers, and he claimed that he only knew how to plays two tunes, "Comin' around the Mountain", and "San Antonio Rose".
Jerry's band made a total of three of those inside-out steel records. Next, as I recall, his band made about six of those 78-RPM records. He also made at least a couple of 45 RPM records. For some reason, Jerry's band missed doing any LP's. But, later he made four cassettes. One of them was a repeat of his previous 78 RPM and 45 RPM recordings. Next, Jerry made a cassette of his favorite songs from his TV days, those being between 1958 and 1964 on a La Crosse station, one in Eau Claire, and one in Madison. His next two cassettes were recorded in the enclaves of one Ralph Proksch, an extremely accomplished accordion player, who actually played with the Whoopee John band for a couple of years. The last two, produced by Richie Yurkovic, an accomplished accordionist in his own rite. I was priveleged to have played on the last two recordings, soloing on one tune.
Time and space doesn't allow us to recall all of the fun we had while travelling to and from our dance jobs. On the road, we discussed the talents of various musicians, and, thanks to a very talented reedman, Marlin Schneider, we also argued the politics of the day. It was FUN!
Copyright © 1999-2014 Gary Brueggen
Recordings; LP's, cassettes, CD's
Songs Jerry Composed
Photo Gallery of the Band