Reunion in Florida
When the Moonmaids sang with the Palm Beach Pops orchestra in 2006 to celebrate the 80th birthday of former Vaughn Monroe guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, it had been 60 years since their Swingtet left North Texas to join the Monroe orchestra and 20 years since they enjoyed a second career as the Moonmaids Plus One.
June Hiett Bratone ('46), Mary Jo Thomas Grogan, Tinker Cunningham Rautenberg and Carol Piper — who joined the Moonmaids in their Plus One days with Mary Jo's husband, Harrold Grogan ('49) — had three days of rehearsals in Palm Beach before the performances.
Mary Jo says the audiences were "overwhelmingly enthusiastic and appreciative."
"The hit songs of the 1940s still mean a lot to many music lovers," she says. "And what a thrill when we sang that first chord together. We feel blessed we could still sing the 'music of our lives' and the songs that made Vaughn Monroe's orchestra so popular."
And the group isn't done yet. The Moonmaids plan to head back to the recording studio this August for a CD featuring singers from several Big Bands of the 1940s.
"I guess we are not quite through with our elongated career," Mary Jo says.