Chapter 4 - Party Time: All that Jazz

Like the afro? Hey it was the 70’s!

In the mid-70's, single (again!), Mary and her daughters moved back to Denver and she started playing her own songs at the local coffee houses, i.e., the Oxford Hotel and the Denver Folklore Center. One night she entered a talent contest at The Lift in Glendale because the prize was a couple of movie tickets. She loved movies, and she won the contest.

A woman in the ladies' room afterward told her she should go to the Bull & Bush a few blocks away because singers could sit in with the bands on Sunday nights.


Mary walked into the Bull & Bush the next Sunday night and heard all the old tunes of her parent's records - New Orleans style jazz and old standards from the 30's and 40's. She sat in with the band and while there, she met Mike Johnson, the drummer with Your Father's Mustache, who invited her to come up the next weekend to the Central City Jazz Festival and meet his band.

She did, loved the music and the band, and started "sitting in" with them at clubs around town, and soon became a full time member. The band played at the Red Ram in Georgetown, Colo. every weekend during the ski season for several years, also at O'Rourke's Cantina in Glendale, the Zang Brewing Company, and of course, the Sunday night jazz sessions at the Bull and Bush, and lots and lots of parties.

At the Red Ram in
Georgetown 1979

YOUR FATHER'S MUSTACHE BAND (Denver) 1976 - 1979

The Mustache Band 1977
L-R: Mike Johnson, drums & washboard; Mary Kelly, vocals; Craig Hugo, trombone; Lance Acker, reeds; Dane Calkins, tuba; and Joe Petrucelli, banjo.

Beechcraft Aircraft Convention 1977
Back Row: Mike, Craig & Dane Front Row: Lance, Mary and Joe

At "Redneck Sunday", an all-day country western concert with Gary Morris & Breakaway, 1978

Mary & Denis Reilly (spoons & washboard) in the street at Georgetown, CO July 4, 1978

Big Mouth, Big Hair -
and out of focus...
that's me - 1979.

Craig & Ron Kaiser (trumpet) look on in disbelief, Mike back on the drums is catatonic, and Lance grits his teeth while Mary screams and Joe gets down with his bad self. Bull & Bush 1979.


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