Stay Popular For Decades Or Fade Away: One Woman's Effort To Preserve Well-Loved Old Songs11:07
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The Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, perform on July 31, 1964.  (AP file photo)
The Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, perform on July 31, 1964. (AP file photo)

Classic songs stay popular for decades, but even well-loved songs fade away with time. For one woman, though, it's a full-time gig trying to keep that music alive.

Ruby Bradley Hammel, now 91, once sang well-loved songs with her family growing up in the 1930s in Malad City, Idaho. (Courtesy Ruby Bradley Hammel)
Ruby Bradley Hammel, now 91, once sang well-loved songs with her family growing up in the 1930s in Malad City, Idaho. (Courtesy Ruby Bradley Hammel)

In Salt Lake City, Utah, 91-year-old Ruby Bradley Hammel tunes her ukulele, as she plays songs she once sang with her family growing up in the 1930s in Malad City, Idaho.

"All my family's gone that would have ever sang them," she says. "These are songs that were sang when I was growing up, and I'd always cry, because they were always so sad. There was always some kind of a tragedy."

Hammel joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss her preservation efforts.

Music From The Show

eDewcate, "Babes in the Wood" (2013)

Cole Porter, "Two Little Babes in the Wood" (1934)

Johnny Cash, "The Letter Edged in Black" (1994)

Jim Reeves, "The Letter Edged in Black" (1961)

McFarland and Gardner, "The Eastbound Train" (1927)

The Gibson Brothers with Joe Walsh, "The Eastbound Train" (2013)

Gene Autry in the movie "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" (1935)

The Everly Brothers, "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" (1958)

Glen Campbell and his parents, "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" (1982)

Simon & Garfunkel, "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" (1969)

Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, "Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine" (2013)


Robin Young produced this interview and edited it for broadcast with Kathleen McKenna.

This segment aired on September 5, 2019.

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