Showtime bar in Washington DC attracts a special crowd on Sunday nights. Customers in their 20s and 30s flock to the quaint music lounge to catch one of their favorite keyboardists: 84-year-old Alice Donahue. That’s right—Donahue plays at Showtime every weekend with her funk fusion band, Granny and the Boys.
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And the best part? The band’s drummer, 64-year-old Richard V. Linch, is Granny’s longtime love! Their passion for music brought them together 20 years ago, right after Donahue’s husband passed away. Linch spotted Donahue reading a book about music in the cafeteria at the University of Maryland and decided to introduce himself.
It wasn’t long before the two started dating, and when Linch’s keyboardist dropped out of his band, granny stepped in.
"It was a baptism of fire," said Donahue, who had studied classical music but never performed live. "But I made it. And from then on, I was the keyboard person."
Their monthly gig at Showtime started a few years ago when the owner of the bar needed someone to play a few song during a power outage. Since Linch lives right above the bar, he was able to pop in with Alice to keep the customers entertained. And the rest, as they say, is history.
To this day, Linch calls hiring Donahue as the “best decision he’s ever made.”
To learn more about Granny’s rise to local fame and what her kids think of her band, head over to NPR.