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Dancing With Their Darlings

Trivia Question

Who released a popular version of the song Tennessee Waltz in November 1950?

Dancing With Their Darlings

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Oh, the Tennessee Waltz.

As soon as I read this issue's trivia question, a tender smile spread across my face. That song was a fond favorite of my parents. It was released the year they graduated from high school, soon after their first date at prom. Somehow, we kids had managed to discover that fact, so when we threw them a surprise 40th wedding anniversary party, we made sure to have a recording of the song to play so they could dance to it on the makeshift dance floor at the restaurant. My dad was 6 foot 4 inches and my mom a mere 5 foot 2 inches, so to watch them slow dance was always amusing. But there was not a snicker or even a whisper among the crowd as the couple glided and swayed that night, both smiling and both enjoying a rare moment of celebrating just the two of them, dancing with their darlings.

Ten years later, we marked their 50th wedding anniversary. This time, we rented a hall and had a live band and invited scores of their friends and relatives. The band, The Country Gentlemen, consisted of musicians who were mostly my parents' age, so they entertained us with square dances, folk songs and familiar golden oldies all evening. But the best part of the night was when they played the Tennessee Waltz, and once again, my parents took to the dance floor by themselves, expertly box-stepping to the old tune. The lyrics of the song tell of heartbreak and loss, but the melody is perfect to share with a partner you've been waltzing through life with for 50 years.

My parents never made it to their 60th wedding anniversary. My dad passed away less than two years after that last big celebration. But whenever I hear the Tennessee Waltz, I picture them arm in arm, grateful to be together on the dance floor, dancing with their darlings.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Signature

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did you, your parents or grandparents have a favorite song to dance to? We want to hear about it! Send a brief response to me at, and it could appear in a future update or in Good Old Days magazine! Here is an email response from the Sept. 16, 2020 update question: What mischief did you get into when you were in elementary school? Did your teacher (or parents) find out?

Janice Leilani Smith shared one school memory: "When I was in the fifth grade, my mother told me about smuggling hard candy to school in a cough-drop box. She would tell her teacher she had a sore throat and suck on her hard candy while she did her classwork.

"It was wintertime when she told me about this, and cough drops were pretty popular. There was a new candy that had just come out, and I decided to try my mother's trick. I had a couple of boxes of cough drops -- one tasted like candy and the other like medicine but was quite effective.

"I thought I was being discreet, but one of my friends was really nosey so I had to share with her. Soon I had to share with two more friends and I was out of candy. Then a fourth friend asked for a cough drop, but all I had left was the kind that tasted like medicine. She really did have a sore throat and was happy to get some relief.

"Our teacher noticed something going on and asked me about it. She was not happy that I was giving out cough drops like candy and gave us a lecture about taking medicine when we didn't really need it.

"I'd lost most of my candy and got a lecture. My mother had pulled it off, but I couldn't."

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.

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Trivia Answer

Patti Page. The song was written by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King after listening to the song Kentucky Waltz on the radio. Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys recorded the song at the end of 1947. However, Page's later version of the song became a No. 1 hit.

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