Eldred Glaspey played the Violin and Saxaphone and was renowned in the Willamette Valley for his swing and big band music.
Eldred was born in Fall Creek, Oregon October 21, 1912. He graduated from Springfield High School and studied music at the University of Oregon.
He performed for over seventy years, from the 1920’s through the 1990’s at various dance venues throughout the area. His professional career began at age twelve in 1924. Before marrying and settling in Eugene to start a family, he performed all along the West coast from Long Beach, California to Seattle, Washington. In the 1930’s, he played with the legendary Harry James’ big band, and offshore gambling ships in Southern California. He even did a gig as a disc jockey in Boise, Idaho in his early career.
Eldred was proficient on several instruments, but his favorites were the saxophone, violin, and clarinet. In addition to dance music, he performed with the Eugene symphony as a violinist. During the Second World War, he worked for Boeing in Renton, Washington by day and performed at night. He could not live without performing. His music was the driving force in his life.
In 1963, he produced a record for Mrs John F Kennedy, “Yellow Roses,” commemorating the death of President John F Kennedy. Following the war, his band performed at Fern Ridge Dance Hall. From the 1950’s, most of his performances were at the Moose, Elks, and Eagles’ Lodges. His fans loved him; they followed him from one dance venue to another. He was actively involved with the Eugene local of the Musician’s Association, including many years of service on the Board of Directors. Additionally, he taught violin and guitar.
Retiring twice, first from the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1970’s, he was able to devote more time to his music. He retired from music in 1993, and moved to his vacation home in La Pine, Oregon.
Eldred died October 6, 2001 from congestive heart failure at age eighty-eight in La Pine, Oregon. (Source: his daughter)