Drumming Grandma Stuns Watchers; 2M Views on YouTube (Video)

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 05:53 PM

By David Ogul

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The mystery of the drumming "grandma" – a bespectacled senior and talented percussionist whose YouTube video has been viewed more than 2 million times – has been solved.

WKBT in LaCrosse, Wis., is reporting the 63-year-old woman is Mary Hvizda of nearby Onalaska, who began drumming nearly 50 years ago at the encouragement of her brother.

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“He was a drummer and I thought I’d really love to play and drum, and that was my chance,” Hvizda told the station. The then-teenager hooked up with an all-girl rock band known as the Chantells later that year. WKBT said it was the first all-girl rock band in La Crosse at the time. Hvizda would go on to play in a dozen bands over the decades.

The mystery of the drumming grandma began after the white-haired woman walked into the Coalition Drum Shop, picked up some sticks, and started playing on a kit. A video of her soon went viral.

“We have no idea where this lady came from, what her name is, or where she went but she rocked our faces off,” read a message on the shop’s YouTube page.

“Watch this grandma surprise staff with an epic drum solo,” tweeted @asp1057.

“Talent comes in many forms,” tweeted @arlenenewbigg.

Hvizda said her last band broke up in 1990.

“I still kind of like to go to the music store and play a drum set, and then that’s it,” she said. “My music urge has been satisfied.”

For the record, Hvizda isn’t a grandmother. And she told WKBT that though she’s proud so many people have taken an interest in her drumming, she hadn’t heard of YouTube until a few days ago.

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