Who’s the ‘Grandma Drummer’? Mystery Solved

You may have seen her in the past few days: the gray-haired, bespectacled woman in a pink shirt and jeans who stars in a video uploaded to YouTube by a drum shop in La Crosse, Wis. She walked into the store, sat down at a drum set and began rocking out.

It’s not just the drumming that caught people’s attention. Watch what she does with those sticks!

When the store uploaded the video, they gave it the title: Grandma Drummer, and within days, 2 million people had enjoyed her impromptu performance.

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According to store employees, she eased out of Coalition Drum Shop before anyone could get her name, so the store asked for help identifying the drummer, while some battled the suspicion that this might be a marketing ploy or a hoax.

That troubled few people on the AARP Facebook page, where the majority of the comments echoed this one: “This is too cool for words! Go Grandma, go!”

Then, over the weekend, Wisconsin’s News 8, WKBT, identified the musician as Mary Hvizda of Onalaska, Wis., and filled in the outlines of her sweet story.

When Hvizda was 15, she picked up the drums, inspired by a brother who was also musical. For the next 25 years, she played in about a dozen bands, keeping time in both rock groups and country and western outfits. Her last band, On the Road Again, fell apart in 1990, and shortly after that, she sold her drum kit.

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

Before she became a YouTube star over the weekend, she didn’t know what the video-sharing website was, she says. And as for her fame as the “Grandma Drummer” – that’s something she “can’t get used to,” at least right away. Hvizda never had any children, and nobody has ever called her grandma. Still, she says, “I am 63 and that is certainly grandma’s age.”

 

 

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