The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

March 16, 2013

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Don Karol

CLINTON — Don Karol was growing up in Boston when an older cousin, who was a professional drummer, took him to hear the Count Basie Orchestra play. He was backstage when the band started up its first song.

“It was all brassy of course and I said, ‘Oh, I love that music. I want to play it,’” Don, 85, of Clinton, said. “I was such in awe over those guys that played those instruments. So that got me started on jazz.”

From that point on, Don’s dream was to play in a jazz band. Don will turn 86 on Tuesday and said he still has not given up his love of music.

Fellow musician Robert Bullard, of Camanche, feels that Clinton does not know how lucky it is to have Don, adding that Don could have been a big-time musician on the East Coast. He said Don is one of the best musicians he has ever worked with.

Don was in Ohio attending Kent State on a GI bill when he went on the road as a professional musician. He was in the Quad-Cities with his band and went to a club in Rock Island, Ill. It was there that he met his wife, Jean.

After another year of him playing on the road, Don and Jean married in November 1953 and they moved to Clinton. The couple have two daughters, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

During his years in Clinton, Don has worked for several companies as a mechanical draftsman. He also continued to play with bands in the Quad-Cities and Clinton. Jean said the house is filled will all kinds of instruments, including a piano, an organ and a set of drums. Don mainly plays trumpet and trombone. His favorite types of music are big band and dixieland.

Don has played in bands of his own: the Continentals and the Don Karol Orchestra. Currently he and Bullard play together in the six-piece Main Avenue Jazz Band. The band has played at Gumbo Ya Ya in Rock Island. They also play at local nursing homes and events. Don said they are always looking for a gig.

“He still gets excited if he gets a job. He loves to play,” Jean said.

Don plans to continue playing as long as he can. He added that music is just a lot of fun and good therapy.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Miss Clinton County 2014 Wiebers crowned 2014 Miss Clinton County

    For nearly all of her life, Taylor Wiebers has dreamed of winning the title of Miss Clinton County.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet Your Neighbor: JR Kuch takes the reins at Clinton High School

    Working as a high school helper during his senior year at North Scott High School, JohnRyan "JR" Kuch first stepped onto the path of teaching and administration.

    July 26, 2014

  • Evergreen job fair in the works

    The Clinton Regional Development Corp. and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce are lining up companies to participate in a job fair exclusively for the soon-to-be displaced employees of Evergreen Packaging.

    July 26, 2014

  • Zeiser photo 85 years a nun By Brenden WestAssistant EditorCLINTON — There are things you outlive over a lifetime.Sister Bertha Zeiser, 103, grew up in a Clinton County town that no longer exists (formerly known as Browns); the house she was born in is now a cornfield somewhere

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (with VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014

  • Stewart McCaskill photo McCaskill settles into new role at shoe store CLINTON — An Oklahoma boy at heart, Stewart McCaskill is settling into Clinton and Brown’s Shoe Fit.The 35-year-old has worked with the Brown’s Shoe Fit company for seven years. His brother-in-law, who manages a Brown’s in Colorado, brought Stewart i

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue mugshot Hogue will lead River Bend schools FULTON, Ill. — Nearly eight months after opening the search, the River Bend School Board has found a replacement for the retiring district superintendent Robert “Chuck” Holliday.Darryl Hogue, principal of Morrison Junior High School, in Morrison, Ill

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-22-14 water 2 Rotary Club donation gets water to Haitians CLINTON — Nine Haitian communities now have the blessing of clean water due to the work of local Iowa Rotary clubs, including Clinton’s, and the charity Water for Life.Water for Life Directors Joy and Leon Miller have been drilling wells for years as

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook