By Bonnie Davidson
The Courier 

The Band Keeps On Playing: See Cap Holter Ring In New Year


Bonnie Davidson / The Courier

Cap Holter with his daughter and son, Joyce Holter-Miller and Curt Holter. Cap has always had a love for the accordion, Joyce enjoys the bass guitar and Curt has been playing the fiddle for around a decade. The trio will be playing at Nemont to ring in the New Year.

Age is just a number. A local resident has been around 95 years and still likes to ring in the New Year with a little bit of dancing. He said he probably likes to dance more than he plays his accordion, something he's been doing since he was about 8-years-old.

Cap Holter remembers his mother ordering his first accordion from a Sears catalogue for $7. His family butchered chickens to buy the instrument. He said that he remembers watching an Irish cook playing the accordion. There was a thrashing crew there and the cook was sitting outside the cookhouse, she asked him to hold that accordion while she checked on the potatoes and he ended up spending too much time playing, getting in trouble for not finishing up his assigned chores.

This year the Holters will continue their tradition ringing in the New Year at Nemont on New Year's Eve from 7-9 p.m. In years past they played for Prairie Ridge and Valley View. Cap said that there's not a year they miss out on a performance. He explained that over the years he's played just about everywhere. One thing he never misses, is an opportunity to dance.

With over 80 years experience on the instrument he still kicks it around town and likes to play. You can usually spot him playing at the steak fry's at the VFW. He said that he's owned about seven different accordions, he's also played the guitar. Sometimes he'll play at weddings or anniversaries, and he's played with people from all across the United States. He sticks mostly to waltz, polka or country music.

"We don't do the hip hop stuff," Holter said.

Memories Holter holds are playing for Sam's Super Club every Saturday night. He said that in the 40s the place would be so packed full of people ready to dance that there was almost no room to dance. His most prized memory is of Myron Floren, a famous American accordion player who played on the Lawrence Welk Show, and touching his accordion. The band came to Glasgow hoping for some steaks from Sam's Super Club, unfortunately the restaurant was closed. Floren offered Holter to hold his accordion.

"It's a beautiful memory, it was an amazing moment," Holter said.

Music is such a big part of his life he roped his children into playing over the years. Joyce Holter-Miller plays bass guitar and sings for the band, Curt Holter plays the fiddle. While a few grandkids tend to play, they haven't quite joined the band yet.

While Joyce has been playing with her dad for around 30 years, Curt has only been playing the fiddle for about 10 years and said he was just now starting to feel confident about his playing. The family has many memories playing jam sessions with the family and Joyce said that their mother, Idell, always supported their love for music.

Joyce explained that most of them play by ear and anyone at any level is welcome to play with her dad. She said that she played on the drums in the beginning, but moved onto play bass guitar. She had an appearance on a show in Nashville in the 80s, all her family was in the audience to support her.

Cap said that music is in their blood. His dad, a Norwegian immigrant, used to play for a big orchestra in Norway. He played the coronet and said that they still have a photo of him in his suit. They immigrated to Minnesota, where they became educated on the English language and learned how to read, write and speak from a school that was set up for Norwegian and Scandinavian families. The family later homesteaded here, where school dances were in their prime and everyone met for dances.

Joyce said that his musical talent probably rubbed off, but so did the many events they attended as kids. "All of us grew up sleeping on coats at Ridge Runners while dad played," Joyce said.

Cap said that there used to be many bands in the area. Sometimes they had to almost battle on who was going to get to play. New Year's used to be big, the bands would get paid double to play that night. Both Joyce and Cap said they hated when they passed the hat, they used to play all night when that happened.

One thing that they agreed on was that playing for a crowd is always more fun when people get up and dance. Joyce said that it's more comfortable to perform if people are having fun. Other players that have helped out on instruments that Cap mentioned were Leonard Swenson, Jim Jensen, Sean Heavy and Lee Bjorken.

"They say that those who play music, keep a melody and dance live longer," Cap said.


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