Local resident fills streets with music
Published 3:00 am Friday, July 24, 2015
Despite being 96 years old, Charlie Terry still has some pep in his step as he walks the street of Troy playing his harmonica.
Terry has played the harmonica since he was a young boy. Back then, he knew a boy who could play the harmonica, so he wanted to play one, too. His mom bought him that harmonica, and he has played ever since.
“I wasn’t good-looking, but I had a lot of talent,” Terry laughed. “Most anything you can name, I can play on the harmonica.”
Terry was born and raised in Troy, just down the street from where he lives now. He has attended Bethel Missionary Baptist Church all his life, and he grew up watching his mother sing, giving him his love of music. Along the way, Terry discovered his vocal talent and began to sing as well. In high school, he joined the choir and remembers singing a solo during a school program.
“I remember I did a solo at Academy Street School and the auditorium was full,” Terry said. “After I got through singing, the applause went up so loud, it scared me.”
From then, on, Terry was asked to sing and play his harmonica at different programs in the city and at churches. To this day, he still will play the harmonica for anyone who asks.
“I don’t have as much wind anymore,” he said. “But I always loved to blow the harmonica. People love to hear the harmonica.”
Terry was part of a gospel music group and he said they sang on WTBF every Thursday night.
Not only does he play the harmonica, but also Terry said he also can play the piano and even the organ. In addition to his musical gift to Troy, Terry also volunteers when he can. He said that he would provide his handiwork for anyone that asks him.
“Anything somebody needs, I’ll help him or her if I can,” he said. It doesn’t matter that he is 96; he is always willing to lend a helping hand.
“I love being old,” he said. “I’ve gotten used to it.”