It was a typical family outing last week – my mom, gram, and I. As we wandered about downtown, the conversation went something like this:
Gram: You know the Whiffenpoofs, don’t you?
Mom: The Whiffenpoots?! What in the world is a whiffenpoot?
Me and gram: WhiffenPOOFS.
Me:No, I don’t believe I’m familiar with the Whiffenpoofs.
Gram went on to say that the grandson of her neighbor is a member – and they would be performing at “the home” before their concert at the Egyptian Theatre. She invited me to join her at the concert. I did. They opened with a Czech drinking song (and really, how can you go wrong with a drinking song?!). They continued with a little song, a little wit. And their voices – ohmy! Though I still can’t say Whiffenpoof without giggling like a schoolgirl.
I haven’t a clue what you just said, you say. Well then, do let me explain. The Whiffenpoofs are, apparently, poor little lambs who have lost their way … it’s quite sad really. Oh wait. That’s the song. The group was founded in 1909, with a senior quartet that sang each week at Mory’s Temple Bar (Yale, in case you have yet to tread it’s hallowed grounds). Today, fourteen hand-picked seniors make up the Whiffenpoofs.
If you get the chance to take in the Sun Valley Jazz Festival, do jump. The Whiffenpoofs will be there – so it’s bound to be some good times. For the rest of you, I present the Whiffenpoofs of old (or at least, older)…