Life & Culture

Viral: “Grandma Drummer” Becomes Internet Sensation

grandma-drummer

More than a million people have viewed a video of a mystery “grandma drummer” posted to YouTube just a few days ago. By the time you read this, the number could be much higher. That’s because bloggers across the Internet are linking to the video, amazed by the sight of an older woman rocking out on a drum kit.

 

The Backstory

 

Employees at La Crosse, Wisconsin’s Coalition Drum Shop had been intrigued by the white-haired lady who periodically visited the store and spent or or 15 minutes playing rock rhythms with the kind of energy most younger people don’t associate with “grandmas.” According to a story on WKBT-La Crosse’s News8000.com, the employees would wonder,  “‘What’s she gonna play this time? She’s always got something new up her sleeve.”

So they decided that next time she came in, they would video her. They posted the video of the “Grandma Drummer” on July 18. That night, the video had about 250 views. By Friday afternoon, it had more than 72, 000. It took another day to hit a million views.

 

A Conversation About Age

 

The video has sparked some interesting comments about age on YouTube – as well as plenty of asinine and ageist ones; a number of commenters said this had to be a man in a grandma costume because no “old lady” could play drums like this!

A few of the more positive comments:

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(We had the same question as Ben Larson.)

 

Who Is the Mystery Drummer?

 

It turns out, Mary Hvizda isn’t a grandma. She is a 63-year-old former factory worker, delivery person and drummer who played in bands from the age of 16, including a brief stint playing for the Chantelles.

Since she no longer has a kit at home, when she gets the urge, she highjacks the drums at Coalition Drum Shop. According to her sister, who posted on Facebook, “It’s still in her blood. She has a voice like Patsy Cline.”

When she first walked in to the Coalition Drum Shop a year and a half ago, she hadn’t touched a drum kit in a decade. “I was like, ‘Wow, drumsticks again. It’s been a while. I wonder if I still know how to use them,'” Hvizda told News19 WXOW.com. “And I’m hoping I’m OK with them. But regardless of whether I’m good or not or as good as I used to be, it’s just neat to be able to do it again.”

“There’s just something about music that brings me up,” she said.

Why has a video of an older woman drumming become an Internet sensation? Could videos like this help shift stereotypes? Share your thoughts in the comments below or add to the conversation on YouTube by clicking here.

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