There is a family story that at around age 3, Nathan was asked by a stranger "What is your name, little boy?" to which Nathan replied "My name is Music." Since his father was himself a musician (who was to desert his family a few years later & go permanently "on the road"), it was probably the word he heard more than any other. Or maybe it was an inkling of things to come.
In high school (this was in Las Vegas, Nevada), Nathan & his brother Harry sent away to the Montgomery Ward catalog for musical instruments, using money they had saved from part-time jobs. My mother remembered how thrilled they were when the instruments arrived, and how they would run home from school each day, grab their instruments (a trumpet for Harry, a guitar or a banjo, I don't remember which, for Nathan) and go out behind the shed to practice.
During WWII, Nathan was in the Army, and played in the 356th Army Air Force Band. Oddly enough, he played a horn, perhaps a French horn. He was also in an Army orchestra, a photo shows him playing a lap-steel guitar. He must have joined the Hoosier Hotshots in the early 50s, perhaps as a fill-in at first, as I remember seeing them when they played at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. I was about 10 or 11 (so it would have been 1953 or 54) & I wasn't allowed in the casino, but Mom took me and a friend & let us stand in the doorway & watch. I thought they were great, & was surprised to see Nathan's comical side; he had always seemed so quiet & serious when he came to visit us. Nathan was married twice & had no children.
When Nathan died in 1995, the following article, written by Janine's mother who was also Nate's sister, appeared in the Overture.
"Nathan, a guitar player, came to Los Angeles in the early '30s - the Big Band era - he and his brother Harry, a trumpet player (now deceased), were with a small band called McDonald's Rhythm Stompers and played at the Rose Room Ballroom in downtown Los Angeles.
From there he branched out to play in different big bands and for awhile was Bing Crosby's guitar player appearing in such shorts as "I Surrender Dear", "Just One More Chance", etc.
He played his way around the world in the early 30s on the Dollar Liners. Eventually he went with the Hoosier Hot Shots as their bass and guitar player and was with them for 30 years until his - and their - retirement.
Nathan died on August 10  - he would have been 88 on August 19. He loved and lived for his music and I think that attributed to his long life."
A presentation of the Hoosier Hot Shots Museum for your information and entertainment.
Small photo from Dot Records and HHS Records, circa 1964. Other photos from the collection of Janine Skov
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