Friday, February 15, 2019

Russ Yohe and His Orchestra

From the 1930s thru the 1950s Delmarvaians danced to the music of Russ Yohe and his orchestra.  Charles Russell Yohe (1900-1956) was a musician, and he play a wide range of musical instruments.  He was president of the musicians union.  He started up in Wilmington where he was born.  He was the son of George Peter Yohe (1871-1934) and Etha Spicer Parsons Yohe (1876-1953). Etha was from Parsonburg.

He would marry Claudia L. West (1908- 1991) and they would move to Salisbury where he would work at the Wicomico Hotel as an orchestra leader. The Yohes would have a daughter Shirley Virginia Yohe (1934-2005).  Russ Yohe would become employed by WBOC in 1940 as musical director and remain in that position until his death.

In 1954 he would have a heart attack, it didn't kill him but it did slow him down. In 1956 he had another heart attack which did kill him.  He is buried in parsons cemetery.

His wife Claudia had been born in Snow Hill to E. Henry West and Jennie E. West.  She would marry again in 1961 to Jessie T. Bratton ( -1980).   Bratton was a retired manager of Railroad Express Agency in Princess Anne. She worked for the C&P Telephone company retiring in 1966 with 30 years of service.  She was a leap year baby and in 1972 celebrated her "sweet 16" birthday.

Shirley Virginia who was born in Wilmington but raised in Salisbury, graduating Wi Hi in 1952.  She died of lung cancer December 23 2005. She married in 1952 David Leon Pearl.  Later she married Mr. Higgins and finally William W. Uranko.   In 1951 at the age of 16 she was voted "Miss Rice Paddy of 1951" by the Marines in Korea.

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