PORTLAND, OR — A North Portland great grandmother is spreading joy through music.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mary Jo Franck been playing, recording, and posting to her Facebook a different piano tune– every single day. She said it started during quarantine as a way to uplift and stay connected with her friends and followers.
“In March, when lockdown started I decided, you know, I need to find something to do, so I started this feature on Facebook called ‘Name That Tune,” Franck said. “I post every day at midnight.. and people comment to try and guess the song. I try to pick tunes that people normally know… once in a while I pick things that are a little obscure just keep them on their toes.”
From Christmas classics and Disney songs to TV show tunes and country hits, Franck has recorded and uploaded now more than 260 videos.
“My friends were enthusiastic about the whole thing and said you got to keep this going. I thought well yeah I could do this for a few weeks — but of course, here we are,” she added. “I did the song by Queen ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.. that was a stretch for me. I also did the theme song of the Golden Girls. That one I did on Thanksgiving.”
Franck learned to play the piano when she was four. She said before the pandemic, she volunteered as a pianist once a week at a North Portland hospital. Now, she continues her passion online playing familiar tunes, learning new songs — and having fun!
“I have a first prize emoji. Several of my friends like to be the one to get the first place,” she chuckled. “After that everyone else gets the thumbs up.”
Franck says her goal is to keep it going until she completes a year.