Raymond Edwin Batz Senior 1 2
- Born: 1909, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA 1 2
- Marriage: Elsie Henrietta Hallstrom on 16 Apr 1935 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA 1
- Died: 1993 aged 84 1
Grandpa Ray (Raymond Edwin Sr.) was also an accomplished piano player and accordionist who composed his own music. From what I recall, as a young man he traveled and played on cruise ships. Grandpa was not a braggart, however I remember him telling me that he had had a gig with Bing Crosby (at the time Bing was performing not yet as a soloist) before he'd hit the big-time. Grandpa made sure to tell me that he just wasn't all that good, or some such thing, after I'd asked (teenage whimsy) why he hadn't continued to pursue a musical career. (from Leslie Batz)
As for Ray Sr. and his music career, yes indeed he did provide music on a cruise ship out of San Francisco to the Orient for 6 months, I believe. He was fresh out of high school and somehow was hired not only to play piano and accordion in the band, but to arrange the music for each of the other musicians. He later admitted he didn't have the knack that some arrangers have of simply writing the notes onto a sheet of music. He had to laboriously pick out each instrument's part on the piano, note by note, and then put them on paper.
After the cruise line job, he formed a small band and they toured some of the Western states; Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Idaho, playing small clubs. They played ragtime in those days.
And, re: Bing Crosby, yes indeed, he did mention being at a party in Chicago, during one of his band's tours, where he either met or observed Crosby. This would have been in the late 1920s, possibly '28 or '29. I hadn't heard they were in a gig or on stage together.
Ray Sr. married Elsie Henrietta Hallstrom when she was in her early 20s. Mom Elsie, born in 1913, had dropped out of high school in San Francisco around 1930 and was working in a soda fountain shop near where Ray Sr. grew up in the outer Mission District of San Francisco. Dad would frequently drop in for a sandwich and a malted milk, but mostly to get to know Elsie.
Elsie lived nearby with her mother and father, Anna Christian Nelson, and Axel Gunnar? Hallstrom. Mom Elsie was the second youngest of the six surviving Hallstrom children. The eldest daughter had passed away around age 10 due to a childhood disease that was incurable at that time. All seven Hallstrom children were born in the family home on Andover Street in the Bernal Heights district of San Francisco.
Ray and Elsie were married for 3 or 4 years before I came along n 1937. During that time, Ray Sr. played piano at various small night clubs in downtown San Francisco at night. My birth certificate notes that his place of employment was a small club called the New Filmore Cave, probably on Filmore Street.
At that time Ray Sr., Elsie, and I lived at 1533 Sanchez Street in a home owned by Ruth Hallstrom, Elsie's oldest sister. Ruth had borne two daughters by that time, Shirley and Doreen. Their father was also Swedish, a man named Olsen or Olson. I don't recall ever meeting him. He had passed away early in life.
A couple of years later, around 1940, or 1941, the three of us had moved to a walk-up flat on Capp Street in the Mission District. I can distinctly remember Douglas as an infant in that flat, born in January, 1940. I can also recall the Yellow Cab driver's hat that Ray Sr. wore during that time. He later told me cabbies made pretty good money during the World War II years, beginning in 1942. He also may have been making music in small clubs at that time as well.
(from Ray Batz) 3 4
Noted events in his life were:
He appeared on the census in 1910 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. 2
He worked as a Firefighter in San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. 1
Raymond married Elsie Henrietta Hallstrom on 16 Apr 1935 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.1 (Elsie Henrietta Hallstrom was born in 1913 5 and died on 24 Dec 1966 3.)