Our History: Blind Boone a musical visionary

By Kathy King Johnson

John William “Blind” Boone came to Cheboygan in August 1891 on a tour of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. Before the show, the local newspaper ran a review from the Madison Journal. “Boone is able to play any musical composition on the piano, demonstrating this by giving Liszt’s ‘Hungarian Rhapsodie No. 6’ and ‘the Hungarian Storm,’ Gottschalk’s “Lost Hope” and Beethoven’s ‘Sonata Pathetique.’ His felicity of execution was simply astonishing and when he played a difficult piece after hearing Professor Boyd render it, the audience was more than enthusiastic. Blind Boone gave several of his own compositions, the most wonderfully effective being his imitation of a tornado. The Steinway grand upon which he played being stirred as if into angry wind, rain and thunder by his masterly hand.”

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