LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — The lounge at the Best Western hotel in Loveland might not be the first place you’d expect music history to be made.
But you have to believe they’re setting a world record there every Friday night when Dale Horn takes the stage.
At 95 years old, is he the world’s oldest lounge singer?
“One of the oldest,” Horn joked. “I’m about 95 and a half.”
Like clockwork, for the last four years or so, he’s taken the stage weekly at Monroe’s Lounge.
”Everyone is like wow, are you serious? He’s 95? And we’re like yes, yes he is,” Tammie Hugg, the lounge manager, told FOX31.
“He’ll play all night long. We sometimes have to say, ‘Dale, you need to stop playing, it’s time to go home,’” she joked.
“I mean he’s just an institution around here,” Horn’s daughter, Vicky Betton, said.
“He has more of a social life than I do,” another daughter, Lori Horn, joked.
On most Fridays, he fills the lounge to capacity, bringing the crowd to their feet with songs dating back 90 years, played on 100-year-old instruments.
“Oh yeah, this is the first fiddle I ever had, six years old,” Horn said, holding up an old violin.
Seems when it comes to instruments – and the musicians who play them – they just don’t make ‘em like they used to.
“The little stomp box thing he’s playing there, he made from scratch. You notice the guitar that he’s playing? He built that,” his friend and fellow musician Mike McDonald said.
“He’s been playing since he was five years old. There was a time when he was playing almost every night of the week, and now he’s cut back to a couple nights a week,” Betton said.
The life of a professional musician has its perks. Applause, attention and lately for Horn, affection.
“We met at a senior center dance,” his girlfriend, Patsy Lusk, said.
“Honestly, I wish some younger men would take a lesson from him, because he knows how to treat a woman,” she added.
But Horn is in it for a different kind of passion: a lifelong love of music.
“Whether you know the words or not, it lifts the soul,” Horn said.
A love that has endured longer than most lifetimes.
“Willie Nelson turns 90 this year. Dale’s 95. So that adds a whole different perspective to it,” McDonald said.