published Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Cleveland's 99-year-old 'music man' plays piano, sings to cheer people up

Claude Ogle, Sr. loves to entertain "the older folks" in Cleveland, but that isn't easy. At the age of 99, there aren't many older folks around. So he sings and plays piano for his neighbors at Cleveland Towers, and performs a regular Friday morning show at Life Care of Cleveland.

The youngest (and only surviving member) of a large, church-going family, Claude taught himself to play various instruments in his teens. "Me and God just worked it out," he said. These days, he sticks mostly to the piano, pounding out Gospel favorites and a few self-written songs as well.

Crediting his longevity to "God and Hardee's biscuits," Ogle still drives, enjoys a good meal, and mostly shuns exercise. "I'm stout enough already," he laughs. Blessed with a razor-sharp memory, he can recite poems he's written, and just about every song in the church hymnal. He's also an avid storyteller, recalling life's events ranging almost to his birth in 1915.

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