Here’s an author’s query for you. One of Robert Ashley’s biggest influences in college was a piano teacher named Mary S. Fishburne. She was listed, with an M. Mus., as Assistant Professor of Music in the Univ. of Michigan catalogue from 1949 to 1956, at which point she vanishes from history. I can’t find any details about her. If anyone (among my older readers, presumably) has heard of her and has any idea what happened to her, I’d love to hear about it.
I spent much of last week in Ann Arbor researching Ashley’s early life, doing a kind of musicology I’ve never done before. The best document I found was the obituary for Ashley’s father, in the Ann Arbor News. Ward Ashley dropped dead of a heart attack in 1950, aged 66, in the very post office in which he had worked since 1900. The News stated that he had never missed a day’s work in fifty years.