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December 18, 20168:21 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition SundayOn a Sunday night in Washington D.C., a white-haired grandmother is warming up for her set at a local dive bar. She taps out a simple melody on her keyboard, then pauses to address those listening. "You know what that is?" she asks, chuckling. "'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.'"
Alice Donahue is 84 years old. Her band is called Granny and the Boys: four middle-aged men on bass, guitar, drums and vocals ... one granny on keys. They play a live funk fusion show every Sunday at a bar called Showtime — and though folks of all ages come, the majority are people in their 20s and 30s. For them, Granny is something of a novelty.
Granny's band is led by her partner Richard Lynch, who lives in the apartment above the bar. One day a few years ago, the power had gone out at Showtime, and the owner came upstairs to ask Richard if he could play a few songs for his patrons. Richard obliged, and brought Alice to perform with him. People loved it so much that the owner offered them a monthly gig — which then became a weekly show, by popular demand.
But Alice and Richard's story together starts long before that. The two of them are 20 years apart — he is 64 to her 84 — and they've been dating she was his age. They met one day at the University of Maryland, where Richard was working at the Roy Rogers on campus.