Captain Luke Mayer, Music Maker Relief Foundation, Is StoryCorps' First Durham Interview

Apr 17, 2014

Musician Captain Luke (right) is 88-years-old. He talked with Music Maker Relief Foundation's Tim Duffy
Credit StoryCorps

The StoryCorps Mobile Booth opens today. The first very first interview was between the musician Captain Luke Mayer, and Tim Duffy of the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Captain Luke has a wonderful deep rich baritone. He came to music early in life. Music Maker has documented the story of his life and music:

Luther Mayer, known as “Captain Luke,” was born in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1927. He grew up on his grandparents’ farm in nearby Clinton, where he followed the furrows barefoot behind the plow as his Uncle Jesse worked and sang to his mule. Luke’s ambition at the time was to learn to drive a mule. It was one he never achieved, but he soaked in the music of the countryside as Jesse played his harmonica on the evening porch... Early on he had developed a talent for imitation, and Luke began to sing the songs he heard on the radio, everything from the big band singers to hillbilly ballads. (“Back then I had eleventeen voices.”) Read the whole story.

Captain Luke connected with Music Maker in 1991. The organization has helped fund many of his needs, things like transportation and prescriptions. Tim Duffy knows Captain Luke well and was thrilled to kick off the Story Corps Durham 2014 event.

After the two recorded their interview, they sat outside the booth and performed.

Captain Luke Mayer (right) sings, with Tim Duffy on guitar.
Credit Carol Jackson

Find out more about the StoryCorps Mobile Recording Booth and how you can record an interview with someone you love (it's free!) while it's in town.