Home New Billings’ Saxophonist Extraordinaire: Ed Gunsch Still Making Music in His Late 80s

Billings’ Saxophonist Extraordinaire: Ed Gunsch Still Making Music in His Late 80s

by Madonna

Weekend evenings in Billings often find Ed Gunsch gracing the stage, either singing or skillfully playing the saxophone, a passion he has nurtured over the decades.

“It gets in your blood. It’s something you enjoy doing,” Ed reflects.

Currently, Ed is a key member of the local band, Little Joe and the Cartwrights, where their repertoire, primarily classic country tunes, never fails to lure people onto the dance floor.

“People say, how can you play country? I say, ’cause I don’t know a note of music,” he chuckles.

Growing up in Billings, Ed’s family couldn’t afford a musical instrument for him. It wasn’t until after his service in the Marines, which he joined at the age of 16 after being inspired by a John Wayne movie, that he took up music seriously.

“I spent three years. Didn’t hurt me a bit. Best thing that ever happened to me,” he recalls.

Post-military, Ed invested in a used saxophone for $100, which eventually helped supplement groceries during lean times, especially during the slower winter months when he worked as an ironworker for 20 years.

“Now at the age of 89, he is still going strong, singing and playing the saxophone,” the article notes.

“There was a gal in here asking her friend, how come he don’t run out of air? Because he is full of hot air, she said. It’s just something you enjoy doing,” Ed jokes, highlighting his love for performing.

And that joy is palpable when watching Ed and his bandmates onstage—they’re clearly having a blast.

“I just enjoy it all. If it gets to where it’s no fun anymore, then I don’t want to do it. But it’s a fun thing,” Ed concludes, encapsulating the enduring pleasure he finds in making music.

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