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The Music Man

By on April 9, 2019

Greece musician George Hogan is recognizable by his black cowboy hat which is always present when he ventures out, even when he isn’t playing his music. He said, “I think I am the only one in Monroe County that wears a cowboy hat, and the one time I didn’t wear it everybody was asking where it is, so I guess it has become my trademark.”

Since the late 60s Hogan has been playing music all around Monroe County. He says he has always been musical and at ten years old started out on a plastic bazooka, a kazoo type of children’s instrument. “My mother was musical and that is where I get it from. She was from the Kendall area and played violin, harmonica and the accordion at gatherings all around the area. Music has always been a part of my life,” he says.

In 1980 Hogan was playing off and on at bars in Greece and one day he walked into The Circle Spot on Ridge Road and asked the manager if he needed any entertainment. Hogan said, “The manager said he didn’t need music because the people that come into his bar all leave around 8 or 9PM. I told him if you give me a chance to play here I’ll leave when the people leave. It didn’t take long before I was playing there until 2AM. The people stayed and so did I. I ended up playing there for four years straight.”

Beginning in 2013 Hogan traveled back and forth to Nashville to play and record music for a couple of years. 

Hogan plays around Monroe County with his band “George Hogan and His Band.” The band members change according to the needs and he can have anywhere from two to five local musicians playing with him at his performances. George Hogan and His Band play regularly at The Dutch Mill on Dewey and Stone Roads in Greece.

Hogan’s has a great interest in the musical art of busking. Busking is described as, “to play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street or in the subways.” Hogan busks solo as a one man band and says he is the first busker in the Town of Greece. “I was in Toronto playing my guitar on the street about 16 or 17 years ago. A young man came up to me and said, “You are busking.” That was the first time I heard the term. I play as a one man band with guitar, harmonica, cymbals, drum and I sing like a bird,” Hogan said. He recently joined the Brockport Buskers and plays at events with them.

The Town of Greece is near and dear to Hogan’s heart. “I love the community and think the world of the Town and the people here. Everything in Greece from the people, the parks, the homes and the businesses are the greatest,” he says.

Hogan plays every Saturday morning at the Rochester Public Market at the Vegan Cafe. You can also catch him busking 3 to 5 days a week starting at 10AM in front of Starbucks on Ridge Road and Long Pond Road in Greece. He gets a great response from the people that stop and listen to his music and says he is “tickled pink” that he is the only one in the neighborhood that does such a thing as busking. He also performs regularly at restaurants, service groups, for organizations and at the Greece Community and Senior Center.

Hogan has been self employed and making his living through music since 1972. He says, “I do what I do because it is my passion. When you have a passion and it is your career it is 95% passion and 5% work. And the secret is to discover what your passion is and go for it.”