Mayo Clinic “Octogenarian Idols” Appear on Good Morning America


Marlow and Frances Cowan, the Iowa couple whose piano duet in the atrium of Mayo Clinic’s Gonda building has been viewed more than 2 million times since April 7, were featured this morning, May 26, on Good Morning America, live from ABC’s Times Square studio in New York.

I had an opportunity to interview Mr. and Mrs. Cowan last week in their Ankeny, IA home. They shared the story of their trip to Mayo Clinic and how their impromptu concert made its way to worldwide fame, as well as the philosophy of life that shows in their YouTube performance:

Mr. Cowan was 89 last September when the original video was shot; he turned 90 in February, which officially makes him a “nonagenarian idol.”

See the original post that includes their piano duet here, and click here to see the story of Sharon Turner, the Mayo Clinic patient who shot that video, as told by her daughter Jodi Hume, who uploaded the video to YouTube.

See also Mayo Clinic’s YouTube channel, Facebook “fan” page and Twitter account.

Update: See the Cowans’ Good Morning America appearance on the ABC Web site.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Tags: , , , , , , ,

18 Responses to “Mayo Clinic “Octogenarian Idols” Appear on Good Morning America

  1. Lisa Hagelganz Says:

    I was wondering where I might find the duet version of the wonderful piece you guys played, “Put on your Old grey bonnet?” As a Christian piano teacher I am always looking for fun music for my students. is there any available?
    Blessings on you both!

  2. Mike Says:

    My heart has rejoiced to listen the music but also see you guys playing it and bringing happiness to so many.
    Glod Bless you


  3. The Importance of Being Nimble (Part 2) « Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Says:

    […] to a meeting. Their piano duet at Mayo Clinic has been seen more than 7.2 million times on YouTube; this video shot on my pocket camcorder the week before their appearance on Good Morning America has more than […]

  4. Five Stars in Any Language « Sharing Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] to Sharing Mayo Clinic a year ago Wednesday, led to them being flown to New York in May to appear live on ABC’s Good Morning […]

  5. Hello world! « Molly Blogging Says:

    […] Mayo Clinic. To date, the video has over 5.5 million Youtube views, and the couple was featured on Good Morning America. As a whole, the healthcare industry is slow to embrace social media, but medical facilities like […]

  6. Mayo Clinic Music Fun « Sharing Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] 5/25/09: See this post for an interview with Mr. and Mrs. Cowan at their Ankeny, Iowa […]

  7. Cowan Concert: A Special Event « Sharing Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] them as the couple whose piano duet became a YouTube sensation last year, and led to their appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America. As part of their visit, they offered to provide a short concert during the […]

  8. Sol Design Blog » Blog Archive » Social Media Tips and Truisms Says:

    […] Mayo Clinic. To date, the video has over 5.5 million Youtube views, and the couple was featured on Good Morning America. As a whole, the healthcare industry is slow to embrace social media, but medical facilities like […]

  9. susan taylor Says:

    What a blessing to have received this “e” from a friend. What a bigger blessing to know there are people like you in our world. What joy you bring to others; what joy you bring to each other. I don’t know your ancestry; but I recognize good old midwestern roots; a great place to come from! Keep on doing what you do–praising the Lord and making that wonderful, joyful noise. God bless both of you!!!!

  10. MALEE ANGELL Says:


  11. Vivian Says:

    My kids and I enjoyed your wonderful music. I loved how you shared in your interview our purpose: to praise the Lord. That really blessed me.
    As a Christian musician and piano teacher, I especially appreciated your joyful playing. Thanks for sharing your gifts. May our Lord continue to bless you with good health!

  12. The Onion calls. They want to spoof your hospital. Do you have the guts to say yes? : MedCity News Says:

    […] There are now agressive social media efforts throughout American health-care systems. Mayo’s work, though, is among the most successful. It maintains its own set of blogs, Twitter accounts, a YouTube channel and the like. But it also promotes the patient-generated media it can’t control — like this video of an old couple playing the piano. The so-called Octogenarian Idols (and, through them, Mayo) later appeared on Good Morning America. […]

  13. Iowa shout-outs for my two-year anniversary | Des Moines Register Staff Blogs Says:

    […] Idols” on his second to last show. (See the YouTube video that made them famous below.) The golden piano duo from Ankeny was featured in the Register May 10, on Good Morning America May 26 and on MSN on May […]

  14. Social Media Case Study – Mayo Clinic Video Goes Viral « Social Media Snippets Says:

    […] 5) Bridged Online With Offline. Lee also knows media relations and there’s no better way to spread the word about a good story than by letting as many people as possible know about it. The Des Register Star recently ran a story about the Cowans and bloggers (count me in) have run with sharing the video as well. UPDATE: The Cowans were also featured on Good Morning America! […]

  15. Lee Aase, Social Media and the Mayo Clinic | Connie Bensen Says:

    […] you have to watch the interview that Lee does of them in their home. It’s too cute listening to 80 yr old’s talk about […]

  16. Mayo Clinic Music Fun | Church Debate Humor Says:

    […] 5/25/09: See this post for an interview with Mr. and Mrs. Cowan at their Ankeny, Iowa […]

  17. Gloria Hunt Says:

    What a wonderful talent God has given you both. Wish you were there 59 years ago when I was a patient!!Carry on the good work.

  18. Cynthia Cluck Says:

    Bless you for using your God given talents. Keep on making that wonderful joyful noise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: