I can remember it vividly - more vividly, in fact, than such other adolescent landmarks as my first kiss or my high school graduation.
It was a cold, rainy spring morning when I got on the bus and headed for the old Twin Fair store on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Once there, I made a beeline for the record department, where I spent the next two or three hours examining each and every record album in the store.
Finally, after seemingly endless internal debate, I walked up to the checkout counter and set down my money along with my selections — “The Return of Roger Miller” (the one with “King of the Road”) and the Righteous Brothers’ first album (featuring “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”). They were $2.99 each in mono, a dollar cheaper than the stereo versions.
Those were the very first record albums that I ever bought, and I was immediately hooked. Now, nearly 30 years later, nestled next to thousands of other slabs of 12-inch vinyl that I’ve added to my ever-growing collection, I still have those first two albums.
I guess you could say that those two albums were my personal musical “roots,” although, of course, I didn’t consider those implications at the time, and those well-worn grooves still sound exciting and somehow comforting to me, despite the scratches and pops that have developed over the years.
It got me to wondering what record albums might have initially influenced today’s recording artists. Stay tuned for a sampling of what I discovered.
Friday, November 15th, 2013
“The first record I ever bought? Oh, God…
I remember buying a single years ago – ‘Black Nights’ by Deep Purple, but that was just a single.
I can’t remember the first album I ever bought. I don’t know what it was. It was probably something like ‘Nursery Crime’ by Genesis, but I honestly don’t know for sure.”
British progressive rock guitar hero and astrologer Francis Dunnery leads his humbly named Sensational Francis Dunnery Electric Band into the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock at 9pm on Saturday (November 16). Tickets are $25.
Friday, October 18th, 2013
“My parents bought me a little kids’ record player when I was two or three years old, and my mother remembers me standing there playing record after record after record. I couldn’t stop playing the records. I just wanted to play records.
But honestly, I can’t really remember the first one that I bought.”
Singer-songwriter Susan Werner and her band will step into the spotlight at the Eighth Step at Proctors in Schenectady at 7pm on Sunday (October 20). She’ll be showcasing songs from her new album, “Hayseed,” which celebrates the language, livelihood, characters and concerns of American farmers. Tickets are $26 in advance; $28 at the door; $35 Gold Circle.
Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
Scott Senior of the Duhks
“I can’t remember the first record that I bought. But I can remember the first record that made me think, `Holy shit! There’s this kind of music out there?!?’ It was Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints. I remember hearing that, and the music just took me somewhere else. It made me move in a whole different way.”
Percussionist Scott Senior and his bandmates in the Duhks will be featured at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival on Thursday & Friday (July 18&19) at the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill. More info here… The Duhks will also be performing at the Green River Festival at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Mass. on Saturday (July 20). More info here…
Friday, July 12th, 2013
“I think that would be a Tom T. Hall record. I don’t remember the title of the album itself, but it was a Tom T. Hall record. Do you remember `Salute to a Switchblade’? It definitely had that song on it, and that was the first album that I ever went out and bought myself.
Oh yeah, the Ol’ Storyteller. I’ve always been a big fan of Tom T.’s. I think that a lot of the songs that I’ve recorded over my career have been in that same vein, as far as the humor and the real-life, Americana kind of thing, you know?”
Veteran country hitmaker Joe Diffie will take the stage on Saturday (July 13), for WGNA-FM’s 20th annual CountryFest at the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds. In addition to Diffie, the fest will feature Easton Corbin, Mark Wills, Greg Bates, Joel Crouse, Chelsea Cavanaugh and two pop-gone-country headliners – Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow. CountryFest kicks off at 11:45am on Saturday, but the fest is completely sold out.
Monday, June 17th, 2013
“It was probably the Everly Brothers, I think. Yes, probably the Everly Brothers. Or if not them, then it might have been something by Cliff Richard & the Shadows.
“But the first music that I ever remember hearing was broadcast from a commercial radio station in Luxembourg. I used to listen to it on an old crystal radio set.”
Mick Fleetwood slips behind the drums once again at 8pm on Wednesday (June 19) to fuel mega-platinum rockers Fleetwood Mac in their return to the Times Union Center in Albany. Tickets are $37.50, $65, $95 & $125.
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
“I can’t really remember the first album that I actually went out and spent my own money for.
But the first records that I owned were given to me by my father one Christmas. He gave me a lot of different recordings including Lee Morgan’s ‘Sidewinder,’ which is one that I particularly remember. I think that maybe there were also some Art Farmer records and some things by Clifford Brown.”
New Orleans trumpet great Nicholas Payton teams up with saxman David Sanchez and vibraphone virtuoso (and Albany native) Stefon Harris for the Ninety Miles Project, which explores the connections between jazz and Cuban music when they step into the spotlight at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center in Albany at 7:30pm on Thursday (April 18). Tickets are $30.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
“The first album I ever bought? Ricky Nelson.
I didn’t hear about him from TV because for some reason that show didn’t happen in Lubbock, but I heard ‘Hello, Mary Lou’ on the radio, and I just loved it.
And I think that’s the first record that I actually bought with my own money.”
The great Jimmie Dale Gilmore teams up with his fellow Texas tunesmiths Joe Ely and Butch Hancock as the Flatlanders ride into Club Helsinki in Hudson on Sunday (April 14) for an acoustic concert. Joe Pug opens the show at 8pm. Tickets are $38.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
A JazzApril story
“Oh my goodness, no. I can’t remember the first record album that I bought.
But the first jazz record that I ever heard was by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Oh, yeah. That was my very first encounter with jazz. I had never heard any jazz before, and, my goodness, that record made the biggest impression on me that I’ve ever had in my life.
Before that, I had only heard Cuban traditional music because I grew up in the middle of the countryside on the island. And when somebody played for me the Dizzy and Charlie Parker album, I thought, ‘Oh, wow. What is this?’
And I’m still trying to figure it out. All these years later, it still sounds so fresh.”
Charismatic Cuban trumpeter and composer Arturo Sandoval leads his high energy Latin jazz band into Proctors in Schenectady at 8pm on Friday (April 5). Tickets are $20, $25, $30, $35 & $40.