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.
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.
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
“Yeah. It was terrible. It was Olivia Newton-John. I was like five years old or something, so I’ve got to give myself a break on that one.
But you know, even some of her songs are fantastic. To me, a great melody is a great melody, and a great hook is a great hook. Even something like `Physical.’”
Guitarist Julian Coryell teams up with his brother (blues guitarist Murali Coryell) and his legendary father (jazz guitarist Larry Coryell) for a family-affair concert at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock at 8pm on Sunday (March 24). Tickets are $30.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
“The first record that I bought would have probably been Off the Wall, the Michael Jackson album.
But I think the first record that I ever remember listening to was an Al Green album when I was really young. I used to listen to it over and over and again.”
Dynamic jazz drummer Brian Blade leads his band Brian Blade Fellowship in concert at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Friday (March 22). His band features pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Christopher Thomas, tenor saxman Melvin Butler and alto saxman Myron Walden. Tickets are $8; seniors $5; students and children FREE.
Monday, March 18th, 2013
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk
“I never really bought albums because I would always borrow my dad’s albums. My dad worked in radio for so long that he had built up quite a massive collection of blues records. So I just worked my way through my dad’s stuff.
“As I got older, I started collecting my own, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience CD, ‘Are You Experienced?,’ was probably the first one that I bought. My dad had that one, too, but I wanted to have my own copy. He used to get mad at me because I’d take his CDs, and then he could never find them again.”
Blues-rock guitarslinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd brings his band to town for a concert at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park on Friday (March 22). Local 518 faves Sly Fox & the Hustlers open the show at 8pm. Tickets are $23.50 in advance; $25 at the door.
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
“My first album was Whitney Houston’s I’m Your Baby Tonight. It’s awesome.”
Grammy Award-winning Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child stars in the national touring production of “Fela!” – the musical about the life of African superstar Fela Kuti – which plays at Proctors in Schenectady this weekend at 8pm on Friday and 2 & 8pm on Saturday. Tickets are $20, $35, $50, $55 & $65.
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
“I don’t remember my first album, but I remember the first single that I ever had. It was ‘Hound Dog’ by Elvis on RCA, which my sister bought for me.
It was magical. The whole idea of it was magical.”
Co-founder of the band back in 1969, keyboardist-vocalist Bill Payne will lead Little Feat into The Egg in Albany at 8pm on Friday (January 4). Tickets are $34.50.