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, July 15th, 2014
“It was Meet the Beatles. I was just a young kid, but I saw them on `The Ed Sullivan Show’ when they first came out, and that really changed my life.
“Of course, looking back at them now, I realize that those early Beatles records had American roots music all over them – Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Buck Owens.”
Americana kingpin Jim Lauderdale teams up with the Nashville-based all-female bluegrass band Della Mae on the main stage at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival at the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill on Saturday (July 19).
Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
“That’s a tough question. I don’t think I can remember. It was probably a Barbra Streisand album, but I can’t really say for certain.”
Singer and Broadway star Linda Eder steps into the spotlight at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Saturday (June 21). The concert will be recorded for her upcoming in-concert album, “Linda Live.” Tickets are $65.
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
G.E. Smith (photo: Drew Gurian)
“The first record I ever bought?
“Well, I don’t recall the first album, but I remember the first singles. I think I bought two records that night – a song called ‘The Three Bells’ by the Browns, and I bought ‘Alley Oop’ by Dante and the Evergreens. I was probably five or six years old at the time.”
Former guitarist with the Saturday Night Live Band, Bob Dylan, Hall & Oates and others, G.E. Smith teams up with guitarslingers Jim Weider (the Band, the Levon Helm Band) and Danny Kortchmar (Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Don Henley) as “The Masters of the Telecaster“ at Levon Helm’s Studio in Woodstock at 8:30pm on Saturday (June 14). Rounding out the band is drummer Randy Ciarlante, keyboardist Brian Mitchell and bassist Byron Isaacs. Tickets are $60 for seats; $40 for standing room. The guitarists will also conduct a master class at 3:30pm prior to the concert.
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
“‘The One Little Duck with the Feather On His Back,’ but I was probably only about five years old. I didn’t actually go out and buy it myself, but I heard it at my cousin’s house, and I just had to have it.
“It was a red record, and it had little ducks on the label. I used to have a little baby record player, and I’d put the record on and then there was a mirrored-glass kind of merry-go-round thing that I would put on top of it.
“It must have been a 78. I don’t think they had 45s back then, did they?”
Patti Cathcart steps up to the microphone as one-half of the husband-and-wife jazz duo Tuck & Patti at the Van Dyck in Schenectady at 8pm on Thursday (June 5). Tickets are $18 in advance; $22 at the door.
Tuck Andress, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
“The first record that I ever bought with my own money – and not my mom’s money – was `Cosmic Slop’ by Funkadelic. Yeah, that must have been the one.”
Guitarslinger Vernon Reid cranks it up with his bandmates in Living Colour as they kick off the Capital Concert Series at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on Wednesday (June 4). The evening’s music kicks off at 5pm with Local 518 faves Mirk, followed by Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds before headliners Living Colour take the stage. Admission is free.
Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Tuck and Patti
“I’m not sure whether it was the Monkees or ? and the Mysterians. I was just fascinated by this person whose name was ? What did he think of himself? How did he refer to himself? At the time, it was really very interesting to me.”
Tuck Andress straps on his guitar as one-half of the husband-and-wife jazz duo Tuck & Patti at the Van Dyck in Schenectady at 8pm on Thursday (June 5). Tickets are $18 in advance; $22 at the door.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
John Wesley Harding
“I had a friend who had a very influential older brother with a fantastic record collection, so at a very young age, I was able to listen to Bowie, the Stones, the Velvet Underground and John Cale albums. Stuff that wasn’t necessarily being played on the radio back then. And I still like those albums quite a lot.
Friday, March 21st, 2014
“What was it? It was Miles Davis’ ‘For Lovers Only’ with the Red Garland Trio. And I bought it primarily because my old man told me that Miles Davis was no good.
So I went out and said, ‘Yes, he is. Listen to this.’ And the argument continues to this day.”
The Howard Alden Jazz All-Star Trio – featuring guitar phenom Howard Alden, trumpeter Warren Vaché | and bassist Jon Burr – slips into the Van Dyck in Schenectady on Saturday (March 22) for shows at 7 & 9:30pm. Tickets are $20 in advance; $24 at the door.