Five Firsts: Christine Lavin

April 25th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
Christine Lavin

Christine Lavin

NAME: Christine Lavin
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, Boomerang Digital Phrase Sampler, Batons

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I don’t remember the first album, but I vividly remember the first 45 rpm (for you younger readers, a 45 is a grooved black vinyl disk with a large hole in the center – and it has music *on both sides*). It was Glen Campbell singing “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” written by Jimmy Webb on the A side, and “Gentle On My Mind” written by John Hartford on the B side. I snuck out of my grandmother’s wake in NYC to buy it.

This was in the mid 1960s. I heard “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” on FM radio and couldn’t get it out of my head, but we lived in a small town north of New York that only had one record store that didn’t stock that record. When we got to the funeral parlor and I saw a record store across the street, I knew what I had to do. I hid the record in my coat so my family wouldn’t know where I’d been (they thought I’d gone to the Ladies’ Room).

I must have worn that 45 out. I became a big fan of both songwriters, Jimmy Webb and John Hartford. Both songs are still two of my favorites.

Many years go by. Pages of the calendar flip. I did a concert with John Hartford, told him all about how his song was on the first record I ever bought. John was the ultimate multi-tasker who not only played guitar and banjo, he could also sing, play violin and clogg dance all at the same time. He saw me twirl batons and asked if I would teach him how to twirl his violin bow.

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