Archive for July 25th, 2019

Got up late this morning and thought I’d save some time by rerunning an older post that has a piece of music.

I grew up in a time without computer screens, smartphones, video games or much of anything else in the way of distraction.  I’m not saying that we used to go down to the quarry to throw rocks at the dinosaurs but, compared to the multitude of options available to a kid today, it was relatively spartan. We lived in the country where for years we only had two TV channels and FM radio was in its infancy, at least in our area. I’m not sure we even had an FM radio. So, the local AM radio stations filled the bill.

At that time, our local AM channels were one-size-fits-all affairs, playing every genre of music in a grand mishmosh. You might go from hearing the Rolling Stones or the Doors to Nat King Cole to the Temptations to Patsy Cline and back to Chuck Berry in a matter of twenty minutes. It made for very eclectic listening.

The one I usually listened to was WENY and at the time my favorite DJ was a guy named Paul Leigh, who also hosted a late Saturday night movie on  WENY’s sister TV channel. On that, Leigh played his alter ego, the Undertaker, and played schlocky monster movies. He was entertaining for a 12 or 13 year old kid and had a pretty sharp wit for a DJ in a small market. He was always running call-in contests and on one night I was lucky (and persistent) enough to be the 20th or whatever caller.  I won a stack of 25 albums and picking them up at the station, I thought I was in pig heaven.

Of course, they were just getting rid of all the promos albums from record companies that had come their way. Almost all of them never made it on the air, most being pretty bad while some were just not the taste for a teenager. I remember there was an Ornette Coleman LP that was a very conceptual jazz thing that sounded like squawks and buzzes to my ears at the time.  Actually, it still sounded that way to me every time I’ve pulled it out over the years. But there were a few gems in there.

One was this self-titled first album from David Bromberg.  It was produced by George Harrison who appears on the very enjoyable song below, The Holdup.  Several of the songs are Bromberg’s interpretation of blues and traditional classics mixed in with some wonderful originals, including the strange and haunting Sammy’s Song. I still listen to it on a regular basis and it has always held up through the many years.

Bromberg’s an interesting guy, a folk guitar wiz who basically quit the business for several years in the 1990’s to learn the art of violin making. He returned to playing and touring but still maintains a violin shop in Wilmington, Delaware. He seems like a  man who lives life on his own terms. A rare and wonderful thing.

Give a listen to The Holdup and have a good day.

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