martin denny, RIP
One of my favorite musicians of all time, Martin Denny, has died in Honolulu at the age of 94. Read the article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin.
My mother got me in to Martin Denny when I was about 9, when I first heard the song Quiet Village on the long-gone AM station 1260 WBBG, which played big band standards and nostalgia music. I actually liked it. Mom and I were sitting in the car in the driveway on a snowy late 1970's night, waiting for my father to come outside, when the opening strains of Quiet Village came on. I was absolutely spellbound.
"Mom!" I exclaimed. "What song is this?"
"It's Quiet Village by Martin Denny."
"Do you have this record?"
"I wish. I've always liked this song." She leaned over and turned it up, filling the car with the amazing tiki sounds from the single AM radio speaker in the middle of the dash.
I haven't been the same since.
The next time we were at Severance Mall, 9 year-old me ran into Record Den and asked for Quiet Village. The manager laughed at me, and told me I'd have better luck at garage sales or thrift stores.
And thus began my lifelong passion for garage sale-ing and thrift store spleunking. As a result, I now have over a thousand vinyl albums of random, obscure music, a rotary telephone collection, and an ashtray collection.
And I don't even smoke that much.
And I owe it all to Martin Denny, and the fact that my mom was cool enough to know who he was.
I'll be celebrating his life and music tonight at the 222 Club in the Tenderloin, 222 Hyde Street @ Turk, from 6 PM until 10. My friend Marcia is throwing the KneesUp reunion party there, and that's where I'm gonna be knocking back Mai Tai's and requesting Martin Denny. Join me if you can, and be sure to say hi. :-)