MP3 Jerry Engler - A Whole Lotta Years, A Whole Lotta Music
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27 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Traditional Country, ROCK: Rockabilly
Jerry Engler's album consists of years covering 1956 to 2002. His recordings are of his original material that has a range from Country (traditional, modern ,contemporary and country pop) to Rock 'N' Roll and Rockabilly. This makes the album quite diverse and appealing to many country fans. Jerry started his career in the 50's as a country entertainer and songwriter. He worked with Faron Young, Webb Pierce, The Wilbourn Brothers, Jimmy Dean, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Paul Anka, The Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry, and many others. He gave up his career to care for his two children which he was given custody after a divorce. Jerry never stopped writing songs and set up a recording studio in his home and recorded these songs over the years. He was blessed and found the girl he had prayed for (Elaine) and remarried. Two more girls (Nancy and Pamela) were born into the family and all was well with the world. After 49 years of songwriting his dream of having a CD with his recordings is a reality and a dream come true. The following is the inside of the album cover and "The Road Less Taken", "Clovis Bound" and "The Jerry Engler Story" articles which can be found on Gil Vignal's Buddy Holly website. Gil in Nantes, France is Jerry's friend whom without his help and encouragement this CD would not have seen the light of day.
I've always considered myself a singer/songwriter, but mostly a songwriter. Songwriting has been a part of my life since the age of 14. Whenever I buy or look at records/CD's I always look at the credits for who wrote the song. My hero as a songwriter was Hank Williams. I know a lot of entertainers say that, but I was there when Hank came on the scene and also when he left. What a legacy of material he gave to us to listen to and enjoy and learn from. Later, my other hero came upon the scene, Elvis Presley. He turned the music scene upside down with great material. Influences like these are great to shoot for when trying to write a good country or Rock 'n Roll song. I think it's important that we shoot for the top. If I have fallen short of the mark at least I know I gave it my best shot. I have a feeling that Buddy Holly felt this way as well because his material was also simple, melodic and well written. Along the way there have been other heroes to learn from, Willy Nelson, Don Gibson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and so many more. It's like little debts of gratitude other songwriters owe to these giants in the craft of songwriting.
Thanks to my friend Gil Vignal in France I am encouraged to throw my hat in the ring and share some of my material. I hope you enjoy listening to my first CD album. Thank you, Jerry Engler
I asked my pal Gil in France if he would honor me with some liner notes. He did but prefaced them with, "Here are some lines, taken out of the heart. Because of my bad English you will be able to rewrite the text if you see fit to use it".
Jerry is my friend...since the day I purchased his Brunswick single "Sputnik" many years ago.
Jerry is my friend...a virtual friend...whom I never met
Jerry is my friend...thanks to the Internet and a Buddy Holly site that I run...He wrote to me to clear up and add information to his studio session with the Texan in 1958...
After a few e-mails, Jerry became 'mon pote' (my pal) and he honoured me by sending me the demos of the songs he composed in the course of the passing years...and there, I discovered a man who carries in him the love of Country Music, Rock'n' Roll and humankind...
The melodies are very pleasant and the lyrics are solid (although I do not understand all).
I am happy for him that part of his work will see the light of day in the form of a CD. Jerry's passion remains intact since he discovered Hank Williams in his youth and has since spent hours polishing his compositions.
Discover the music of my pal Jerry and no doubt he will also become your friend.
- (This is Gil's Buddy Holly Web site which also has the Jerry Engler Story and Clovis Bound article)
Credits and many thanks to all who participated in the making of this album.
Words and music by Jerry Englerth - #11 co-written Cliff Thigpen words, J. Engler Music
Lead vocals - Jerry Engler
Back up vocals - The Four Ekkos (0n "Sputnik" 1992 remake version of 1957 release)
Clovis session - # 26, 27. Date Sept. 7, 1958 Buddy's birthday, B. Holly guitar, Vi Petty organ, G. Atwood bass, Bo Clarke drums.
Nashville Studio session - #1, 4. I misplaced their names. I apologize. They did a great job.
D. Masters Studio session - #25. D. Masters, H. Possemato lead guitar. J. Symonds drums, B.
Williams bass, S. Love & J. Engler rhythm guitars.
D. Masters Studio session - #9. Dale did it all. Jerry did lead vocal.
Dynamic session - #7 A. Keltz lead guitar, https://www.tradebit.come & J. Engler rhythm guitars, P. Ryan bass, R. Englerth drums, Al Germano piano
H. Possemato Studio session - #18. H. Possemato lead guitar & bass, J. Engler rhythm guitar
C. Hebing Studio session -#21 Chuck did it all bass drums & guitars. The lead vocal by J. Engler
J. Engler TSA Studio sessions - #2 S. Love lead, rhythm guitar, W. Mueller bass, steel guitar - #9 D. Masters did all -#10 S. Love lead. Rhythm guitar, W. Mueller bass, steel guitar - #11 S. Love lead guitar, J. Falzone bass, J. Engler rhythm guitar , steel guitar - #22 S. Love lead guitar, J. Engler rhythm guitar, G. Vincelli bass.
All other TSA Studio sessions - J. Engler all instruments: guitars (lead, rhythm, Steel, Resonator), organ, piano, bass.
Digital Re- Mastering - Gilles Vignal my friend in Nantes, France.
Front Cover and inside cover design - Also by Gilles Vignal
Additional Graphics by Lonely Records. Lonely Records .com
Producers and the playlist title #'s Buddy Holly & Norman Petty #26 #27 - Bronson & .J. Engler #1 #4 - D. Masters & J. Engler #25 1992 remake of 1957 "Sputnik" - H. Possemato #18 - C. Hebing #21 - J. Engler #2 #3 #5 #6 & #8 Thru #24.
Engineering: Norman Petty #26 #27 - D. Master #25 #9 - H. Possemato #18 - C. Hebing # 21 - Dynamic Dave Kasperson #7 - J. Engler #2 #3 #5 #6 & #8 Thru #24
Gates-Chili Post Wednesday, June 1, 2005
"The Road Less Taken"
A promising rock star left his career behind to be there for his kids.
By ERIC WALTER / [email protected]://www.tradebit.com
1957 and 1958 were big years in Jerry Englerth's life. The budding singer-songwriter's single "Sputnik" had done well on the charts and he had shared the stage with icons like Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and the Everly Brothers. He'd even recorded two of his own songs with the legendary Buddy Holly playing guitar.
Had he been willing to devote all his efforts to touring and recording, the former Irondequoit and current Chili resident is convinced he'd have made it big.
But life is about choices, and Englerth said he can't really regret his.
With his first marriage breaking up at the time, his children, aged 3 and 4, would have been left home alone. Coming from a broken home himself, an absentee father was not something he was willing to become. So he hung up his touring boots. He was 22.
"My career never came first. Never did, never will," said Englerth, 69, and a retired Xerox Corp. manager.
While Englerth took on a new career in business, he's never really given up music. Covering 49 years of songwriting, singing and guitar work he just self-published his first CD, "A Whole Lotta Years, A Whole Lotta Music," under his stage name Jerry Engler.
Ranging from country to rock-and-roll to rockabilly, the album includes several tracks from Englerth's youth, including the Holly-backed "What A' Ya Gonna Do" and "I Sent You Roses." Many others were recorded over the years in a home-studio set-up in his former Irondequoit home.
These days health problems keep Englerth fairly close to home, but he's hoping a bit of luck may bring his album to the eyes of a prominent artist or two looking for material.
"It's not too late," he laughed. "Maybe not as a performer, but maybe as a songwriter my music can still get out."
A Rochester native, Englerth was playing country-western locally well before there was much of an audience for it in the Northeast.
And when Elvis made it big, Englerth helped form a rock band and was a regular at local talent shows, college parties and other venues.
It was at one of those shows that he met Nick Nickson. Known as "The 'Ol Professor," a popular local DJ with WBBF-AM, Nickson became a sort of defacto manager. Now a retired sales manger with WHAM-AM 1180, he remembers Englerth well.
"I'd have to say (with) Jerry, if any local guy had it, he did," said the Brighton resident. "He could have made it if that was his goal."
Nickson shies away from the formal title of manager. He was just a local music lover looking to help a talented local kid out, he insists. But when Englerth and the band came out with "Sputnik" both knew they had a potential winner.
It was 1957 and the Soviet Union had just launched the real Sputnik into orbit. It was an event that sparked fear, awe, paranoia and the advent of the space race. It also seemed to Englerth to be a good basis for a song:
"I say the fun has just begun," goes the chorus on Englerth's version. "We're on Sputnik Number One."
Musically, the song was good enough to be catchy and topical enough to catch on, Nickson said. A friend at a Decca Records subsidiary happened to agree - and arranged for the single's release.
You can find out more about what happened next - including Englerth's sessions with Buddy Holly in Clovis, N.M. at http:https://www.tradebit.com /cd/jerryengler.
After playing with Holly, The Crickets, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers and other rock legends at a show at the Rochester War Memorial (now the Blue Cross Arena), Englerth traveled to Clovis for a paid session at the studio where Holly recorded his hits.
Tape rolled Sept. 7, 1958 - Holly's 22nd birthday. They were close to Holly's last sessions. Five months later, the singer died in a plane crash.
Only 22 himself at the time, Englerth describes that crash as his first taste of mortality.
"It was the first time I ever had someone my age pass away," he said. "It just floored me."
For Englerth, music is still a passion - but so are his (now) four children, multiple grandchildren and Elaine, his second wife.
"We've been together 45 years," he chuckled. "So I must have done something right."
Copyright © 2002, Gates-Chili Post
By Jerry Engler
I'm here to tell you that some of your dreams can and will come true if you just keep at 'em. I was told after doing a Rock and Roll show with Buddy Holly to go out to Clovis, New Mexico and make a record with his manager in the Norman Petty Studio. Well as fate would have it I met Norman in Detroit while we were both on a tour for Brunswick records in the late '50's. I was promoting my single " Sputnik" . He also invited me to come on out to Clovis and so I said ok.
I had to borrow the money for the session and for the plane fair and grabbed my 1950 D-28 Martin guitar and took it on board with me for the 747 flight to Dallas, Texas. From Dallas to Clovis I flew on a very small plane because I was told that Clovis Airport was a small airport and that it was the only size plane it could accommodate. Man, they weren't kidding! I was greeted by two young men who were friends of Norman and taken to Norman's home. We took a tour so I could not only see the front of the studio, but the Nor-Va-Jack Publishing Co. as well. We then drove around to the back where the Petty's home was. Vi Petty came out and introduced herself and said Norman would be along shortly. When Norman came into the house he said he was glad to see me and apologized for not meeting me personally, but that something had come up and he needed to attend to it. Vi invited me to sit down for lunch and Norman offered to take me for a tour of Clovis later that afternoon.
I loved being out west again since I had spent four years in Phoenix, Arizona as a kid and loved and missed it very much. We toured the town which was fairly small and then drove out into the desert. It was absolutely great. We talked a great deal about the business and he told me all about Buddy's career so far. Needless to say, the both of them were doing quite well in terms of success. Back at the studio he gave me the tour which included seeing the echo chamber built in a big room in the attached building. He said Buddy's family had tiled it for better effect and that I would be using it that evening for my session. I got to see the record pressing machine he had just received from Germany and said he would be able to professionally press records himself for his customers. I was impressed and thought the record press was pretty neat indeed. Norman said he had a surprise for me and proceeded to tell me Buddy Holly would be playing on my session. I was ecstatic to say the least. He also said George Atwood would be on bass and Bo Clark on drums. I didn't know of either of them, but learned that George, who was much older than I, had one heck of a career playing bass in some really big bands and had made a lot of recordings as well. Bo was maybe a little bit younger than me, but had played with Buddy a lot and had session experience with Norman. Well it all sounded good to me.
Later that afternoon Buddy showed up with his honeymoon wife and his brand new Caddy, it was beautiful and so was Maria his wife. It was good to see him and my dream was now coming true. I would be in the hands of a great guitar player who would help to produce and arrange my session. With any luck I would maybe have a hit as good as one of his. That was a big maybe. I played maybe twenty or twenty five songs I had written including one I wrote with him in mind. He picked that particular one titled "What A' You Gonna Do? and another one "I Sent You Roses". Vi Petty and I were pushing for "Bayou Baby" which both of us liked a lot with Vi playing the piano. Buddy passed on it and to this day I wish I had stuck to my guns.
It was great sitting knee to knee playing guitars with Buddy and shooting the breeze with him. When we did " I Sent You Roses" he asked if I could lower the key and told me that he recorded singing sometimes in a voice no louder than speaking and that it worked great. Before I could try it a voice came from the control room saying "Buddy leave Jerry alone and let him sing in the key he feels comfortable with". I was singing in what you call an open throat and had never tried it in a closed throat before and wish I had. I felt I could put more feeling in it with an open throat. Today I have a version of it recorded in a much lower key and I like it. Buddy came up with the arrangement for "What A You Gonna Do? and Norman and Buddy both worked on "I Sent You Roses". For the recording session I used all the same equipment including microphones etc that Buddy used and that also was wonderful. All the musicians were in the main studio and I was in the reception area where it became a vocal booth. I really couldn't see them playing and that was something I feel I missed out on. However, I did enjoy the rehearsals immensely and have treasured memories of that. After laying down the songs I thought we were through for the session. Buddy came up to me after hearing the playback of "What A' you Gonna Do?. He asked if he could add some bells to it and I said we'd have to do it all over again. He said no we can overdub them. He went on to explain and Norman showed me how he would do it . I then agreed and Buddy laid down the bells.
Since this was a paid for session, I own the masters. Both songs will be published on my new CD in 2005 as a bonus with Buddy on guitar and...on bells. The recording session was completed on September 7, 1958. For all you Buddy Holly fans this was Buddy's birthday.
The Jerry Engler Story
by Robert Meyerowitz
Three years ago, Jerry Englerth was at a record show in the Village Gate Mall, rifling through boxes of old 45s. He was looking for one record in particular, a very obscure rockabilly side on Brunswick, #9-55037 - and he wasn't having any luck. "And then I got smart about it," Englerth recalls, "and started asking the guys if they knew of 'Sputnik.'"
He found a collector who knew the record - in fact, this particular dealer had had a copy for sale until a moment earlier. "A kid standing across the table had bought it," says Englerth. "The dealer pointed to him. I told him who I was. And the kid said, 'I'd be more than happy to let you take it.' He'd paid something like 30 bucks for it. So the guy gave him his money back.
"I said, 'What do you want for it?' And (the dealer) said, 'Well, because it's your record, I'll let you have it for 10,'"
Englerth explained all of this to me one recent morning in the kitchen of his Irondequoit home. On the table between us as we talked were two red leatherette scrapbooks - the remains of his turn in the spotlight.
"That's it," he said apologetically, as he flipped though one of the books. "It's weird - you'd think I'd have more. But it all happened so fast, and geez, who thought to get pictures and all of that?"
It was the "all of that" that Englerth wanted to talk about; slowly, we worked our way backwards. "Ya know," he finally said, trying to reconstruct a date, "I don't think anybody's ever asked me about all of this before - at least, not in an interview. Well, not in a long time, anyway."
There was a time, once, when Englerth was the hot new kid on the block, and fast-talking deejays across the state were pumping him for information. It was a time when the Tupelo-by-way-of-Memphis shouter was blazing a path up the charts, when ducktailed wannabes were plunking down hard-earned cash for guitars, when the Reds had put an ominous object in orbit - but we're getting ahead of ourselves again.
Jerry Englerth was born in Rochester in 1936. He had some musical inclination - he remembers singing all through grade school - but as he tells it, music didn't really grab his sleeve and tug hard until he was 10 years old, when his family moved out West. He spent four years in Arizona, and that's when he heard Country and Western music. Local bands. Marty Robbins. And Mexican music: "Oh, I loved those trumpets, and the guitars, and how the kids would dance...."
Still, it was Country music that made the biggest impression on him. His parents split up while his family was in Arizona; Englerth returned to Rochester with his mother and brothers and sisters, and his new love.
Englerth soon discovered that Country music was a genre that had more legitimacy the farther west one travelled. "'Hillbilly' was a derogatory term," he recalled, "but they'd use it (in Rochester). If people knew you played Country music, they'd call you a hillbilly, they'd say, 'Oh, you do Country? You're a' - pardon my language - 'make-kicker.'
"And I'd say, 'Well, do you like "Ghost Riders In The Sky"? Do you like "Jambalaya'? "'Ooooh,' they'd say, 'I love that!' "Well, that's Country, just done with a big band, that's all it is....And today, Country's phenomenal! I mean, there's no bigotry, no prejudice toward it! People who had no use for it in my day are going for pure Country now."
Through high school Englerth did what nice, musically-inclined boys did then: He played in the high school band, on the French horn and mellophone. In his spare time he worked on his cowboy numbers, but he didn't quite have a match between interests and instruments.
And then he found the guitar. "I was always a singer, and then I wanted to accompany myself. I had a paper route, and bought my first guitar, a Martin D-28, in 1951. Cost $200 - which would be equivalent to something like $ 1,000 today. That was highly unusual: a kid of my age, walking around with a Martin guitar."
He played his Country numbers in talent shows, and then he started to fool around with them. "I'd always liked rhythm, jazzing up things. So even, like, 'White Sportcoat' - boom-boom, I'd do it in a jazzy style, put rhythm to it. I had my brother, who was a drummer, and we were playing basically rock-and-roll rhythm, but without a lead guitar. If you heard it today, you'd say, "They're rockin' it' - damn right we were rockin' it, 'cause we liked the rhythm !".
'Whoa - who can do this?'
Englerth was playing a steady diet of talent shows and any other available venue, and still playing his jazzy Country music - until one day, when he heard Elvis Presley singing on the radio.
"Boy, did that blow me away. Geez! And then I had to go out and buy all his records. He just pushed a button in me, you know? And his guitar player, Scotty Moore, whew! That finger-picking, it was, oh, I don't know, nirvana. So that's when I said, 'I've gotta find a guitar player. Who in town can do this?'.
"You've got to realize, in the era of rock and roll, in Rochester, trying to find a guitarist - it was like hen's teeth, they were so scarce. You knew just about every guitar player in Rochester, and you could count 'em on both hands. See, you were brought up in an era when you accept guitars, and everybody can go out and buy one. But I had a hell of a time, particularly finding somebody who could play the way I wanted 'em to play - which was Carl Perkins, Presley, (Bill) Haley's stuff."
A year out of high school, Englerth found his lucky hen's tooth: local guitar ace Neil Marvel, who already had a band. Together with Englerth, they were soon Rochester's first rock and roll band. Englerth, the front man, was (as the local papers had it) the city's first "rockabilly songster."
In short order, Englerth also snared a manager, Nick Nickson. It didn't hurt any that Nickson was then the city's top afternoon disc jockey ("The 'Ole' Professor"), on WBBF-AM.
Englerth was the first and last act that Nickson managed. "We were doing a lot of record hops, week after week and every Friday and Saturday," Nickson, now 70, explained by phone recently. "In the mid-'50s there, all of a sudden everything got rock and roll. And bingo, it all dissolved into one great big pop market." Locally, said Nickson, Englerth "was quite popular. He was a nice-looking young man; he played guitar and just wailed away."
Meanwhile, Englerth worked a string of day jobs, starting as a bank teller; and then, after a few years, moving over to the secure arms of the Eastman Kodak Company. But he kept burning the candle at both ends: he and his newfangled band were packing 'em in at local hotspots like The Chateau, The Paramount, and The Bel-Air Club. They were playing a mix of Presley and Perkins covers, Country standards, and Englerth's own material.
One of the first songs Englerth wrote - a space-age number - was destined to be his best-known tune.
Flyin' all around the world
In 1957, the Soviet Union announced that it had put the first man-made object into orbit, a satellite dubbed Sputnik (Russian for "fellow traveler"). Sputnik, at best a speck to the naked eye, would eventually engender paranoia, recrimination, and the space race. Initially, however, it simply inspired awe.
A newspaper article at the time caught Englerth's eye: The writer wondered, how long would it be before Sputnik, this triumph of engineering, was immortalized in song?
A fuse was lit under Englerth. On a Kodak coffee-break, he dashed off the lyrics:
I say the fun has Just begun
We 're on Sputnik Number One....
And he kept moving quickly. "I went right into Fine Recording, on St. Paul Street, and laid it down. I wanted a vocal group, so I started asking around, Was there a vocal group in town? I wanted the complete sound, and that was the sound then. And somebody said, (get) the Four Ekkos."
He did; and the song was cut, for a then princely $600. "Then I took it up to Nick (Nickson). He got all excited - he's quite a motivator. He picked up the phone, and called Len Levy (at the Decca/Brunswick record label) in New York. He played it for Len over the telephone. And then Len went crazy! He said, 'Get it down here.' And then, aw geez, the whole thing just took off."
When the finished record came back, Englerth discovered that Brunswick had changed "Englerth" to "Engler," and retitled the song "Satellite Girl" - but he had a record. And a hot one. "Engler is on his way toward becoming the toast of this nation's teenagers," boasted a Brunswick press release. "He's definitely' out of this world'!"
Trying to milk its new property, Brunswick quickly booked him onto rock and roll bills in Buffalo, Syracuse, Detroit, and Canada. "Jerry Engler" was suddenly sharing a stage with Sam Cooke.
It was a shorter ride than Sputnik's. Englerth was still busily writing, but he was on the road, and he didn't have another record to take its place when "Sputnik" slipped earthward.
"It seemed like it was so short," Englerth says quietly. "And then boom! It was over."
In retrospect, Englerth has said that he believes sales of "Sputnik" may have been adversely affected by growing anti-communist sentiments. Just as likely, the single was elbowed off the charts by competition like "Great Balls of Fire" (although during the third week of November, 1957, in the "Detroit Area Teen Tally," Englerth's single charted a spot higher than Jerry Lee Lewis's).
At the same time, Englerth' s marriage, to his high school sweetheart, Diane Whitehead, was falling apart. They had had two children, Mark and Sharon.
"When' Sputnik' took off, everything went crazy. It was taking a lot of my time, I had to take a leave of absence from Kodak, and I felt I was neglecting the kids. I had a decision to make. I'm very family-oriented and, coming from a divorced family, I said, 'No way are my kids gonna be put through what I went through. They're going to have somebody there.
"In some places I'm considered a one-hit wonder. But a lot of one-hit wonders kept trying. I didn't."
Englerth came off the road. But before he relinquished his place in the spotlight, he played on a dream bill at the Rochester War Memorial, opening for Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, and Paul Anka. Backstage, Anka introduced Englerth to Holly. Holly suggested that he come out to Norm Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico, where Holly had cut his hits.
Englerth gave it one more shot. He paid his way out to Clovis, and recorded there with Holly on September 7, 1958 - on Holly's birthday. Holly had just turned 22 years old (the same age as Englerth). The two Country-minded rockers cut two songs together, both Englerth's compositions: "What A You Gonna Do?" and "I Sent You Roses."
Several days later, Holly played in the Clovis studio for the last time. He then returned to New York, where he had relocated from his native Lubbock, Texas. Amazingly, neither of the last two songs Holly released, "Heartbeat" and "It's So Easy," dented the pop charts. Discouraged, and needing money, he went back out on the road.
Five months later, Buddy Holly was dead.
It just didn't sound like music anymore
Englerth returned to Rochester from New Mexico, carrying the two master tapes of his sessions with Holly. The next Englerth heard of Holly was a radio bulletin, announcing Holly's death in a plane crash.
"It was a shock," Englerth recalled. "I'd never lost somebody that was young; it had always been older people. And to lose somebody that young, that had so much to live for, That was so talented - God, it just floored me."
Englerth continued to play music after that, but he didn't play out as much. In 1959 he got married again (to his current wife, Elaine), and then had two more daughters Nancy and Pamela. He moved from Kodak to Xerox, and slowly worked his way up the managerial ladder - until he was stalled by a heart attack in 1971. He returned to work, but he soon suffered a second, third, and fourth attack, as well as a minor stroke. He retired in 1973.
In 1988, Englerth recorded an album of engaging, original Country songs, Win Some-Lose Some, in the small studio he'd set up in the back of his house. Like the Sun Records pioneers - Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis - Englerth had emerged from a Country music background to take a brief turn with rockabilly; like those stars, Englerth, in his own time, returned to his first love. Indeed, the "Country" bins of a music store are where you'll find albums by most ex-rockabilly stars, from Charlie Feathers to Wanda Jackson to Charlie Rich.
Englerth told me that he had been impressed by The Beatles and the other British Invasion bands, but lost interest in pop music when harder rock came into vogue. "There was that period of time when the music just went hollerin' and screaming, and the loud playing, the guitars and that - it just didn' t sound like music, you know?"
(Of course, that was the same criticism that greeted Elvis Presley when he first hit the national airwaves, but no matter, by now, there must be Sex Pistols fans, somewhere, who find modern music strange, savage, and unsettling.)
Lately, Englerth has returned to music from a different angle: 12 years ago, he began Songwriters Advocate, a workshop group for aspiring composers. "I've never been out of music; it's been a part of my life, one way or another, and I don't know what I'd do without it."
A year ago, after Englerth had discovered that his 1950s recordings had a collectors' cachet, he went back into a recording studio and re-recorded "Sputnik." Following the advice of the collectors, he issued it as a limited-edition 45 rpm, backed with "What A You Gonna Do," one of the Holly-produced sides that he'd been sitting on all these years. Through classified ads and in local music stores, the $10 record has sold slowly but steadily. Later this year he hopes to release another record with the other song Holly produced and played guitar on, "I Sent You Roses."
Not long after I heard the re-recording of "Sputnik," I mentioned it to Bruce Miles, the owner of Richmonds and Milestones. "You oughta see if you can get him to come down and play," I said. "You could try to get Bobby Henrie & The Goners" - a tight local rockabilly trio - "to back him up."
We were several beers into the evening, and Miles was, understandably, noncommital.
A few nights later, on Halloween of last year, Miles left a message on my answering-machine: "Just thought you'd like to know your guy Engler is down at Richmonds right now. And he's playing with Bobby Henrie & The Goners."
It was a coincidence: They'd found each other independently. In fact, two of the Goners had played on the new "Sputnik."
At Richmonds, they ran through "Sputnik" and a couple of other Englerth numbers. Alas, by the time I got to the bar, Englerth was gone.
"It was probably one of the most exciting nights I'd had in many, many moons," Englerth told me later. "I mean, I felt like I was 21 years old again"
Interview done in 1993
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