Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen (1986)

Note: For the blog's 1000th post, I've selected the first CD I ever purchased.

Even though Doc Severinsen had led the Tonight Show Band since 1967, this was their first recording together.  I was attracted to it because 1) it was Doc, and 2) it was an "all digital recording" which was rare thing in 1986.  It's a great compilation of big band standards from the first half of the century with most of the outstanding arrangements crafted by members of the band.  The band members were all top-notch as this was the best big band gig in the land and openings were highly coveted.  I haven't listened to this CD in years and I had forgotten how good it is.  Man, this band could cook and Severinsen soars above it all.  Not only a great look back at some standards, but also a look back at what late night TV was like before Letterman and Leno.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #65

Tracks: While this album is enjoyable from beginning to end, I prefer the arrangements of Begin The Beguine, One O'Clock Jump, Shawnee, Sax Alley, and, of course, Johnny's Theme (The Tonight Show Theme). 

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  In December 1987, I had my mind made up that I would buy a CD player within the next few weeks.  I had my eye on a Sony D-160 just like one of my fraternity brothers had.  I wanted to be able to hook it up to my car's cassette player as well as my home stereo.  In my mind, it was a done deal.  On Christmas break from my senior year in college, I was visiting my parents in San Antonio.  Doing some last minute Christmas shopping, I was strolling through the K-Mart at Loop 410 and the Austin Highway (I think that building is now a bank processing center).  In a rack near the front door, I saw this CD (in a longbox, I'm sure) priced at only $9.99.  This was at a time when these new CD things were running $15 and up.  So even though I didn't have a player, I bought the disc.  Within a week or so, I listened to it on my friend Richard's CD player and within a month, I had my own player.

I'm not a pack rat, so I'm surprised I still have the CD and player 26 years later.

Turns out hooking up the D-160 to a car stereo through the cassette player was a huge pain, so it didn't get done very often, but for a portable CD player, it had very good sound.

On this being my 1000th post: when I started this blog more than 3 years ago, I didn't think I owned but about 800 CDs and I didn't think the blog would last to 100 posts.  Happily, I was wrong on both counts.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Merry Christmas from Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Orchestra (1991)


  1. You never forget your first.
    Congrats on sticking with it.
    Very inspiring.

  2. Mark, congratulations on your milestone post! I can tell you that my first CD player was a six disk changing stereo component. My wife got it for me for our first Christmas as husband and wife - December of 1990. The first CDs that we ever owned was the four disk Led Zeppelin box set that had just come out a month or so before.