Five Firsts: Jerry Gretzinger
NAME: Jerry Gretzinger
BAND AFFILIATION: The Swing Docs, the Singing Anchors
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball.” It was 1981, and I was nine years old. I convinced my parents to buy this for me and had to assure my Dad I knew all the songs on the album. I told him I did, but I didn’t. I’m glad though. There was some great music on there. Sting. Phil Collins. Eric Clapton. I think the first album I bought with my own money was “Fore!” by Huey Lewis and the News.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Chicago and the Beach Boys. I won the tickets in a radio call-in contest. I was in high school and brought a few friends with me. While there, we bumped into more friends who had also won tickets. We had a great time.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … The piano. I always loved the piano. Strange thing was, my family didn’t have one. I was taking lessons and had nothing to practice on. Then one year, my dad surprised my mother on her birthday by having a piano delivered to the apartment we were living in. Mom had played when she was younger. I also went on to play trumpet, baritone, tuba and sousaphone. And I occasionally try to teach myself guitar.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Now that’s a tough one. I’m sure I performed in goups as a very small child, as I started doing muscial theater when I was five. But the first time I sang solo would have to have been when I played the Artful Dodger in “Oliver.” My big song was “Consider Yourself.” Now that you’ve got me thinking about, I’m realizing how very long ago that was.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Interesting question. I’m not sure I was ever really IN a band. I guess you could say I’m a member of the Swing Docs Big Band now, as I sing with them pretty frequently. But I was in a Rockapella-style group in the late ’90s. That was fun. Always a challenge trying to master all those harmonies.
Jerry Gretzinger steps away from his on-air duties at WRGB-TV to team up with fellow TV news personalities Benita Zahn and Jessica Layton in the Singing Anchors, performing at St. Peter’s School in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Saturday. The show is a benefit concert for the Saratoga Children’s Theatre Scholarship Fund. Tix are $25.
Gretzinger also steps into the spotlight at The Linda in Albany at 8pm on Saturday, March 26 to sing “Mostly Frank,” a tribute concert to Frank Sinatra, accompanied by pianist Jay Kerr and members of the Swing Docs. Tix are $23.