Five Firsts: Jody Shayne of the Jody Shayne Trio
NAME: Jody Shayne
BAND AFFILIATION: The Jody Shayne Trio
INSTRUMENT: voice, piano
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … That’s hard. It could have been “Big Mama (Thornton) The Queen at Monterey,” Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You” or “Otis Redding Live in Europe.” I used to set up the speakers to my portable record player on the floor and lie there with my head in between for hours. I still have that vinyl. Before that, it might have been Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band’s “Jug Band Music” or “The Nutcracker Suite” and “Swan Lake” when I was much younger.
When I was really little, my dad had some old 78’s like Bessie Smith’s “You Been A Good Old Wagon, Daddy, But You Done Broke Down” and the Ink Spots’ “Get Some Cash for Your Trash.” There was some Billie Holiday in there too, which ended up being a big influence on my singing style. I loved that stuff!
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … probably at Caffé Lena. Jaye Alper (daughter of Joe and Jackie) was my best friend in high school so we went there a lot. I saw Dave Van Ronk, the Freedom Singers with Bernice Reagon, Pat Webb & Charlotte Daniels, Len Chandler, Barbara Dane, Geoff Muldaur and many more. I don’t know who was first. We got to hang out backstage, and the cool factor was huge.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … a flute in fourth grade. Then in sixth grade, I got a round back mandolin that I played to accompany a madrigal group I was in. Later on, I got a Gibson steel stringed guitar, which was my first serious instrument.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” by Tom Lehrer for my sixth grade talent show.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … A six-piece blues band in Boston. We rehearsed for four or five months and never played a gig.