The Vinyl Revivers
Russell Katz created “The Vinyl Revivers” with the hope of introducing a new generation to vinyl records, and how inspirational listening to good music, through good equipment, can be.
We look forward to helping you find your musical nirvana.
A MUSICAL JOURNEY
About Russ Katz
I’ve been addicted to music since I was about 8 years old. I watched my share of television, but my Dad taught me early on that I could be entertained by listening to music, and to old time radio programs. My Dad had a classic system from the early 60s that he purchased while attending the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, New York. He bought a Fisher 500C FM receiver, a pair of AR 2AX speakers and a Dual 1009 turntable.
My Dad introduced me to some of the radio programs that he used to listen to when he was a kid. I sat for hours being transported to a different era, listening to “The Lone Ranger” , “The Shadow”, “Fibber McGee and Molly” and George Burns and Gracie Allen. Even though his system would be considered of midrange quality by today’s standards, there was something about the sound of those tubes, in the Fisher, that sounded great to me.
When it came to music, both of my parents loved Classical music, and they made a point to expose me to the likes of Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Holst, Gershwin, Sergei Prokofiev, Bizet, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky. My favorite classical recording was Leonard Bernstein’s version of Peter and the Wolf and the Nutcracker Suite. I’ve recently bought a copy for myself at a garage sale for .05.
My Dad also liked Jazz, and introduced me to Al Hirt, Stan Getz, and most importantly Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. My favorite Herb Alpert album was “Whipped Cream and other Delights”.
The entire album is great, and still stands up today as one of my favorites, but my favorite song is a “Taste of Honey”. I wouldn’t be exposed to the Beatles’ version for a couple of years. Not only did this album introduce me to Jazz, but it also introduced me to women. The album cover is still one of the sexiest ever made.
I wasn’t really exposed to Rock N Roll until I visited my cousins Hal and David. My Cousin Hal was a few years older than me. As a young kid, he was my idol. His room was awesome. He had fish tanks everywhere. The tanks held Oscars, and Firemouth’s, and a bunch of other really colorful fish. I’d watch in amazement as he fed the Oscars live Goldfish.
He also had a couple of guitars and some large guitar amps scattered around the room. He also had a huge record collection with some massive speakers. He was listening to The Edgar Winter Group, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and many other classic bands.
After listening to Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man”, and The Who’s “My Generation”, I was hooked.
Music would consume me from this point on.
I started mowing lawns soon after this visit to earn enough money to buy myself my own stereo, and to start buying every record that I could. At the age of 13, I bought a Radio Shack Quadraphonic Receiver, a Dual 1228 turntable, and 2 pairs of Marantz Imperial speakers. My first album was Elton John’s “Greatest Hits” and Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold”. I then got hooked on The Beatles, and the Electric Light Orchestra, and bought every record that they made.
The first concert I ever attended was at Forrest Hills Tennis Stadium in New York. I was 16, and went to see Joni Mitchell. I think our tickets cost about $12.
At 18, I started collecting everything by The Who, and The Doors. I was blown away by The Who after watching the band’s movie “The Kids Are Alright”. I finally got to see “The Who” perform in 1982 at the Capital Center in Landover, MD. I had 12th row floor seats. The concert was awesome. I was interviewed about my concert experience by Phil Hosmer a Diamondback Writer at the time. and had my quote appear in the Diamondback Newspaper the following day. I got interested in The Doors after reading the book “No one Get’s Out of Here Alive”. The book inspired me to read Jim Morrison’s poetry, and to start writing some of my own poetry too.
In addition to music, I’ve always been a sports fanatic. I grew up in New York rooting for the Yankees, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks, and played every sport while it was in season. In college, I was the quarterback of our Dorm’s Intramural Championship Team, and listened to both The Who’s “Love Reign Over Me” and The Doors’ “When the Music’s Over” to get pumped up before each game.
My first job out of college was as an Assistant Manager for the large record retailer “Record World”. I was still living with my parents, and had no expenses (Thanks Mom and Dad) so every penny I made was spent buying more records. The people I worked with at The Record World Store in Bowie Marketplace expanded my musical horizons. I got turned on to Howard Jones, Michael Franks, The Clash, The Talking Heads, Blondie, The Police and a bunch of other New Wave Bands.
I jumped to the audio business in 1986 when I became the Assistant Manager for “Audiokrafters”, located in College Park, Maryland. We sold “Acoustat”, “Bryston”, “Allison”, “KEF”, “Tandberg”, “Mcintosh”, “NAD”, “Velodyne”, “Boston Acoustics”, “Bang & Olufsen”, ”Counterpoint” and “Nakamichi”. During my time with the company, I was the Service Manager, Custom Installation Manager, Buyer, and Store Manager for 3 of their locations. Working in the audio business allowed me to hear how great my music could sound.
In 1986, I also jumped into the world of marriage, and am happy to say that I’m still happily married, after 30 years, to my wife, Roslyn. I also have two amazing children, Samantha and Marla, and became the Grandfather of identical twin girls, Carmen and Maya, 2 years ago.
Jumping forward 30 years, music is still my life. I decided to create “The Vinyl Revivers” with the hope of introducing a new generation to vinyl records, and how inspirational listening to good music through good equipment can be.
I look forward to helping you find your musical nirvana.