Monday, December 22, 2008

Joe Longstreth and John Escosa - Christmas With

Many times I've come across this album in thrift stores, online vinyl markets, and even eBay and Two silouetted harps in black and white tell the story.

What I didn't know was the connection this album had to my hometown of Fort Wayne until I had a copy in my hands. It seems not only were one of the harpists (Escosa) had deep roots in Fort Wayne but it was actually recorded here as well on the Carriage Records label.

Side one is The Christmas Story according to St. Mark. Written and narrated by Longstreth, this full 15 minute story is interspersed with lovely music for solo harp (Escosa). Side two has the harpists trading off each other as they go through ten different Christmas carols.

Nothing fancy but it's well done Christmas harp.

One free day this past summer, I went looking for the location of the recording studio listed on the back cover. Located in a iffy part of town, I managed to find it - an empty lot full of grass and trees. Nothing to suggest there was a structure anywhere on the lot.

Across the street stood an apartment building with a prominent name: Carriage House Apartments. I'll have to do some detective work to see if the two are related or if the area has some sort of history with carriages, etc.

String this one along:

Joe Longstreth & John Escosa - Christmas With

Happy listening...



AnnEscosaGriffin said...

John Escosa was my father and made several records (vinyl) and later audiocassette tapes which were sold at their concerts. Longstreth and Escosa and later, Escosa and Rado toured the US and Canada under the auspices of Columbia Artists. He was born in Fort Wayne and attended the FWCS.

CaptainOT said...

Ann - How long were your father and Mr. Longstreth an act?

What else can you tell me about Carriage Records, the Fort Wayne record label that issued this LP?

Was this played at your house at Christmas?


n morse said...

John played at the Carriage House Restaurant until it burned down, is what I think he told me.

Nice guy.

n morse said...

Additional thoughts here,
John was a wonderful musician and professional friend. He would invite me over to read through a piece that he was submitting to be published, so that I could "proof-read" it first...because when you write something yourself, you may not catch any inadvertent omissions like a desired pedal indication on harp.
He had a wonderful sense of humor, was very kind and tremendously gifted. A gentle person.
I very much enjoyed knowing him. He told me once that, once a month he had a lesson with Salzedo. Salzedo preferred teaching the girls. Interesting.
n morse, harpist