The Blog of Craig W. Hansen

Boots & Roots

40 years ago I was a young boy and I wore this record out - Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax”. It was my Dad’s, and listening to Boots made me want to play tenor sax more than anything. I remember soldering wires with my Dad to wire up his stereo, and we tested it with this record. I still remember that acrid smell of rosin paste and the thrill of harnessing molten lead.

Years later when I was a freshman in High School, I thought it would be cool to break that record in two and put the pieces on my wall as a decoration. As you could imagine, my Dad didn’t think it was very cool! It turns out it was very uncool. I sure wish we still had it today.

More years later, I moved to Nashville and worked at Digital Recorders, where a man named Fred Foster befriended me and taught me about the record business. It turns out Fred built Monument Records, and produced Yakety Sax on that label and a bunch of other records I had as a kid. Fred produced Roy Orbison and a host of other legends that were Monument artists.

So there I was in the studio, sitting there soldering wires, listening to amazing stories about Elvis, Roy, Janis Joplin, Kris Kristofferson and others from the guy who made the record I listened to when I first learned to solder with my Dad. Who do you suppose I called that night?

Herb Hansen turned a spry, joyful 82 years old this week. Love you Dad!