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20 Years of A&M Corner

Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by Harry, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    In just about a month, I will be reaching the 20 year mark on this A&M Corner site. It was August 25th, 1997 when I finally reached the old Guestbook page and signed in.

    My recollection is that I'd had AOL for a year or so at that point, but really didn't know much about the World Wide Web. Once in awhile I'd go online with AOL and poke around, but it largely didn't seem to be of much use other than for email. One day in late March of 1997, when I figured out that "Alta Vista" was a search engine, I keyed in "Herb Alpert" and looked through the listings and saw something called A&M Corner. I remember trying to click on it a few times, but I got no results - time-outs or something like that.

    It was months later, in late August, that I tried again and this time got to a Discography of Herb Alpert's albums, singles, and guest appearances. It was an eye-opener for sure to see that there was someone else in the world who shared my passions. I found the Fan Contact page and added my name and comment.

    Later on, I found the Forum discussion section and a world of other posters discussing all sorts of interesting things about Herb, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, the Baja Marimba Band, and even some of the more obscure artists. I learned right there that something I'd seen in an old Herb Alpert songbook really existed - "Mexican Drummer Man", and I rushed over to Val Shively's place and bought a white label promo of the track.

    I took it home and listened to my first new Tijuana Brass track in decades and was so excited that I transcribed the lyrics and posted them on this new Forum I'd found.

    It's been a fun 20 years. Here's to 20 more! :cheers:

    On a prior anniversary, Rudy reposted some of those old Fan Contact entries:

  2. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I had something TJB-ish on my old "Ourworld" site via Compuserve back in late 1995 or early 1996, along with a collection of the Latin jazz reviews I had published on Compuserve. (So technically, I can stretch it that I've been around 22 years. :wink: ) But other than email there really was no way to let visitors interact. The guestbook and "fan contact" guestbook both sort of enabled that, but I probably launched an actual forum late in 1997 or early 1998 once I found the software to run it. I got a proper web hosting account in 1997 which enabled me to do most of this, including register domain names, including amcorner.com.

    I remember coming home from a trip in 1997 and finding Harry's post (and Tim's) in the fan contact page. I remember because we'd just purchased a new-to-the-US Honda CR-V (August 18--local dealers had a 12 week waiting list, and I found four in stock in Cleveland) and headed for a week to Minnesota shortly thereafter, coming home on Labor Day. I don't know if anyone recalls it, but the huge news that day was Princess Diana's death in the UK.

    And yet 20 years later, both the CR-V and A&M Corner are still around. :laugh:
  3. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    For sure it was in place for that fall of 1997 as I remember posting that "Mexican Drummer Man" lyrics post. Topics on-hand in that early era were about the still-missing Tijuana Brass CDs, the fact that next-to-no Baja Marimba Band material had shown up on CD (there were a couple of Latin-type, Lounge-type comps that had a track or two). And the big discussion was about Thoughtscape Sounds having some imported Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 discs.
    Bobberman likes this.
  4. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I still have the original forum mothballed, but have no way to import it here easily. (And for privacy reasons, I can't post it as-is since it is full of email addresses and/or real names). The only thing I seem to be missing are the first 181 posts (which back then, could have been a few months worth). I might have them backed up somewhere on a floppy disk but out of hundreds, I have no clue as to where I might look for them. There is no guarantee those old floppies are still readable. I think I looked on some old Zip disks at one point, but those were also a bit flaky.

    Interesting you survived a visit to Shively's place, @Harry. He has quite a reputation around the country. :D
  5. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    It was my first visit there. I like to compare him to the Soup Nazi on SEINFELD, calling him the Record Nazi. After that encounter, I was successfully able to get what I wanted on three or so more occasions. He ALWAYS had exactly what I was looking for, and would steer me to an album if it was cheaper than the 45s he had in stock.
  6. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Val is the expert on northern soul 45s. If he doesn't have it, it likely was never recorded. :wink: He has an incredible stash of rarities, and most likely knows where to find it among his four million plus 45s.

    I believe in recent years he has mellowed considerably (been "converted" or so I've read). But in the past, I know he had no patience for time wasters or tire kickers.
  7. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Wow, I didn't realize I passed my A&M Corner 20th anniversary back in March. It's pretty amazing that back then, we had only the first few Sergio Mendes albums on CD, just a scattering of Herb Alpert catalog, and virtually no Bacharach. Now we've got it (almost) all available any way you want it, plus all the videos from back in the day, PLUS they're all still releasing new music to this day.... music life is good!

    Now if only we could get the Baja catalog out there....!
    Bobberman likes this.
  8. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    HAPPY 20TH To All Of You Who were here at the Very Beginning I Salute You!
  9. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Congrats to all the A&M Corner pioneers who are still active here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us over the years!

    I can hardly believe that I've been here 15 years myself! Time flies...
  10. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Have only been in the forum for a short while, but I love it! Love all the input from fellow fanatics that share my passion (The Carpenters). Unique and knowledgeable perspectives. 20 yrs is a significant anniversary. Congrats!
  11. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I think I was here just a little before Harry, and one of my first contributions was to argue with Rudy over his review of Stillness by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66. His response was, "Go ahead and write a review and I'll post it," which I did, and then he did. So I knew I was going to like it here from the get-go.
    Rudy likes this.
  12. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Active Member

    Somewhere along the line, I ended up creating a new account to replace the original, but I've been here for at least 19 of the 20. I was fortunate in working for some forward-thinking guys in the 90s, who got us online with e-mail and internet accounts through the local college, in '93.

    I've learned so much since '97 or '98 here---hopefully have added to the discussion---and am looking forward to the next couple of decades.
    Rudy likes this.
  13. LPJim

    LPJim Well-Known Member Moderator

    Before stumbling into the Corner and finding some familiar and unfamiliar like minded individuals, I spent years collecting all the early A&M albums and singles I could find. Until an ad for the snail mail A&M Fan Network appeared in one of the collector publications, I thought of myself as a lone wolf in terms of music taste, far removed from the mainstream.

    Finding the Corner
    helped familiarize me with other fans' interests in a way regular mail never could. It also saved time, postage and printing.

    In '97 my kids were small and opportunities to get out for concerts rare. That's certainly changed since then. The number of A&M artists I've heard live, talked to online and met in person is more than I ever could have imagined. If I could travel back in time I would have taken more photos and picked up computer skills at a faster pace. No other regrets otherwise.

    Occasionally I think about fellow fans and favorite artists who've either drifted from contact or left the planet. There were lots of passionate discussions here in the early years. Some were about music and others drifted to other topics. I've never checked in without learning something.

    One pleasant surprise if the number of obscure A&M titles that have been reissued. That's something I never believed would happen. Even so there are still items in a vault somewhere that need to find the light of day. It's still a thrill every time I find an old favorite has received an archival specialist's devoted attention.

    Trying to name everyone who's been helpful and supportive here would be nearly impossible but I'm grateful to all and wish this dedicated site many more years of fun and success.

    Rudy likes this.
  14. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I wanted to add to my previous post as I stumbled upon this site in 2012 not quite as long as everybody else but when I bought my first tablet and I was new to the net I was just looking for info that interested me and a Google search led me to this forum and I was so impressed by the info and knowledge I saw I decided register it was so easy and I have no regret except I had a very cruddy tablet for 6 years which got replaced earlier this year and i find my time online much more easier and enjoyable and I always appreciate getting official new release info on Herb and other Artists as well as other fun things I just want to thank Rudy and All the Staff who started this and were able to keep it Going I check here more often now than before with everything that Herb and Lani have been doing lately as well as other musical developments I still enjoy being here and again I say "Thank you All".
    Rudy likes this.
  15. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    A mutual act of longevity! Good things are enduring. Your Honda CR-V and the A&M Corner are classic and enduring good things in life!
    Rudy likes this.
  16. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Thank you, everyone, for making this a great place to be!
    KentTeffeteller and Rudy like this.
  17. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    It's officially 20 years now, as of two days ago!
    Bobberman likes this.
  18. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

  19. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Active Member

    Incredible! Happy 20th and may the next 20 be as educational and entertaining!
  20. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    20 years...since Harry found us. :wink:

  21. Congratulations on reaching this milestone!
  22. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I just thought of a reason why that might have happened--I got a "real" web host in January 2017, and prior to that, had all of the A&M and Herb stuff on one of those limited web spaces which Internet providers used to offer. I was probably with rust.net at the time, as I had moved the content from the Compuserve Ourworld servers (where I first hosted the A&M stuff, albeit limited, in 1995) to rust.net at some point in 1996.
  23. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Interesting Rudy. Yeah, I remember seeing it in a webcrawler search but couldn't get to the page when I tried to click on it. Remember, I was still probably locked inside the AOL system somehow, which could have been the problem on my end. In 1997, I was barely above playing with screen savers - you know, the flying toasters and such and messing around with Lotus 1-2-3.
  24. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    It was quite a change for me, going from the confines of Compuserve's limited Internet access (which billed by the minute!) vs. going to rust.net which was unlimited access for about $15/month. The hosting part of the rust.net deal was a typical add-on back then. We also had a local node of the Freenet, but it was a bit cranky to try and connect to. I also remember doing an AOL free trial for 30 days just to get the Internet access.

    I do remember that rust.net was where I first had our "A&M Contact" page, as we were limited to using only a small number of preinstalled scripts, and one was the guestbook I ran the Contact page with.

    I should have clarified--the search engine probably had not yet purged my old rust.net entry when you found it. So it could have been leading you to a dead link by then.
  25. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Could very well be. But it hardly mattered. Back then it was possible to go back to all of the older discussions and read through them, which I surely did. I just couldn't believe that there were others out there who shared my same passions in music as I'd never met any in "real life".

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