Friday, November 22, 2019

Blogger, and friend, Steve Albin

For years, I've taken pleasure in reading a particular blog--the "Geezer Music Club," written by Steve Albin, who, on the blog, went by the name BG (a/k/a "Big Geez").  

He wrote, in an enjoyable, easygoing manner, about music and music history--about songs, singers, musicians, songwriters, music groups.  He also wrote about other nostalgia-related subjects.  

In 2015, he stepped away from the blog, taking what he called "an indefinite hiatus." Later the same year, he released a book, derived from the blog, called Memories & Music.  

In the book's preface, he wrote:  

"As you might guess from the name [of the blog] it was music-oriented, but it was always intended to have a lot of nostalgia as part of its content. After all those years of writing it, I finally came to realize that it included a treasure trove of nostalgia of a specific kind – personal memories that reach back to my childhood and paint a picture of middle America in the second half of the twentieth century. That being the case, I thought I might be able to use those blog posts as the basis for a memoir that might offer readers a little more than just being about me.

"So I've now taken many of those blog entries and transformed them into chapters. Since the GMC was a music blog there is still a lot of that type of content, but I have edited the original posts so that the emphasis is definitely on nostalgia. (Of course, you might find the stuff about music interesting if you give it a chance.)"

During his hiatus from the blog, there were occasional brief posts, to touch base with his readers.  In late 2017, the hiatus ended; he resumed posting regularly.  Several months later, however, due to a heart attack, and then heart surgery, he took a leave of a few months. He then returned to the blog for a time, yet other serious health issues arose, necessitating another leave.  By April of 2019, he was again posting often; his last post appeared on September 19th.  

On October 8th, his family let his community of readers know that he had died the week before.  At his death, on October 3rd, he was 75.  

Steve, who lived in Indiana (he grew up in the Terre Haute area), was born in 1943, in Illinois; tomorrow, November 23rd, would have been his 76th birthday. His full name was Stephen Foster Albin; his father, he had noted on the blog, named him after the 19th century songwriter, often referred to as the "father of American music."  

In 2008, I sent Steve a copy of my book about early television, and he subsequently wrote a kind review of it.  Later, we became friends--communicating, over time (warmly, enjoyably), via e-mail.  

I'm very saddened by his death.  And (as I am sure is the case with his many readers) I'll miss encountering, on the blog, his ongoing reflections, enthusiasms, reminiscences, and good cheer.