Saturday, December 5, 2009

Remembering KRML

2009 saw the doors close on one of my favorite jazz venues to perform in. The KRML Jazz & Blues Company was a one-of-a-kind spot that combined three jazz related businesses... a radio station, a retail store and a concert hall.

Located in the heart of Carmel-By-The-Sea, KRML was the last remaining commercial 24-hour jazz station in the USA. The DJ booth sat behind a large plate glass window which faced the street, so charmed passers-by could watch the DJ's in the act of broadcasting.

The retail shop sold hard to find CDs, hand-crafted African instruments, and the most interesting jazz art-work and memorabilia that owner Dave Kimball could find. From time to time, Clint Eastwood would drop by to play the baby grand piano that sat in the back of the shop. All of the retail fixtures were built on wheels and several times a month they were rolled out and replaced with several rows of seating. The shop quickly morphed into a cozy concert venue.

I played there eight or nine times over the past several years. I performed every Valentine's Day for the past three years. It all started when DJ Don Bowen happened to see me singing at Pier 39 in San Francisco. It took him 2 years to convince the other folks at KRML that "some chick singer busking on the streets" might actually be good enough to play there. KRML had a great history with performances by Diana Krall, Karrin Allyson, and many other big name vocalists but they finally broke down and gave me a date! The first show went well and they kept inviting me back. We sold out the tiny place (70 seats) every time. Playing the room will always be a special memory for me. I'm sorry I won't get to play there in 2010.

PS. The KRML radio station (1410AM) is now broadcasting part time from a different location and is trying to make a comeback! Tune in if you're driving through the Carmel/Monterey area.

4 comments:

  1. That was a charming little venue in the heart of Carmel. It will be missed.

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  2. I loved your shows there, Sony, and the place is part of Carmel history. I can't believe it will no long exist in that spot. How sad! It's a good thing we got to see you the times that we did!

    I thought it was great when you did Jerry's composition, "Carmel by the Sea" at that venue...so fitting!

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  3. Thanks Sony, It's so nice to hear KRML & The JAZZ & BLUES STORE is not forgotten. I so enjoyed having my paintings,greeting cards, prints, & panted silk ties there.

    I miss the concerts & some of KRML's unique DJs. It's so hard to believe it's gone. Glad to be able to keep in touch with you. Your shows were sold out every time! Anna Krieger

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