Release Date: 2019
Publisher: Sam Montel Publishing
Softcover, 232 pages
This is the autobiography of S.J. Montalbano, who opted out of early-age involvement in his family’s wholesale produce business to open Baton Rouge’s first music recording studio in 1958.
Known in the business as ‘Sam Montel,’ SJ’s second-ever client was a Catholic High School junior named John Fred Gourrier and his ‘Playboy Band.’ They recorded ‘Shirley’ which broke into Billboard Magazine’s ‘Hot 100′ but it was November of 1963 that Montel Records hit it big with a country’s No. 1 song, ‘I’m Leaving It Up To You’ by Dale & Grace, which is the centerpiece of the book, which the title plays on those words.
The book takes you on the many journeys of S.J. who not only produced records for dozens of up-and-coming local artists such as Lee Tillman, James ‘Sugar Boy Crawford, Luther Kent, Van Broussard, along with Swamp Pop groups like the Boogie Kings, but also brought major acts to Baton Rouge as a promoter, such as Otis Redding, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Jimmy Clanton, the Herman’s Hermits, The Who and includes intriguing stories of when Steppenwolf and Jimi Hendrix came to town. The companion CD set to this book can be found at https://www.louisianamusicfactory.com/product/various-artists-youre-never-too-old-to-rock-n-roll-the-sam-montel-collection-2-cd-set/