Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sam Bachicha

Sam Bachicha interviewed February 2010.



Growing up in Branson, Colorado (pop. 77) – located a literal stone’s throw from the New Mexico state line, and about an hour from the nearest big city, Trinidad – forced Sam Bachicha to create his own entertainment.

“I used to hunt for arrowheads, and go rabbit and deer hunting,” he said.

His father would entertain the family, playing a variety of string instruments, but a freak accident nearly brought an end to the music.

“He worked on the railroad, and one day while unloading rail, he accidentally got a finger on his left hand caught under a sliding rail, and about one inch of his finger was severed. After the remaining part of his finger healed, he tried playing the guitar, but it was very painful for him.”

His father decided to sell his guitar.

“Some time later, he borrowed that same guitar for a few days. When he started playing and singing, I sat right there and listened until he stopped. I loved it. I asked him to teach me. He showed me how to place my fingers for an open D chord, which was one of the easier chords to reach for a small hand.”

When his father returned the guitar, he went out bought his son his own.

“A few months later I was asked to play at a PTA meeting. I sang and played “Jambalya.” At the conclusion of my song, the people would not stop applauding. My mother went back stage and said, ‘They want you to sing another one,’ but I just started to learn how to play and only knew one other song.”

So his encore was “How Much is That Doggie in the Window.”

Throughout high school, he would attend dances held across Las Animas County – reinforcing his decision to pursue a career in entertainment. “I would go see Roy Green’s Frisco County Ramblers, La Junta’s Sunflower Valley Boys [featuring Lloyd Hall on vocals], and the Nightriders, out of Raton.”



Branson School

After graduating Branson High School in 1957, he set off for the U.S. Air Force. His talents as a performer entertained officers in Washington, D.C., until he left the service in 1965. When he returned home to Colorado he found work at Taylor’s Supper Club in Denver.

“We had a Las Vegas style comedy and musical performance group, called Synchrony.”

In 1971, the group, which included Bev Morgan, Jay Salam, Terry Ewbank, and Doug Winegar, released the LP Our Album (Signet ST-710414). Songs included their versions of covers, including "Down on the Corner" and "MacArthur Park," as well as a Neil Diamond medley.


In 1980, Bachicha came back home to Southern Colorado, settling in Trinidad. While he became a real estate agent, he also found steady work as a performer. Preparing for a concert in front of a hometown audience in Branson, he decided to write a song about his upbringing in the rural area. Not to slight his new home, in Trinidad, he proceeded to write a similar anthem. In 1983 he recorded both.

Listen to "Branson"

Listen to "I Like Trinidad"

“I recorded at Jay Salem’s studio up in Denver. I worked with him when we were both in Synchrony. I played bass and rhythm guitar, and he played the guitar. We used a rhythm machine for the drums.”

He named his label Transac – the name of his real estate company, and short for transaction. The record was sold at Virgil’s Record Store in Trinidad, and during his live performances. While all 2000 copies of the record sold out, he never considered sending it to a major record label.

“It’s kind of hard to break into that business, so I really didn’t even try.”


Sam Bachicha

At 70, Bachicha shows no sign of slowing down. Currently he appraises real estate, and continues to perform throughout Southern Colorado.

“I did about 106 dates last year – about nine dates a month. I keep pretty busy,” he said. “I still love it. I want to play and sing until I am no longer able to do so, or no one wants to hear me anymore, which ever comes first.”

He is in the process of recording a full length CD of 15 original songs.

COMING NEXT POST: Bob Mickey

2 comments:

  1. The map is a good touch... more music blogs need more maps, imo.

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  2. Hey S.O.B. (Samuel Oliver Bachicha), glad to hear you're still kickin'. Remember when you,Little Joe, Joe D. and I were roomates out in Lakewood? Sam is a super guy and a great entertainer who really loves to perform Wish you continued success Sammy, best regards!
    Bob

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