Friday June 23, 2000
Wednesday night at 8 at Johnny D’s, local indie Black Rose Records will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a nightlong celebration hosted by WBOS’ Holly Harris and featuring artists such as Big Bill’s Band, The Boston Rockabilly Music Conspiracy and Preacher Jack.
Al Cocorochio founded the label in 1980 to release music by some of his friends who lived in rooming houses he owned in Malden. “Of the 47 unites, I’d say 30 of them were musicians,” Cocorochio said. “It’s amazing, it’s 20 years later and I’m still doing it.”
The convivial man from Everett is a solo operator. A fan of Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley while growing up, Cocorochio naturally fell for local rockabilly acts. He began booking bands and managing nightclubs, “and then I got married,” he said with a laugh, by way of explaining his getting out of the business for a while. Following a divorce many years later, he decided to pick up where he left off and he’s been supporting his musical jones ever since by driving a school bus for Head Start in Somerville.
Of the 30 or so titles that he’s released, Cocorochio said his best-sellers have been Tom Hambridge, now the drummer with Susan Tedeschi, and Cocorochio favorites the Boston Rockabilly Music Conspiracy. “They sold quite a few records,” he said.
But it’s not about commercial prospects. “I never thought about the money, “he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a million-seller, but I just love the music.”