The Brandenburg 300 Project Honors Sam Perricone
The great Sam Perricone is honored in this single that deconstructs the 2nd and 3rd Movements of the 1st Brandenburg Concerto into a duo. I selected Sam to start the June 2013 batch of recordings because he rose from difficult circumstances to succeed magnificently, just as Bach did.
In Bach’s case, profound, life changing events happened frequently during the two year period Bach wrote the Brandenburg Concertos. Life was good when Bach left to accompany his Patron, Prince Leopold, to provide music for the Prince's summer vacation. Bach was enjoying good music and a good family at home. But while gone Maria Barbara (his first wife), child and brother all died, and he was betrayed by Prince Leopold. He returned home not knowing he would find four hungry children to take care of, and all this terrible news. Then nine months later he meets Ana Magdalena, a 20 year-old soprano who he would soon marry. They had 13 children together.
. . . . .
There are four men honored in this batch of Brandenburg compositions. Each are easily described as men of great wisdom, compassion, integrity, brilliance and consistency. For each their handshake was the best contract ever written. Sam was all of these things and more. From the humblest beginnings, he built a produce empire. He owned thousands of acres of orange, lemon and avocado groves. Perricone Juices pioneered fresh orange juice in stores and is the largest company of its kind on the west coast.
Many remember the kindness of Sam's operation of Citrus House on Main Street at Disneyland. Citrus House and its pushcarts that sold orange juice and lemonade, lemon and orange bars and lemon meringue pies to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. He worked there, the kids worked there, and the grandkids played there.
He loved Citrus House and being able to take his kids and grandkids to Disneyland.
He loved bringing fresh produce to people, and for fun would deliver groceries to people - which he did virtually until the day he died at 91. I personally saw him break off meetings about big, serious projects several times, to organize a box of oranges for someone he barely knew but had promised some of the juicy sweetness he had grown.
If you like oranges or orange juice you’ve tasted Sam’s work.
Sam’s father died in 1933 – the height of the Depression - Sam was 13 and became a laborer to support his family. By the time I met him he was a major part of Sunkist, the Los Angeles Produce Mart, farming operations throughout California and Arizona, a commercial tire company, meatpacking, and cold storage. I met Sam because we wanted his cold storage company, U.S. Growers Cold Storage, lead by Angelo Antoci, to sign a 20-year contract with us to supply them with refrigeration to be made from the waste heat at our cogeneration powerplants. Sam was brave. He took the chance that led to the most profound changes in the world’s energy resources from 1980 to 2013 and beyond, and once given, he never wavered in his support. His faith and wisdom came in handy all the time.
This first song also honors all of the people, all of the immigrants who were hit, rallied and redeemed themselves. Sam helped so many people from so many walks of life (including me), there is not enough room to list more than a small sampling of his contributions.
"14) Brandenburg 12-3: Perricone" (2013). Brandenburg 300 Project. 20.