The plaque unveiled at Ashley Pond Park Saturday afternoon in honor of Russ Gordon and his family in recognition and appreciation for 30 years of service to the community by proving free live music concerts throughout the summer months. Courtesy photo
Russ and Deborah Gordon next to the plaque which was unveiled at Ashley Pond Park Saturday. Courtesy photo
The Gordon Family, from left, Deborah, Abe, Russ and Annie Rose are joined by long-time family friend former Los Alamos County Councilor Antonio Maggiore. Courtesy photo
Participating in the unveiling of a plaque in honor of Russ Gordon and family Saturday afternoon are, from left, Los Alamos County Councilor Denise Derkacs, Council Chair Randall Ryti, former Councilor Antonio Maggiore, Russ Gordon, Deborah Gordon, Abe Gordon and Annie Rose Gordon. Courtesy photo
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
For the last 30 years the name Russ Gordon has been synonymous with live music concerts in Los Alamos. Community members of all ages have lamented his retirement in 2017 and no matter who runs what is now called the Los Alamos County Summer Concert Series, Friday night live music in the County will always be thought of by many as “Gordon’s Concerts”.
Russ Gordon and his wife Deborah moved to White Rock in the 1980s and in 1988, they opened Gordon’s CDs, Tapes & Records. It wasn’t long before Gordon began bringing a variety of artists to the community for Friday night performances from Memorial Day to Labor Day that became an integral part of the community. Gordon presented some 500 concerts that were free to the public were organized over the years and coordinated sponsorship by local businesses and individual supporters to pay for the performers which in itself was quite an achievement
In November 2020, a plaque honoring Gordon was created but after the weather turned, it could not be installed at the Ashley Pond Park stage until Saturday when Russ and Deborah Gordon along with their son, Abe, and daughter, Annie Rose, joined a limited number of close friends and County officials for a small event at which the plaque was unveiled.
Los Alamos County Council Chair Randall Ryti noted during the ceremony that those gathered no doubt remembered “spending many musical moments with Gordon and some top-notch performers such as the Red Elvises and local talent such as DK and the Affordables under starry skies on Friday nights, joined by family and loved ones who just wanted to bring their lawn chairs to kick back and enjoy some toe-tappin’ tunes in parking lots across Los Alamos and White Rock”.
“Through his inspiration and dedication to bring top music acts to our community, Russ brought together people from all walks of life with no greater aspirations than to simply enjoy a summer evening with good company and great tunes,” Ryti said.
He noted that the world is a lot more complicated today given the past year of the pandemic.
“Summer concerts have gone virtual for now. But for us, when we think back on these special moments with Russ Gordon Summer Concerts, the music still rolls on in our memory. Music never really fades away when it’s been shared with others,” Ryti said.
He thanked Gordon for sharing his vision all those years ago of bringing the summer concerts to Los Alamos and helping the community to make special memories.
“It is our privilege to honor you with this plaque here in Ashley Pond Park, the heart of our community, so that in the years to come, others will read it and know that you struck a special note in our hearts,” Ryti said.
Former County Councilor Antonio Maggiore, a long-time friend of the Gordon family, who participated in Saturday’s event, said it was unfortunate that with the COVID pandemic, the community could not have held a bigger celebration which would be more fitting but that he hopes for continued celebration in the future. Maggiore thanked the County staff and others who helped with the project.
“Russ was over the moon. It meant so much to him,” Maggiore said.