THE LORDS OF 52ND STREET are New York’s favorite band.
They sold more than 150 million records.
They helped establish Billy Joel’s formidable sound.
And they continue to perform their legendary hits still to this day.
In 1975 Billy Joel started looking for a new band. He had already released two studio albums with minimal success and was looking for a New York sound for his next record “Turnstiles”. His first choice to start to build the band was a fellow long islander and bass player, Doug Stegmeyer. He asked Doug if he knew some musicians to help round out the band, Doug replied “You know them already”. Doug suggested former band mates Liberty Devitto and Russell Javors, two guys that Billy had known well from his Long Island Music scene, and the band began to rehearse and truly become a unit.
Doug Stegmeyer, Liberty DeVitto and Russell Javors joined Billy Joel in studio to record his 1976 album “Turnstiles.” Billy Joel was also looking specifically for a saxophone player who could play keyboards. Al Stegmeyer, Doug Stegmeyer’s brother, was a sound engineer on the album, and recommended Richie Cannata to play saxophone and keyboards on the album. Cannata walked into Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, New York, and heard for the first time the legendary hit, “Angry Young Man.”
Joel, Stegmeyer, DeVitto and Javors recorded the tune a day earlier, and Cannata was blown away by their experienced playing and speed. Cannata went into the studio and immediately recorded the unforgettable Empire State love song, “New York State of Mind.” What made the music on this album so special, were the dedicated and loyal New York musicians behind its creation.