To say that Hal Linden’s “Never Too Late” album was a long time coming would be quite an understatement.
The beloved star of “Barney Miller” fame tells us his yearning to make a record “goes all the way back before I was an actor. I started out as a musician. I had a band, I played with bands, I sang with bands. I looked forward to recording, and then what happened was, I went into the Army, and when I came out, I was a dinosaur. Everything was rock ‘n’ roll. It was traumatic at the time. I put music aside, and decided to go into the theater, which had a pretty good result, didn’t it?” says Hal, whose long list of credits spans Broadway, TV and film.
His musical dreams remained alive, however, and today finds him wrapping up a string of 28 concert dates in Florida — as well as getting ready to launch “Never Too Late” on Amazon.com, his own hallinden.net website and elsewhere. The album has him working with different musical configurations — big bands, combos etc. — and features musical styles from jazz standards to classic pop songs, big band numbers and favorites from the American Songbook.
“The title tune is what it’s about it’s about — ‘Never Too Late,’ just that. I’m using that as my encore, my signature song,” says Hal. “Audiences are really responding to it.” As far as his record, he adds, “It’s already been very rewarding just to put it together, to make it work. If it’s only for me it’s satifsying.”