Westport’s Newest American Idol

Millions of viewers across the US have seen Randy Jackson’s replacement on “American Idol”: Scott Borchetta.

A dozen or so oldtime Westporters probably say “hmmmm…”

Back in the day, the Post Road was filled with mom-and-pop grocery stores (think Calise’s, without the hot foods). The owners worked hard, and served their neighborhoods well.

One — near Old Road, about where the Lexus dealer and Anthropologie are now — was owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Borchetta.

Scott Borchetta

Scott Borchetta

Their son Mike graduated from Staples in 1961, then went off to California. He became a noted record promoter for labels like Capitol, RCA and Mercury.

Later Mike moved to Nashville, to start his own independent record promotion company.

Scott is Mike’s son. He was a race car driver, then founded Big Machine Records and discovered Taylor Swift.

Now he’s “American Idol”‘s house mentor. The show, of course, is all about hard-working, unknown people trying to make it big.

Sounds like 3 generations of the Borchetta family, right?

(Hat tip: Dick Alley)

9 responses to “Westport’s Newest American Idol

  1. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    Borchettas was our local… the best hard rolls ever! This story makes me very happy as his Grandparents were spectacular!

  2. Mary Maynard

    Borchetta’s was the place to buy milk and bread and such from a gentle man whose small shop stood under a magnificent tree — tall and shady. I’m happy to hear of them again. mmm

  3. Tom Kashetta

    We used to ride our stingray bikes to GFS everyday and stop there to buy fireballs and gum. Mrs, Borchetta call my Mom once when I paid for it with a fifty dollar bill. What a nine lady. It’s what the old Westport used to be……

  4. The store was the front of their home. If they weren’t in the store when you went in, the door tripped a bell and either Mr or Mrs came out to serve you.
    They had a cooler in the front with soda bottles standing in ice cold water: every flavor known to man. The Backiel’s had the bowling alleys, golf range and batting cages on the other side of the Post Road

  5. The Borchettas’ music roots also go all the way back to Westport. One of the first bands Barry Tashian played in was the Ramblers (when he was in 9th grade–at Bedford Junior High I believe). The band was managed by a Staples student, Mike Borchetta. The Ramblers actualiy did a gig on the famous show, “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark. So Mike got off to a promising start in the music biz at a very young age ( as did Barry).

    And, in a related father-son/Westport-Nashville music scene connection, Barry’s son, Daniel, has had a career as a singer-songwriter in Nashville, with his most recent success being a song he co-wrote, “I’m Still Dreaming,” performed by three cast members on an episode a week ago of the TV show, “Nashville.” It’s a terrific song; you can check it out in the link below.

  6. Nancy Powers Conklin

    I KNEW IT!!!! Ever since American Idol first said Scott’s name, I knew he had to be related to Mr. Borchetta! When I was a kid we used to stop in at his store attached to his home, on Sundays to pick up hard rolls and sliced deli ham. It was a Sunday ritual for our family. When I began to drive to Staples, I would stop in every day on the way to school and pick up something for my lunch. Sometime during my high school years Mr. & Mrs. Borchetta told our family that they were moving to California to be closer to his son and grandchildren. Bingo! That sealed the deal for me. Mr. Borchetta told us how his son was in the music business and they wanted to retire out there close to family. Borchetta is not a common name. I was postitive that there was a Westport connection. I just did not know how to find out. But, I should have just written to you, Dan. You would have, and did investigate and solve the mystery that had me stumped. Thank you and it is great to see how successful Scott is! Who would have guessed…

  7. How very cool. I love these stories…

  8. Carole Orland

    Carole Orland

  9. Carole Orland

    Another Idol-Westport connection. Our son, Michael Orland, is the Asst Musical Director of the show! Didn’t grow up here but loves to visit!