i started with BASIC (as a kid), then a little C, moved to C++, VB...multiple iterations over, PL/SQL for years...some PL-I now rarely, same with Perl, Python, HTML, Flash...etc.
if you want to just get the most functional basic aspects of programming i would start with script languages. get used to basic fundamentals for variables and loops, logic checks...stuff like that.
then i would probably start with C# - it's like a lot of others, so what you learn in there is transferrable, plus it has a very wide user-base so you can ask for help in a lot of different places.
in my work i deal with reviewing a LOT of JAVA, UNIX scripting, PL/SQL, VB6 and VB.NET. similarly i do enough with C and C++. you'll still find a lot of the older languages in most shops.