Guest blog - Part 1
Jim D. left a great 6-page long comment that I couldn't leave under a bushel. Here's Part 1 - I've been trying to talk Jim into a collaborative blog for some time now...
The first record store I ever went to, having previously only seen them in department or drug stores, was an unnamed
By my pre-teen years I would get the occasional record at Millers department store, or an Eckerds drug store or the old reliable K-Mart. I remember buying Steppenwolf “R.I.P” at Miller’s as a cutout for $1-2! This was when full list was an impressive $5. Eckerd Drugs would also have cutouts [though this word did not enter my vocabulary for another decade or so] but I remember buying Three Dog Night’s “Naturally” at full list! Smitten with their cover of “The Loco Motion” I also wanted the Grand Funk album from whence it came, “Shinin’ On” – the one with the 3-D cover also made it like flypaper to me! In the end I settled for the 45 and one play of the dismal Led Zep rip-off b-side, “Destitute & Losing” gave me the steel to resist that 3-D album cover forevermore. In retrospect, I credit Todd Rundgren for his able production in almost suckering me into buying a Grand Funk album!
In the ensuing years my album stash grew along very modestly with a fruitcake tin of used 45s [usually sans sleeves] that I bought when accompanying my mom to garage sales during summer vacation. Used records entered my life fairly early from garage sales and it would be some years before I discovered that whole record stores sold used merchandise! I remember that even seeing a 45 picture sleeve was vastly exotic to my pre-teen eyes! K-Mart, where by now any record purchases were made, almost never featured picture sleeves on their 45s in the mid-70s. This probably was because record store rackjobbers got the limited sleeves as a perk where general retail stores got by on generic white or label sleeves. Am I right Ron? (Yes - Ed.)
I can remember also seeing by this time, albums on a POP rack at the checkout of local quick mart stores like Shop & Go. These would largely be K-Tel releases but when you are a kid, these have enormous bang for buck appeal. I remember wanting one such K-Tel release in 1974 – “Dynamite”.
It’s contents:The Night Chicago Died - Paper Lace
Takin' Care of Business - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
This Flight Tonight - Nazareth
Be Thankful for What You Got - William DeVaughn
I Shot the Sheriff - Eric Clapton
Hollywood Swinging - Kool & the Gang
Stuck in the Middle With You - Stealers Wheel
I'm a Train - Albert Hammond
Rock Your Baby - George McCrae
Honky Cat - Elton John
Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo - Rick Derringer
Meet Me on the Corner Down at Joe's Cafe - Peter Noone
Save the Last Dance for Me - The DeFranco Family
Rings - Lobo
The Lord's Prayer - Sister Janet Mead
Love's Theme - Love Unlimited
Show and Tell - Al Wilson
On and On - Gladys Knight
Let's Put It All Together - The Stylistics
Wow! A pretty dismal compilation! Why in heaven’s name did I want this? Probably because it was there at the checkout whenever we would buy a gallon of milk. And it was a record. Anything good here? The William DeVaughan number scores high points with me. I loved the Kool & The Gang number then AND now (I’m with ya! – Ed.) Heck, I re-bought the 45 a few years ago making this the one track still in my collection 34 years later! Always one of my favorites by them. The Al Wilson isn’t a bad r&b pop number either. The Elton John number was middling EJ. BTO wasn’t too bad... I’m grasping at straws here! What did I hate at the time? Eric Clapton’s Bob Marley cover was my first exposure to reggae and honestly, it never got much better to my ears! I absolutely HATED this song with my 11 year old ears. The same sentiment to Monsieur Jacks! I only found out a few years ago that “Seasons In The Sun” was a Brel cover!! I guess Scott Walker picked much better material! The Stealers Wheel track always struck me as hideously smarmy at the time and I recall finding the double entendre repulsive even as a child. The DeFranco Family were faux Osmonds – please!! Since I was a heathen atheist, Sister Janet Mead didn’t win any stars with me either! Rick Derringer was far too over-amped for my delicate sensibilities. At least the groove-crammed pressing sounded just fine on my portable mono record player.