Monday, October 1, 2012

HOW IT ALL BEGAN . .

Somewhere between 7th and 8th grade (1972-1973) I found
myself in possession of a stack of unwanted 45 r.p.m. records.

They had been donated for a flea market that took place 
at my Jr. High School to raise money for various clubs on campus, but since they were not recordings of current music -
none of them sold, and I was offered the entire lot of them,
free of charge. I'm not exactly sure why I agreed to take them, but I did. 

One day - out of curiosity - I began to play each one, and in doing so I realized that I was not familiar with any of this music; but my parents were, as many of the records were from the early 1960's; and it was through them that I discovered that many of these songs had been quite popular just a few years earlier.
A couple of the records I distinctly remember from the bunch are: 'The Wah-Watusi' by The Orlons, and 'Playboy' by The Marvelettes.


Obtaining the 45's coincided with a few other events, and little did I know that an amazing conspiracy was underway.  The conspirators included: the unwanted 45's, the creation of KRTH (K-Earth 101) radio station in 1972, the release of the movie, 'American Graffiti' (1973); and the introduction of 'Happy Days' on television (1974).

I began to listen to K-Earth 101 which played exclusively late 50's - early 60's music at that time, and after seeing 'American Graffiti,' I purchased the soundtrack album - which I listened to night & day, and I never missed 'Happy Days' on Tuesday night.  It was a time of great nostalgia for the 50's and early 60's, and I was drawn right in.

All of this worked to create a deep love and fascination for what people were calling 'oldies' music, and I began to spend my weekends searching out more records.  One of my favorite hunting spots was the Orange Swap Meet . . .



Around this time, my family traveled back east for a family visit, and while there I discovered my Aunt Wanda's collection of early 60's records in my grandparent's storage room.  Wanda said I could have them, so they were tucked into my suitcase, and my collection continued to grow.

Around 9th grade I decided to count my 45's, and I discovered that I had over 1500 of them, not to mention the hundreds of albums I had managed to accumulate.

I continued to collect & research 'oldies' music, and the artists involved with it throughout high school, and I lugged the boxes of records with me when I moved out of my parent's house, and later back into their house; and then back out again. 

The last time I saw my 'oldies' collection was in the fall of 1993.  I had moved into an apartment building with a shared storage room in the basement, and someone must've mistaken all those records for their own, because one day I discovered they were missing.  I was beside myself; yet helpless to do anything about it.  Years of collecting . . . gone.


Some people lamented the loss as a financial one, and I suppose in one way it was.  Some of the records I had were worth some money, but it had never been about money for me.  It had been about discovering a distinct time in music history - something that I could lose myself in, and channel my energy into. 

It had been my passion.

It took some time to get over the loss, but eventually I began to feel a sense of relief, and I consoled myself with the fact that I would no longer have to haul those records around and make sure they were stored in a safe and cool environment.

Although the physical collection was gone; my love for the music, and the stories of the people who created it remained.

People often marvel at my knowledge of, and affection for the music of another generation; and many have suggested that I was born too late.  Perhaps they're right.

Another suggestion people have made is that I should write a blog about something I have a great passion for.

Well, I've taken that advice to heart, and here it is . . .


P.S.  Whoever ended up with my music collection; I hope you're enjoying the records as much as I did - take good care of them, and may God bless you . .



4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hope,

      Thanks for reading & your encouragement!!!

      ken

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  2. Is the photo taken in 29 Palms?? I'm pretty sure that's the drive in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just dawned on me that you're probably talking about the picture of me in the shorts & blue sweater! That could very well be 29 Palms. I remember it was taken on a road trip with some friends and we were on our way to Flagstaff, AZ. Around 1992. ken

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