Somewhere between 7th and 8th grade (1972-1973) I foundmyself 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.
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.
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.
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 . .