(Above: Clearly Mom wanted the records in the basement. That’s usually where they end up.)
In the last post I explained that I received my first record player 45 years ago, and started rifling through my parents’ records. This past weekend I went through a few thousand 45s, found the original records I inherited, and re-grouped them back together. Here’s a few more from that collection:
The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream“ (Cadence 1348). I spent a lot of time and effort tracking down more by Don and Phil. This was the only one in the pile, and it made for a good introduction to their canon.
Sam Cooke, “Twistin’ The Night Away“ (RCA Victor 47-7983). Misheard lyrics, when you are a young child: “He’s dancin’ with the chicken slacks.” I had this picture of a guy in pants with feathers all over them. It made sense to me.
Sonny and Cher, “I Got You Babe” (Atco 45-6359). Of all the records I played the proverbial snot out of in Oldies radio, I probably tired of this one first – and that was long before Groundhog Day came out. It could have been from all the pre-school spins.
Roy Orbison and the Candy Men, “Oh Pretty Woman” (Monument 45-851). I still can’t quite get the growl right after all these years.
The Four Seasons, “Walk Like A Man/Lucky Ladybug“ (Vee Jay 485) and “Sherry” (Vee Jay 456). Of the four sides on these two records, I only played these three. (I can’t hum “I’ve Cried Before” if my life depended on it.) I think that “Ladybug” actually was the favorite of the three.
Joey Dee and the Starlighters, “What Kind of Love Is This“ (Roulette 4438). They weren’t all hits, but this one is a great record. Of course, I preferred the B-side, an instrumental called “Wing Ding” that I haven’t heard in probably thirty years. Time to warm up the Panasonic….
The Miracles, “Shop Around“ (Tamla 54034). I really wish that this one was in better shape and not scribbled all over. It’s an original press, with the address for what would become Motown on the label (“2648 W. Grand Boulevard, Detroit 8, Mich. TR 1-3340.”) It’s also a fantastic record.
The Platters, “My Prayer” (Mercury 70893). This one also turned up on 78 much later. It may have been one of the first of the records I learned the words to.
Underground Sunshine, “Birthday” (Intrepid 75002). This is a Beatles cover, of course, that got a lot of radio play in the Midwest. I don’t recall it being a favorite.
The Four Lads, “Moments To Remember” (Columbia 4-40539) and “No Not Much” (Columbia 4-40629). These were among the first ones I pulled out of the box, played quite a bit, and then set aside as my rock and roll preferences became more established. Years later when I added a standards show to WGVU-AM, I dug ’em both out once again. They fit that quite well.
Bill Haley and His Comets, “Hot Dog Buddy Buddy” (Decca 9-29948). Of all the Haley records that could have been in the pile, this was the only one. Of course, I spent a lot of time tracking down the more famous ones, especially finding both 45 and 78 copies of “Rock Around the Clock.” But, as a kid, this worked just fine.
Bobby Vinton, “I Love You the Way You Are“ (Diamond 121). This one’s not easy to come by, as Vinton’s big hits were on Epic. Even more unusual: the B-side is by a different artist: “You’re My Girl” by Chuck and Johnny, which I think I listened to maybe once. Both sides were a little slow for my taste, as there are very few slow dances in kindergarten.
Larry Hall, “Sandy” (Strand 25007) and Ronny and the Daytonas, “Sandy” (Mala 518). Mom was named Sandy, so I am guessing that this is how they got here. They’re also completely different records that share a title.
The Majors, “A Wonderful Dream“ (Imperial 5855). This is a fantastic record that should have been a bigger hit.
Dick and DeeDee, “Tell Me” (Liberty 55412). This one isn’t particularly memorable. The group had other hits, but why this one was the one that my folks decided to purchase, I don’t know.
Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, “Kookie’s Love Song“ (Warner Brothers 5114). So, here’s a weird one. The flip side is the same song, with out the female dialogue so that you can add it yourself. (The track is called “Do It Yourself.”) I can’t help but picture some pre-teen over 55 years ago singing along, thinking that’s she’s on a date with Kookie. (Fun fact: it’s Joanie Sommers providing the dialogue.)
There’s a few other clunkers in the box that don’t lend themselves to great stories, and I don’t necessarily want to move this on to a third part. But I did add one more single into the pile: Sammy Davis Jr., “The Candy Man“ (MGM 14320). Now, why this one? Because it’s the first one that I bought. The date is lost to time, but I remember going with my folks to the Tinley Park K-Mart (the one on 159th Street), spending something like 89 cents, and bringing this one home. In the 45 years since I’ve purchased thousands of records, but this one is the first one that I added to the collection. Sadly, it’s in really rough shape, but it should probably get a frame. Considering all of the things I misplaced, lost, damaged in moves, etc., my first 45 is still here. Clearly, it was important that I save it – just like I held on to all of these records.