34 Years Ago Today...
April 6, 1974 was the day I bought my first record.
(click to enlarge in excruciating detail)
That afternoon, my mom took my brothers (John and Tom) and me to downtown Evanston--on the 203 bus--to Laury's Records (RIP), where the three of us were each allowed to select two 45 RPM discs.
By this time, I was a committed top 40 radio fan, having fallen headfirst into pop sometime a few months before.
The WCFL radio survey carried a list of the 40 most popular records in the Chicago area. WLS' survey had, as I recall, just 25 or so. While we listened to WLS more often, we were much more impressed by WCFL's surveys.
Seeing all of these shiny little 7-inch records available for us to purchase nearly blew my little mind. Therefore, despite the presence of some truly spectacular records on the WCFL April 6, 1974 survey ("Jet," "Just Don't Want to be Lonely," "TSOP," "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," "Let it Ride," "Star Baby") I instead opted for two records that I loved at the time but that today you couldn't get me to listen to all the way through.
My first two records were..."Mockingbird" by Carly Simon and James Taylor and "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John.
My two younger brothers had somewhat better taste at this time. John picked up Blue Swede's laugh-riot "Hooked on a Feeling" and, er, Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun." Tom, the youngest, snapped up "Jet" and Jim Stafford's unclassifiable but muy cool "Spiders and Snakes."
Eventually among the three of us, we picked up most of the good records that pop radio played during the mid-70s, and my 45-buying habit has never ceased. Thank God.
Thanks, mom, for taking us to the big record store that sunny April 6, 1974, and thanks for spurring my lifelong love of rock and roll.
Jim Stafford, "Spiders and Snakes"