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Sunday, April 06, 2008

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"


Anonymous jamesfinngarner said...

I'm pretty sure my first 45 was the Cowsills singing "Hair"/"The Rain, The Park and Other Things." The older kids in the block thought the "Hair" was terrifically campy, and made me trade it for Jan & Dean singing "Surf City." Wish I still had it.

8:40 AM, April 08, 2008

Blogger Jennifer Kelley said...

Didn't the Laury's Records become Rose Records? (And now a futon place?)

My first single was "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done" by Sonny and Cher, 'cause I saw them perform it on their variety show and I was hooked.

11:26 AM, April 08, 2008

Blogger Stuart Shea said...

I think both of your 45s were cooler than mine.

4:08 PM, April 08, 2008

Anonymous jamesfinngarner said...

Remember, I'm older than you. I got a lot of Tom Jones and Glen Campbell 45s, too.

8:30 PM, April 08, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

awwww yeah!!

Now I have "Star Baby" as an earworm. HOORAY!! "Muskrat Love" was hanging out in the shadows for a while.

I had forgotten how much I adore that song (Star Baby) and you put it right back in my inner playlist.

My first album purchase was Queen's "News of the World". Sometime 1976 or so (whenever it was most popular). Bought with my allowance money. My mom was frightened, my dad was amused.


ps. YES I am going to do a music blog. I must. I think I have an invisible muse poking me with sharp objects to get busy.

5:29 PM, April 10, 2008

Blogger Bob Purse said...

Great little story about recording buying! I don't share the love you have for the hits of '74, at least most of the ones you listed - and I'd certainly rank "Bennie", even though it is only a middlin' Elton, as better than every song you mentioned except for "Star Baby".

But I'm not one to talk - my first 45, given to me on Christmas when I was six or seven, was the rather execrable (sp?) "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" by the Fifth Estate.

5:54 PM, April 10, 2008

Blogger Derek See said...

You're a few years older than me, but this could very well be my story, too. Mom worked in a record store in the late 70s and she would let me pick out a 45 once a week or so. The first one I remember is that I wanted Tragedy by the Bee Gee's. She didn't want me to have it (staunchly anti-disco) but I ended up with it and love all periods of the Bee Gee's to this day. That and the 60s 45s she gave me from her youth (which I played constantly on my close n play) were the beginnings of my love affair. Great entry, Stu.

9:34 AM, April 28, 2008


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