There are lots and lots of advantages here in the digital age. Anything – photos, music, video is available on demand at the click of a mouse. Yet, I frequently find myself yearning for the days when buying music meant stopping in at a record store.
I miss browsing till my fingers were dirty through bins of hundreds of LP’s and 45’s, dozens of choice album covers lining the walls, the sound of an old doo-wop 45 playing over the store loudspeaker, and the air rich with the musty smell of cardboard record sleeves.
One of my favorite haunts was literally right behind my granny’s house in Garden Grove, CA. There was an old drive-through Alta Dena milk stand and few shops in a parking lot on the corner of Chapman and Euclid – immediately over granny’s back fence. The joint was called Rock and Roll Rare Records, and I spent hours there.
One disadvantage of the old days was you had to buy whatever they had in the store or order through their giant paper catalog for delivery in 2-3 weeks. Today, of course, it’s whatever CD you want to order (or simply download) or LP you pick up through eBay or some other online record vendor.
Such is the story of a record I’ve had in my collection for some 25 years. It’s The Best of Sun Rockabilly Vol. 2. Like I said, you had to buy whatever you found in the store back in them olden days of yore. I remember buying it as a teenager and thinkin’, “Gee, it would be nice to find Vol. 1”. Vol. 2 is a treasure, though, and is the record that introduced me to the great Sonny Burgess.
I had pretty much forgotten about it until I just stumbled on Vol. 1 on eBay the other day. As providence would have it (assuming God really cares about my record collection), I had just enough left on an eBay gift card somebody gave me for my birthday.
Today I received The Best of Sun Rockabilly Vol. 1 in the mail! The music is great and in beautiful monaural sound, too! Check out these tracks:
Carl Perkins – Put Your Cat Clothes On
Harmonica Frank – Rockin’ Chair
Jack Earls – Slow Down
Roy Orbison – Domino
Ray Harris – Come on Little Mama
Miller Sisters – Ten Cats Down
Warren Smith – Ubangi Stomp
Johnny Burgess – We Wanna Boogie
Billy Riley – Rock With My Baby
Jerry Lee Lewis – Milkshake Mademoiselle
Slim Rhodes – Romp and Stomp
Gene Simmons – Drinking Wine
Malcolm Yelvington – Rockin’ with My Baby
Hayden Thompson – Love My Baby
Warren Smith – Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache
Warren Smith – Uranium Rock
What makes it extra cool is that the album covers are two halves of one picture of a guy and a gal dancing together in a soda shop. Jerry Lee Lewis is combing his hair and standing by the jukebox.
I love old records, and I love real rock and roll!