Monday, December 8, 2008

I Didn't Start the Fire Pt 1

I could call this: "Who Can my Wife Blame For All of These Records, CD etc"

As I mentioned in the beginning of this thing, when I was a kid I listened to the radio more than anything else. The radio has been a mighty good friend of mine all my life. When Rock & Roll was still in the growing stage in the late 50’s, the radio stations played hits from Rock, Pop, Country, Folk, Early R&B, and Novelty records. So I got to hear it all. This type of formatting continued into the early 60’s when, at least in St. Louis, stations began to go in separate directions such asTop 40, Country, R&B, and Easy Listening. Then in 1964, things really changed with the British Invasion, the rise of Motown, the Folk music era, and other musical trends.

The funny thing for me was that by listening to The Beatles, The Beach Boys and other big artists of the mid 60’s, my desire to go back to the beginning of Rock & Roll and pick up on the sounds that I missed when this music was new, became more important. For instance, hearing The Beatles singing those Carl Perkins’ songs that I’d not heard back in the day of “Blue Suede Shoes,” would cause me to want to hear those songs performed by Perkins himself. The same was true with The Beatles covers of Larry Williams’ “Slow Down,” “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” and “Bad Boy,” along with Buddy Holly’s “Words of Love.” These songs and others, made me hungry for more of the lesser known early songs from the legends of Rock & Roll, and those artists and groups who were not as well known.

In the beginning of the decade of the 70’s, several events would change the way I looked at the Rock & Roll era for ever. KADI, An FM radio station here in St. Louis, hired a guy from New York City whose name was Larry Miller. Miller began to play those old 45’s from the 50’s and early 60’s during his program. After a few weeks, this show evolved into what would become the Sunday Night Oldies Show. Larry Miller played the songs I was longing to hear for years. He played those Carl Perkins songs I’d not heard along with Buddy Holly, Larry Williams, Little Richard, Elvis, and Dion & the Belmonts, to name a few. Miller also introduced the local audience to some vocal group music that had not hit the airwaves here in St. Louis back in the 50’s.

These lesser known songs really wet my whistle and I started to have a desire to acquire them. So began the great hunt for the old music. I’d rummage through the “cut outs” section in any store that had one. I would buy up LPs that had one or two songs I knew, and a bunch of others I did not recognize by their titles. I’d take these records home and play them. To my surprise and delight, I’d find that Larry Miller was playing a lot of these songs on his Sunday Night Oldies Show.

The desire to search the bargain bins in stores such as E.J. Korvette, Arlands, Viscount Records, and later Camelot Music and Peaches would stay with me to this day. If there was a rack of LPs for $2.00 or less, I’d thumb through them, hoping to strike gold.

So I guess Larry Miller is partially to blame for the state of “musical” mind that I am in today.

There are other people, both living and deceased, who I hold personally responsible for fueling the flames of my continuing hunger for great old Rock & Roll records. I will mention these people as I proceed with these pages. So stay tuned to this blog and see if your name shows up on list. You never know.

1 comment:

JohnnyLaw said...

Hey Jeff

How are you? Hope all is going well. Saw your name in the yahoo doowop group and couldnt believe it. I am not sure if you remember me, but I am Johnny Lawless, from Denver/Wisconsin from the aol doowop diner. I sent you one of our Tuff Cookie dolls. I am still listening to the tapes you made me many many moons ago. Would love to hear from you and catch up. My email address is Hope you and the family are all doing well. Cant wait to hear from you!
Your Pal,