Some of my favourite listens have been records that I have harvested from thrift stores as well as tons of good CD’s. Vinyl is tricky due to the nature of the beast, it is easily damaged, plus the fact that if it is in a thrift store it may not have been taken care of very well. Nevertheless, I have had some good finds, and I would like to share some of those gems with you along with some witty banter about the singers and the songs.
First up we have The Jim Reeves Collection, on Tee Vee Records. A double album best of that came out in 1974, ten years after his death. His music has some good staying power. While not technically a thrift store find, I found this on Kijiji. I purchased four boxes of about 200 records from a seller on Kijiji. The original 200 albums were culled down to about 75 LP’s and 35 or so 45’s. I will note a few from this collection first, as it is still fresh on my mind.
There are twenty-four tracks of memories on these slabs of vinyl, such as “He’ll Have To Go“, a staple of classic country music and kind of a creepy song. Like, who tells a woman to “pretend that we’re together, all alone”? And this question: “Should I hang up, or will you tell him he’ll have to go?” What happens if I don’t tell him? Never mind, I enjoyed the song.
“Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?“, this is one of the best love songs of all time. Written by Scotty Wiseman for the 1944 musical film, Sing, Neighbor, Sing and performed by Lulu Belle and Scott and recorded by a who’s who list of recording artists ranging from Gene Autry in 1945 to Ringo Starr in 1970. This song charted seven times from 1946 for Red Foley to 1968 for Red Foley again, this time with Kitty Wells. That is an incredible streak for Mr Foley, charting twice with the same song 42 years apart. Jim Reeves does a credible version of the song.
At his last recording session, in July of 1964, Jim Reeves recorded a version of a song called “Make The World Go Away“, which became the opening track to his 1965 album The Jim Reeves Way. He passed away on July 31, 1964, at the relatively young age of 40.
A song should be charting in 2020 is, “Make The World Go Away“, it would be a good theme song for a year that had Donald J. Trump telling everyone that the Covid-19 pandemic would go away. Then there was the reality television of the election in the USA. There were fires burning out of control all over the world. We had too many hurricanes to name them all, and the list goes on and on. Please, “Make The World Go Away“.
Trivia time! Jerry Jerry and the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra, a Canadian alternative rock band, released a song entitled “Jimmy Reeves” on their 1992 album “Don’t Mind If I Do”. Jerry Jerry and the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra are a band that slide under the radar but have a steady following of people such as myself who have been listening to them since the ’80’s and still play their records. I actually found a CD of their excellent album “Battle Hymn of the Apartment from 1987. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxb8o6Wb79U&list=OLAK5uy_lkB7JWM8PLwATQQkLrQs6XEyOkTe182nA
Next, we have a pair of gems, informally know as the Beatles Red and Blue albums, formally know as The Beatles – 1962-1966 & The Beatles – The Beatles / 1967-1970. I don’t buy music as a retirement hedge fund. The market is too volatile, and I don’t have deep enough pockets, however, if I did this would have been a good investment. These two go for about $25 each, so they take a fifty dollar bite out of the original investment of two hundred and fifty bucks, one-fifth of it. They were a good listening experience, as well. I still enjoy listening to the Beatles, even 50 years after I started listening to them. My first purchase of The Beatles was the White Album, on cassette, alas, I no longer have that purchase, but I do have these two nice finds.
The most fun to find? The Smurfs (2) – The Smurfs All Star Show. Not a go-to album for me but an interesting find just the same.
Best Album From This collection: Holst, Sir Adrian Boult · New Philharmonia Orchestra, Ambrosian Singers – The Planets. We have six versions of “The Planets”, but this one riveted me to the chair while I immersed myself in the music. I don’t know what made this one so much better than any of the others? I don’t know. Three of these are even versions of the same recording, but this one set itself high above the others. It might have been the time of day. It could have been a better pressing. I don’t know why it sounded better, but it sure did.
The most painful listen from this batch was The Carpenters – The Singles 1974-1978. I started listening to this, but I had to lift the needle on the second song from this album, Jambalaya (On The Bayou).
What made it so unlistenable for me? Well, I think it is a low quality pressing for starters, and then there is the fact that I don’t appreciate the Carpenters music regardless of which album was playing. It could also be that I know the Hank Williams version by heart and have been listening to it since I was a baby listening to my Dad sing it. There is an emotional connection to the music, and The Carpenters fell short on this one.
To quote another great song “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”? No, he didn’t do it like The Carpenters, he did it this way:
Best Surprise from the Kijiji box? Various – The Monster Hits Collection. This was a nice clean copy of a record that gave me a nice trip down memory lane. It also had the best cover art of the bunch.
Fun on forty-fives:
Dwight* & Buck* – Streets Of Bakersfield, this is a toe-tapping tune with Dwight paying homage to his mentor, Buck and the two of them come together on a contemporary country song that keeps a finger on the pulse of its heritage.
Waylon Jennings – Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love) / Belle Of The Ball is a great single from the excellent album Ol’ Waylon, by Waylon Jennings of course. This song is a standard of the outlaw country movement and a goto record for me.
So, there you have it. A collection of enjoyable listens from a diverse group of music found on Kijiji at a reasonable price in my opinion.