Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

OT: Music nostalgia

Last night as I worked out while listening to my iPod (which has about 750 songs on it, mostly oldies), I heard one of the songs I first bought on a 45, back in the dark ages of 1969.

What’s a 45? cries the chorus of younger readers. (sigh)

Who knows what this is?



It’s called a 45 adapter. Before MP3s, before CDs, there was vinyl. Long-playing (LP) records were played at 33 1/3 RPM. But if you wanted to buy just one song, you bought a smaller, cheaper record that played at 45 RPM.

The record players had a spindle on which the LPs spun. But 45s had a larger hole in the middle, so you had to insert the plastic adapter.

When I was a kid, my mom and dad (and later, my stepdad) had a ginormous hi-fi stereo. I had a few records that had been given to me (mostly Beatles), but playing records on my mom’s system wasn’t usually an option. She hated rock and roll and would put the kibosh on my record-playing whenever she was around. Which really wasn’t fair — after all, her @#$%ing opera gave me a headache with all the howling, but I couldn’t tell her to stop playing it. But I digress.

So imagine my delight when I was 12, my mother gave me a tiny record player I could keep in my bedroom. Off I went with my allowance to the nearest record store, where I bought my first 45s, three of them. What did I get?

1. A huge “bubble-gum” hit, “Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies. (Yes, the same Archie as in the comics. The group didn’t really exist; it was a studio band.)

2. “Little Woman,” by a major heart-throb at the time, Bobby Sherman. He came slightly before David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.


3. And finally, an obscure little one-hit wonder, an instrumental called “Keem-O-Sabe” by The Electric Indian. It was one of those bits of music that comes along and then disappears into the rock ether, never to be heard again… until many years later when it turns up on some nostalgic compilation CD.

It was actually pretty cool, I think. Anyone remember this?

It turned out I had an affinity for instrumentals. I was crazy about surf guitar (Dick Dale, anyone? Or how about “Pipeline”?), and everything from David Rose’s “The Stripper” to Hugo Montenegro’s “Theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.” 

A lot of instrumentals became classics, but many more were one-hit wonders that disappeared. Here’s another one I had on 45, which I think still sounds good, but my ear may be skewed by age. It was called “Cool Aid.”

In the corner of my bedroom, I still have my old wire record rack, a lot of LPs, and a carton filled with 45s. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them, even though I haven’t played them in forever. Everything I had on records, I replaced with either CDs, or downloads from iTunes. 

Do you guys remember the first piece of music you ever purchased, regardless of the format? Please share!

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49 thoughts on “OT: Music nostalgia

  1. It was a Genesis LP.
    And thank you for this post. Now at least within the global kinkty community, I may freely refer to a 45. 😉

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  2. Also an instrumental: The Crunch by the never-to-be-heard-from-again Rah Band…

    Later there was Waltzinblack

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  3. MrJ — John loved Genesis. I never got into them, but I do love “Home By the Sea.”

    Al — I'd never heard either of these!

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  4. Must have been the never-heard-from-at-all Rah Band then 😉

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  5. Bobbie Jo on said:

    I love “Pipeline!” I used to try and play it on my guitar. And “The Stripper,” and the “Theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” I also love the original version by the Ventures “Walk Don't Run” used for the original Hawaii 5 O with Jack Lord. Then there was the one hit wonder by the Japanese guy that was so popular. It is a beautiful song. I also like the original version of “Classical Gas.” I still like some of the instrumentals. “Telstar” was one, too, though I don't remember by whom. “Percolator.” Now you got me going. LOL

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  6. Bobbie Jo — “Telstar” was by the Tornadoes, and the Japanese song was “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto. I loved that! It's on my iPod as well. So, what did you buy first? 🙂

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  7. OK, Meet the Beatles was the first purchase I made….no shit. I had two older brother but one who was totally into music so I had a lot of his albums to listen to but that was it. Classic. Funny my love, like yours for music continues and well while I love all and i mean all music……just spent lunch time today in Buffalo and a great place Sportmen Tavern has the lunch bunch, CW live band at lunch just amazing. And they played an early Beatles song today…..terrific post and this is why I love following your blog
    Always
    Ron

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  8. My first two cassettes were Genesis and Bruce Springsteen ” Born in the USA”

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  9. Kelly on said:

    I was born in 1969. I recall through the 70s my mother had a pretty cool collection of soft rock and general Top 40 misc albums and 45s. Elton John was big in her collection.
    For my own collection, I think the first 45 I owned was Debby Boone's “You Light Up My Life.” LOL!!!!!!!!! Due to some promotion, I believe, I remember my grandparents actually getting Peter Frampton's 'Frampton Comes Live” sent for free of charge in the mail of all places. I adopted that as my own in a hurry. Still have it today. 🙂

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  10. Ron — anything by the Beatles is always a good choice, as far as I'm concerned! 🙂

    Unknown — I have “Born in the USA” in both LP and CD. Love it.

    Kelly — ye gods, Debby Boone! 🙂 Bit of useless trivia — I went to high school with her husband, Gabriel Ferrer (son of Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney, George's aunt).

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  11. sixofthebest on said:

    Erica, the first piece of music that I ever purchased was in the World War 11 era, in England. It was called Glen Miller's “In the Mood”. Yes, I danced up a rug playing it, so to speak. And I still love it to this day. XXX luv ya

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  12. Six — you really can't do better than that, for a first record. Especially in that era.

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  13. Great post, Erica!

    My first album was a 2-fer purchase. They were LPs and they were the first Boston album and The Eagles Greatest Hits (now called Volume 1).

    As a side note, “Dizzy” was always my favourtie Archie's tune. 🙂

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  14. Chief — I thought “Dizzy” was by Tommy Roe — different song?

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  15. I had my own little 45 player too! I think my first was “It's a Small World” LOL

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  16. Renee — “There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware…

    “It's an EARWORM after all!” 😀

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  17. As an Englishman I apologise for Genesis
    Dick Dale: A greatly underrated guitarist – love how his Lebanese family background influenced his southpaw playing style – but then surfing was an Hawaiian import too…
    Beatles song are always better when recorded by someone else, such as Ritchie Haven's sublime version of 'Here Comes the Sun'.

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  18. Erica,

    I had a small record player as well. My cousin at the time was into Beatles which I loved and he gave me a few of their LPs. The first album I bought was The Faces, an English rock band.

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

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  19. Bobbie Jo on said:

    I have no idea what I bought first. It could have been a number of things. I inherited some from my brother that have several songs on them. I have most of them and as I looked through them, I am amazed at what I do have. I don't have “Pipeline” unfortunately. I do have “Percolator.” I have as many Country/Western from the 70s and maybe 80s than anything else. I have all of Jim's CDs of Country/Western stuff, even one of Jimmie Rogers. I know some of my LPs are missing from the last time I moved. Bummer.

    To buy my records, I would go to Tower of Records. I think once they opened up, all of us went there. They had booths you could go to and listen to the 45s. Some would go in just do that, too. Listen. It was so much fun going in there.

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  20. Bobbie Jo on said:

    BTW, anybody remember 78s? We had some records that played 16! Now that was slow!

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  21. Darren — respectfully, and no offense to the late Richie Havens, but NOOOOOOO! I can't stand Beatles covers.

    Ronnie — didn't Rod Stewart sing with The Faces at some point?

    Bobbie Jo — I've seen 78s, but didn't have any. Tower Records was great! I spent many hours there.

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  22. sixofthebest on said:

    Later on in life when I was on a cruise to the Caribe Islands. and Tex Beneke took over the orchestra, because Glen Miller died in a plane crash. I danced live to this renowned band. And I thanked Tex, personally of how I had enjoyed Glen Miller's version of “In the Mood”. Tex smiled in my direction, and said “Thanks man, “Yes. Glen was one of a kind”. True story.

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  23. Technically, I didn't make my first rock and roll purchase. My father, to earn extra money, would help people prepare their tax returns. One of his clients was a radio DJ, who not only paid my Dad for the work but gave him some 45's as well. And my father, in turn, gave them to me. There was The Byrds “Turn, Turn, Turn”, and “Catch Us If You Can” by the Dave Clark 5, “LIke A Rolling Stone”, Bob Dylan, of course, and Gary Lewis and the Playboys–I think it was called “This Diamond Ring”. And yes, I remember the 45 adaptor!

    My best friend at the time was into The Beatles. I remember him calling me on the phone and playing song after song from their latest album (undoubtedly with my mother yelling at me from the kitchen to “get off the phone!”). Not the best way to listen to an album, let me tell you…

    Instrumentals–I remember “Pipeline”, “Walk Don't Run”, and, of course, “Wipeout”. If you were putting a band together, that was the big test when looking for a drummer–can he play “Wipeout” from start to finish without getting tired or breaking down during the drum solo?

    My first purchase is, quite frankly, lost in the mists of time. It most likely was something by the Beatles–although it could have been something by Donovan (“Hurdy Gurdy Man”, perhaps). There's also a distinct possibility that it was something by, appropriately enough, The Kinks, like “You Really Got Me”

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  24. Dr. Ken — what cool memories! Incidentally, “This Diamond Ring,” “You Really Got Me” and “Catch Us if You Can” are all on my iPod.

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  25. Erica-Yes. Rod Stewart was a member of The Faces for awhile. I think Jeff Beck was, too. But I can't recall the big song(s) from that band.

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  26. Erica,

    Yes Rob Stewart was their lead singer.

    Have a good weekend.

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

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  27. Time Out by the late great Dave Brubeck. It was a jazz experiment with crazy time signatures like 5/4, 7/4 and 9/8. Still a great record.

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  28. Hi Erica — In the 80s when I was about 8 years old, I had a Lifesavers record player I remember playing my grandparents record's on it, One of the songs was by Donnie Osmond, Go away little girl,That must of been one of my Aunt's records 🙂 I still have my record player today LOL. I wonder if it's worth something.Much Love and hugs from naughty girl Jade

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  29. Kelly — I believe one of Stewart's hits with The Faces was “Stay With Me” (“hey, what's your name again?”)

    Rollin — “Take Five” was on that, no?

    Jade — I'm thinking not. 🙂

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  30. Bobbie Jo on said:

    Anyone remember this? “And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon. “When ya comin' home Dad” “It won't be long. And we'll have a good time then, yeah, you know we'll have a good time then.”

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  31. Bobbie Jo — yup. Harry Chapin. Sad thing… he died in a car crash at age 38.

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  32. Bobbie Jo on said:

    Oops. It should read, “When ya comin' home Dad?” “I don't know when, but we'll have a good time then, yeah, you know we'll have a good time then.”

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  33. Anonymous on said:

    1966, a vinyl copy of the double album Blonde On Blonde by Bob Dylan. Still my favorite album to this day. I've since owned copies on 8-track, cassette and CD.

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  34. My first 45s were Little Woman and Sugar Sugar too! I got a third one but can't remember what it was. I am pretty sure I still have them and all my albums. I even bought a digital turntable to transfer the music to my computer but haven't done it yet. I don't know if I can part with my albums and I know they aren't worth anything because I used to stack a bunch on the spindle and not put them back in the sleeves when I was done.

    I remember midnight mass not being worth going to one year because all I was thinking about was the Bobby Sherman album waiting under the tree.

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  35. Anonymous on said:

    Oh Erica…..what a terrific stroll down Memory Lane. I had a ton of 45's and LP's too. My first purchase was the Rolling Stones LP, “Between the Buttons”….I have Ruby Tuesday and She Smiled Sweetly on my iPod. Whenever I hear them I think of my 13 year old self walking to the drug store in Huntington Beach (yes readers, drug stores sold records in those days) to make my purchase. Great memories indeed.

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  36. My first music purchase was the Allman Brothers Band's “Ramblin' Man” when I was in college…although some of my memories from that time are a bit hazy…Of course, one of my other favorites is “Whippin' Post”

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  37. Hmmm… I'm not sure what my first 45 was… It might have been the Royal Guardsmen's “Return of the Red Baron.” My sister had “Four by the Beatles,” with two songs on each side. We had Monkees, and Archies, and later, David Cassidy, called the Partridge Family.

    I bought the Who “We Won't Be Fooled Again” just for the scream. Used it in my own tape-recorder skits.

    I used to crack my best friend up doing imitations of the guttural “vocals” from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!”

    You know, all these years I never read the credits, or paid much attention, and a few months ago noticed on a ME-TV rerun that Hugo Montenegro co-wrote the “I Dream of Jeannie” theme! Sunnuvagun. The version they used first (for the second season) has a better arrangement, with the Calypso-sounding metal (?) drums.

    I was musing recently on what an elegant mechanism the record player was, with the tone arm that picked itself up at the end of the disk, moved out of the way for another to plop down, and then returned at precisely the start.

    Vinyl is being being sold again! I forgot how huge the covers are, and how well you can see the art / photos!

    I'll have to teach the kids how to make their own Chipmunk versions by playing the 33 RPM records at 45 and the 45's at 78. Almost as much fun as running the 8MM movies backwards!

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  38. Anonymous — I never went the 8-track route. Those weren't around very long, were they?

    Kaki — oh, I had such a crush on Bobby Sherman. I loved him on “Here Come the Brides.”

    Anonymous — I have Between the Buttons on LP, I think! And a few songs from it on my iPod.

    Bob — hazy college memories? Imagine that. 😉

    Dave — I love the Jeannie theme! The first year was more of a waltz, but then after that, it was the classic theme we all know and love. Record players were quite intricate indeed. The tiniest piece of dust on the needle could ruin the sound. And remember how startling it was when you accidentally played a record at the wrong speed?

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  39. Anonymous on said:

    I think my first 45 was John Denver's “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, a gift from a relative. The first LP I owned was the soundtrack to “Tommy” (The Who). Nice stuff and I still have some vinyl unused in a box…but compared to other technology I thought the transistor radio was the bomb! 🙂

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  40. Erica–Clearly, you have excellent taste in music… 🙂

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  41. Alan H on said:

    Glad somene else remembers 78s! You needed about eight million of them to contain a symphony.

    In the UK at least, 45s (also know as EPs – “extended play”) had a normal small hole, but the centre could be removed so that they could be fitted on the larger spindle of juke boxes. They could then be adapted back to the small spindle by the device you show.

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  42. Anonymous on said:

    LP, The Best of Roy Orbison in Mono.

    John

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  43. Anonymous — who among us, from that generation, didn't constantly have a transistor radio with us? I went through several. 🙂

    Alan — I think my folks had a couple of 78s — comedy stuff, mostly.

    John — oh, I love Roy Orbison!

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  44. I still have all my 45s, in a special box just the right size for them.

    My first 45 was the Beatles' hit, I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Twist and Shout was the first LP I bought.

    Hugs,
    Hermione

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  45. Hermione — most excellent taste. 🙂

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  46. 1st 45 or single I bought was Grease by Frankie Valli in 1978… I was a late starter as my parents hated us kids having fun! my 1st album I bought was Abba's The Album from 1977. A few years later I was into punk and new wave music… yes I was a teenager then, lol!

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  47. Chief — John was into punk and new wave too. Me, I rediscovered the late 50s and 60s when it was the late 70s.

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  48. Targetarear on said:

    The first record I bought was 'With The Beatles', their second LP. It had a black and white cover with a picture of the group with their faces half in shadow. The same photo was used on the cover of their US album 'Meet The Beatles'. All their early US albums were mangled versions of their UK releases.. Only after they were reissued on CD in the 80s did the US finally get the original albums; the surviving Beatles and Yoko Ono made it a condition of the reissue that the CDs should be released worldwide in the original UK version.

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  49. Targetarear — growing up, I had the US Capitol versions of the albums. It was quite bizarre for me, finally seeing how they were originally issued.

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