My first 45 rpm records

Sunday was National Record Day and I could write many articles concerning record collections. But let’s talk about 45 rpm records. They were my first before albums because they were cheap and I was young…only about 10 to 12. Singles were popular with the young crowd more than albums and rock and roll artists. Along, with my first record player, I also received an off white box with a gold gilded design to fill a decent collection of 45 rpm records. My first ones consisted of Downtown by Petula Clark recorded n 1964,  I Know a Place, also by Petula Clark in 1965, Bend me, Shape me, by American Breed in 1967, Woman, Woman by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap and Spirit in the Sky, by Norman Greenbalm. It was after Norman that I moved on to bands and albums.

The most common form of the vinyl single is the “45” or “7-inch”. According to sources, the names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, and the standard diameter, 7 inches. The 7-inch 45 rpm record was released March 31, 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs. The first had recordings on both sides but the other side was generally not a popular song by the same artist. Most ran about 2-4 minutes.

History Dumpster offers some interesting information concerning 45 rpms. John Lennon once asked how long he could record his song to George Martin in 1968 and George Martin, after some experimenting, found the answer – 7 minutes, 11 seconds. And thus the playing time of “Hey Jude”.  I guess Bruce Springsteen made one longer. Portable battery operated phonographs were also made for taking your music anywhere. Though you were lost without your record inserts.

These records did last longer than I expected though declined in the 1980’s when cassettes became the rage. Some were still being recorded in 1990. Thursday’s Golden Goodies offers some great vinyl records today that you can order online. Their Internet store has more than 47,000 different vintage 45 rpm & LP records in stock. You can actually get a carrying case for your 45 rpm records and spindle domes to properly center your record on a turntable.

Of course, you can sell your 45 rpms directly on Ebay. There is collection of country (not my favorite) for over fifty dollars. It has been awhile since I have seen my childhood box and records though clearly remember the collection. I know the box is somewhere but while writing this story, I found the exact box online. Back in our day, the variety was not as vast as it is today. And it is only seven dollars.

 

Favorite vintage Chicago land records and shops

My first experience flipping through 45’s was traumatic. After getting my first portable record player, my Mom took me shopping and said I could buy 4 45’s and she didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time in the record store. So not really sure where my head was at and feeling overwhelmed because you could spend a whole day in a record shop, I picked Woman, Woman by Gary Puckett and The Union Gap even though I loved the melody but have you got cheating on your mind for girl in junior high was not really what I was thinking about.

My second choice was Spirit in The Sky by Norman Greenbaum…the newest in psychedelic rock. Bend me Shape me by The American Breed  about all women having the power to turn on the light… pretty narcissistic for a young girl and then of all things, My Baby Does the Hanky Panky by Tommy James and the Shondells. And no, I did none of those things.

After graduating to albums , Three Dog Night, One , Carol Kings Tapestry, Led Zeppelin III, and Deju Vu by Crosby Stills Nash and Young and 64 of the Greatest Motown Hits (4 albums) i Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings, All Things Must Pass by George Harrison , Chicago VI and Billy Joels The Stranger.

Still playing some of them today on my daughter ‘s turntable who is 27 and loves records including the creative past of rock and roll. Now called by many as the vinyl comeback with new record shops are opening throughout the area.

However, the following describes some of the best gone, but not forgotten, record shops Chicago land had to offer in the past.

Rose Records/Tower records: Two stories located on Wabash Ave and some remember that you had to get a sles slip from one of the association before you pay for your records? They were arranged by label and catalog number and they had catalogs to check what you were looking for.

The Flip side Record  chain had twelve stores in the Chicago area (1971-1991). The Flip Side sold an array of records and tapes, music-related merchandise, electronics and a full line of clothing and shoes.

Sam Goody was a music and entertainment retaile in the United States and United Kingdom, operated by The Musicland Group inc. It was purchased by Best Buy in 2000, sold to Sun Capital in 2003, and filed for bankruptcy in 2006 closing most of its stores.

Hegewich Records in Calumet City was one of my personal favorites. Hegewisch Records started in 1965 in the Hegewisch section of Chicago as a novelty store selling sundries as well as records and music.The record and music operation moved to its Calumet City location at 522 Torrence Ave. in 1974

Camelot Music, for me, was a place to buy written music for piano but many did by records and was one of the largest music retailers in the United States

Still celebrating over 45 years in Oak Park this month, My daughter and I now record shop at Vall Hallas which began her store in 1972 and almost closed due to lost sales but was saved through community and customer fundraising efforts.

Picture courtesy Internet FM