Ah, gentle reader, you know how I operate: I go “Christmas shopping” at a local antique mall and end up with a stack of records.
Well, this year was going to be different. It’s not so much that I’ve straightened up as I’ve run out of space to store records as well as new books–so I skipped the autumn Friends of the Springfield-Greene County library book sale. We have one or two boxes of sixties folk records that we herited when my mother-in-law downsized that are under the desk in the parlor. I have a box of records in the store room yet, my sainted mother’s pop hits of the 60s and 70s. And I moved the two boxes of books I received from my mother in law into my closet so it’s out of sight until I can clear space on the to-read shelves. Friends, reading paperbacks is not making that space. I shall have to read bigger books in 2023.
So I was minding my own business, dragging a bored teenager, when I found a box of $1 records at a booth. A booth which was having a 20% of sale. These records were eighty cents each. It seemed a moral imperative that I take them.
- Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen. (Discogs marketplace price: $5.11)
- Silk Degrees by Boz Skaggs. I confused him with Ricky Skaggs for a long time; however, WSIE plays Boz Scaggs since he’s not a country singer, so I got this, my first of his. (Discogs: .18)
- Command Performances by The Ray Charles Singers ($1.00)
- Golden Rainbow: The Original Broadway Cast Recording. I’m not going soft on you, gentle reader: This is a Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme record. ($ .50)
- The Year of the Cat by Al Stewart. Fun fact: When I heard this on the radio, I thought it was the Pet Shop Boys. So it’s the second in four bullet points so far where I’ve confused the artist with someone else ($ .43)
- Doris Day Sings Her Great Movie Hits by Doris Day. For a guy who listens to death metal, I sure have a lot of Doris Day records. ($1.00)
- Doris Day’s Greatest Hits by Doris Day. And I have even more now. ($1.00)
- Friendship by Ray Charles. A lot of Ray Charles in the two bins I looked through. ($ .95)
- Get Closer by Linda Ronstadt. ($ .50)
- Hometown Girl by Mary Chapin Carpenter. You know, gentle reader, I have seen her in concert (with Shawn Colvin) within the last decade. When I showed this album to my beautiful wife, she said, “Thank you.” So I am not in trouble for this set of records. ($ .99)
- Can’t Buy a Thrill by Steely Dan. My beautiful wife already has several Steely Dan albums, but not this one. ($2.51)
- Great Jazz Pianists of Our Time. Includes Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, and Art Tatum. ($9.48)
- Hey There! Here’s Fran Warren! by Fran Warren / arranged by Marty Paich. No idea who this is, but Pretty Woman on Cover. ($1.22)
- The Genius Sings the Blues by Ray Charles. ($7.51)
So the dollar pricing tracks pretty closely with the Internet prices for the records–the jazz pianists and one Ray Charles album were the big scores. As we went to other booths, I pointed out to the youngster why I felt compelled to look through these bins. Here are $20 records, here the prices start at $5 for bands you’ve never heard of, and so forth. I have to wonder if the records at antique malls are priced for the casual collector who doesn’t go to discogs and who isn’t serious but is a casual or fashionable collector. That is, someone following the fad of liking vinyl. The kind of person who buys new records for $25 when the CD is $15. Ah, what does it matter–I am not a collector, I am an accumulator, and I favor accumulating records from an era where the records were the only format available and hence have lots of copies, and they’re from an era not really enjoyed by the casual collector, who wants vinyl renditions of things they hear on the 80s, 90s, and now radio stations.
I won’t listen to this batch until after the holidays–we’re on all Christmas records here, and the two Nogglestead radios are tuned to the Christmas music station, but in a little over a week, we will be back to regular programming, and I will listen to these records whilst I read my many adopted hometown newspapers.
Although who knows whether I will buy other records in the interim. After all, the trip to Ozarks treasures did not yield all the gifts I need to yet buy.