Category Archives: Songs

My “last farewell” in a Tacoma record store…

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I’m repurposing this from one of my old “Song Of The Day” entries on “The Kirkham Report“, but the story has to be told here as well…because…well…it just FITS, you know?

Roger Whittaker is known throughout the world as one of the most popular crooners of the 1970’s. Yet in America, he was virtually unknown until his song “The Last Farewell” catapulted him to the top of the MOR/AC charts here in the States.

Got a Mom story for you, if you weel….heh heh heh…picture a twelve year old TC  in the summer of 1975. (Or maybe not…don’t want you running off screaming…heh heh)

My mother loved that song from the moment she first heard it. Now, she’s always been partial to crooners like Dean Martin, Perry Como, Al Martino, and the like. And “The Last Farewell“…well, she just LOVED it. She’d go around humming it to herself while cooking dinner or doing the laundry, etc.

In fact, she loved it so much, she asked me if I was planning to buy it when I got my allowance one week. I told her sure, I could get it, because I liked it too. But I told her it was a back up. But that week it turned out that two other songs I wanted were out at the local record store I frequented then, and so I grabbed a copy of the song for her.

The look I got from the clerk was priceless. The clerk at the record store – it was in a strip mall up the street from the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma Washington (and anyone who might know what this place was, PLEASE get in touch – I’m trying to find the name of it, and photos if anyone has them – it was somewhere in the 6000 -7000 address range (I think) on Sixth Avenue in the same plaza as an old “Wigwam” store and a small Chinese restaurant among other businesses) – was what we could loosely term a “hippie”. He was probably in his late teens or early twenties, with long reddish-brown hair pulled back into a ponytail (oh MAN how I wanted his hair..it was so cool). He always wore loose fitting clothes that were usually pea soup green in color (I can’t remember the name of the store, but I vividly remember the clerk’s clothes…go figure…).

So after perusing the singles bin that morning,  and picking up an album I wanted as well, my 12 year old self brought to the counter that day the 45 of The Last Farewell by Roger Whittaker along with:
1 45 of Walking In Rhythm by the Blackbirds
1 45 of The Hustle by Van McCoy
1 LP of Windsong by John Denver

The whiplash on the store clerk’s neck as he looked through my purchases…it was priceless. I laughed my ass off when I left the store.  Apparently the clerk couldn’t wrap his mind around a somewhat plump, long-haired twelve year old who liked disco, folk, and crooners at the same time.

A few years later I had a similar experience at a Eucalyptus Records and Tapes store in Spokane…but that’s ANOTHER story…heh heh heh…

Anyway, both my mom and I remain Roger Whittaker fans to this day…and we’ve never forgotten that story…and forty years later to the month – YIKES! – I still laugh when I remember that poor clerk’s face…ROTFL….