Remember all those music collections where the announcer would say “So you Don’t forget, mail before midnight tomorrow!” at the end? Well a lot of these fall into that category! Once again from the marvelous archives from FredFlix over at YouTube – his collection is awesome and mindblowing, and this is no exception!
Get ready America….the 2018 EuroVision Song Contest is almost here! And eCinemaOne is teaming up with our relaunching music site, The Kirkham Report, and our flashback books and music blog, Planet BilblioMusica, to give you a month PLUS of coverage!
Beginning Wednesday, April 4, when TKR returns to the PNRNetworks blogosphere, we will launch our massive joint coverage of this annual Euro contest staple, including:
- · A look at every song entrant this year – song, artist, songwriters (remember, EuroVision is a songWRITING contest), home country, and more
- · The official EuroVision music video for each entrant
- · A look back at past winners and participants – those we love, those we’re not fond of, and those that totally mystify us (like the 2017 winner…that was a real headscratcher to me…)
- · An overview of the EuroVision Song Contest, how it works, how it’s judged and more.
- · Cool tips on how the USA can sit back and enjoy the fun
- · And more!
Being a music fan since I was a wee small tot, I have been aware of the contest since 1973, when Mocedades’ 1973 contest runner up “Eres Tu” was a chart hit in the USA. So when I learned it was about to be broadcast in the US for the first time in 2016, I rearranged my schedule to make sure I could see it. Of course, I fell head over heels in love with it when it first aired in the US courtesy of the LogoTV network. Logo is said to be considering carrying both semi-finals as well as the finals this year, and we need to let them know that there’s a HUGE US contingent out here willing to watch and enjoy the fun – be sure to tweet them at @LogoTV and say ‘Thanks for carrying the Eurovision Song Contest in the USA!”
We’ll also be doing some polls on the contest this year so fans in the US can have a say in what songs they like – it has been 42 years since a EuroVision entrant hit the Billboard charts in America – the last tune to do so was “Save Your Kisses For Me” by Brotherhood Of Man in 1976 (It was the grand champion that year). Dozens upon DOZENS of great songs have been ignored by Americans and American radio since that time, and I’ve really been INCENSED about the lack of hits from the past two shows that I actually saw – it’s just not right. And we’re going to try and do something about it…
And finally we’ll have a number of Spotify and YouTube playlists for you to peruse, including our favorite EuroVision songs over the years, the songs from the past couple years that we think should have been hits in the US, and more!
So please join us and become a fan, help us participate, and have a lot of fun together – we’ll have all kinds of fan-driven stuff too! Join eCinemaOne and The Kirkham Report for full, fun, and complete coverage of the 2018 EuroVision Song Contest!
We stumbled across FredFlix on YouTube recently – he’s got a hell of a collection of great nostalgic stuff, and we’re gonna start bringing some of our favorites of his stuff to you here. You can check him out by going to FredFlix on YouTube, and be sure to tell him you found him on Planet BM! First up, a collection of vintage K-Tel Album television commercials from the 70s and 80s. With all the misspelled names and such, you’d think their ad agency people worked for MeTV’s website…heh heh heh…enjoy!
Waaaay back in September 2016, during our annual vacation on Cape Cod, we took a trip out to Orleans to visit what’s touted on their Facebook page as the “largest independent book and music store on Cape Cod”. It was quite a ride on the bus – nearly 2.5 hours from Hyannis because of the constant stops – but we finally made it to BookSmith MusicSmith.
Nestled away in the Orleans Marketplace (which looks a lot larger and less a strip mall when looking at their website), this homey little store was one of those delights you have to search out on your travels.
I had a nice discussion with the clerk on duty (I’m terribly sorry, but I didn’t get his name) and he told me that the store had originally been part of the BookSmith chain in MA (the only one left is Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner), and when the original owners sold off the store, they had elected to keep the name. He also generously said we could snap a few photos of the place as well…here’s the sign out in front of the shopping plaza…
Here’s the entrance…that’s Kim coming out the door…
They have a great little room devoted to used vinyl and cassettes…oh MAN I could have spent all day in here…they had a TON of 45s…
Their main floor is also quite impressive…great selection of CDs to choose from…
and the bookstore section was pretty good too…excuse my fat finger on the lens, please…
All in all, it was a fun trip out there – although it took a while to get out to Orleans, which is about 3/5ths of the way out to the outer edge of the Cape, the trip down was beautiful. The roads are surrounded with trees and fields, with a few houses and businesses dotted along the way. The trip back was also nice, but we had to wait in the hot sun for about 30 minutes to catch the bus home – unfortunately there were no trees in the immediate area. We also found another independent record store across the street from the shopping center, a place called “Instant Karma” but alas we didn’t get a chance to go in and peruse a bit…we’ll have to do that another time.
Thanks to BookSmith MusicSmith for agreeing to let us feature you – we loved the store, which is a vital link for music and books in the outer Cape! You can also check out their Facebook here!
But no more.
We will have at least one new blog a week starting this week, and we will continue our mission to talk about book and record stores, the old days, and more. We’ll also be linking up with my music site, The Kirkham Report, which will be coming back on line this weekend.
Once again, we’ll be here spreading the word about places still out there, places gone by, formats no longer used, and the like. And I’ll be back later this weekend with a store from Cape Cod that we visited over a year ago, and just hadn’t managed to post until now. We’ll also be posting some kitsch from You Tube and the like and more!
Don’t give up on us! We’ll be going great guns again in the next day or so!
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IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! Subject:CINEMA’s brand new spinoff! Welcome to Front Row Five And Ten!
This week – sorry we’ve been away for a while again – we’ve both been hella sick, but we’re back with TC’s choice – it’s our Top Ten Screaming 70s Zonkers – songs that when you hear them, you can’t help but think of the 1970s!
Check out the Spotify playlist of all the songs on our list this week (24 of them, TC HAD to go more than ten…) right here!
WIN A PRIZE – you can win a prize for suggesting list ideas! If you suggest a list idea and we use it, you’ll get credit on the show, your name on the website, and a DVD prize! Write to us at frontrow(at)pnrnetworks.com!
DON’T FORGET – THIS IS THE FINAL “FRONT ROW FIVE AND TEN” SHOW UNTIL SEPTEMBER – Our Summer Replacement series “The Reel Recipe” premieres later this week!
PNRNetworks has launched a Patreon campaign to ask our listeners and readers to come on board and help us move into the future – we’ve got all kinds of new projects and ideas in store, and we need your generous monthly committment to make it work! Please come over to http://patreon.com/PNRNetworks to check it out, check out the cool perks we have, and join up with us!
We’ve spent the past week vacationing on Cape Cod, and yesterday, I finally found the time to drop by Spinnaker CD, an independent record store in Hyannis. I first fell for the store when we first visited it two years ago; it’s an “old school” record store, with half the music area filled with vinyl, the other half with CDs. And I wish I had the time and money to spend a whole day perusing the incredible amount of stock they have. Because we’re on vacation, I didn’t have time to actually pick up any music, although I did pick up the latest season of “Supernatural” on DVD for Kim, and some newly issued collector figures from the classic 1985 film “The Karate Kid“. But I asked if we could feature them, and they said “Sure!”
When you first walk in, there is a huge area with tee shirts, and posters, and the long checkout counter, and a wall of DVDs. The tee shirt selection, as you can see in the shot on the right, is HUGE, and the posters, which are out of the shot, are in a large bin to the left and behind the picture. There’s also used CD’s along the leftmost wall running the length of the room divider. The photo is standing with the door to my right in back of me. Turn to your left from the photo above, and you enter Spinnaker’s main music area. And it’s a GLORIOUS sight. I could (and plan to someday) spend HOURS in this place going through boxes and boxes of 45s that are under the two left most bins – it is a treasure trove filled with literally THOUSANDS of old 45s waiting to be mined for that one streak of gold. As you enter the second room, on your left is a selection of turntables, most of them manufactured with the annual Record Store Day in mind. Almost all of them have a USB port cable, to make it easier to digitize your vinyl collection. And to the right of the door is the CD area, filled with current cds, all stored in longbox-style anti-theft devices to fit the LP racks. And still more teeshirts are hung above as well. In the distance, along the back wall, are several racks holding posters.
And then on the other side in the far aisle….oh glory be!…there’s a FULL WALL of nothing but vinyl, mostly old but some new, and a rack on the front wall with new vinyl singles, most of them look to be imported. And some on the inside of the aisle as well. This is where I take one exception with the store – they’ve used cut down old 45s as dividers, attaching them to the plastic dividers to divide the sale vinyl by letter. I HATE it when stores use old records like this…but admittedly I checked the titles on some of them and I doubt anyone would actually be looking for them…but you never know…naughty Spinnaker…heh heh…I have to admit, though, it does make a very cool looking display; didn’t think to get a shot of it, and didn’t want to get greedy with photos, either…they were generous enough to let me take a few photos and I didn’t want to overdo things. I also didn’t get much of the vinyl display on the above shot, sorry…
As I noted above, I could easily spend HOURS, possibly even DAYS perusing the box after box of 45s they have stashed under both sides of the far aisle. I love albums, but I’ve always been partial to 45s and this place…well, it’s like catnip to me. I’ve decided that sometime next spring, when I can save up some money and find a day when I can make the 90 minute bus trip up and back from South Station in Boston and have no other luggage to bring, I’m going to come down and spend the entire day mining this store for some gold.
Thank you to the staff at Spinnaker CD for generously allowing me to chat with them for a moment and grab some quick photos; maybe when I go down for my exclusive shopping trip, I can take a few more…
If you want to check it out, Spinnaker CD is at 596 Main Street in Hyannis MA; their bag says they do “new and used CDs – DVDs and Vinyl – Tee Shirts – Posters and Pop Culture” and I can attest to all of those…can’t wait to come back again…:-)
I’ve always loved buying records. My record collection is large (though not as large as some, I’m sure), and about 80 percent of it were purchased at regular prices. But I’d say a good 10-12% of it came from cut-out bins.
According to the Wikipedia entry, “In the recording industry, a cut-out refers to a deeply discounted or remaindered copy of an LP, 45 RPM single, cassette tape, Compact Disc, or other item.” Yes, you can still occasionally find cut-outs of CD’s or DVD’s, but most of the time, you’re more likely to find used copies than actual cut-outs. Cut-outs are easy to spot – they have a notch or a hole…um, well, literally cut out of the packaging, whether it’s an album or CD case, or a drill hole through the label part of a 45 or a cassette case.
When I was a kid, Ben Franklin in Utica used to sell 99-cent packs of cut-out 45s – they came sealed in a plastic bag, and were on the top hooks of the record rack at the store, with a paper seal proclaiming “SIX 45s for JUST 99 cents!” or something like that – this is when the average price of a current 45 was 69 cents. I bought a lot of these as a kid, when my allowance was a mere $1 a week. And occasionally, if I was exceptionally good in school or doing my chores, or had been sick, my mom or step-dad would get me one too.
Now, don’t get me wrong – you rarely (ok, almost NEVER) found actual big hits in these bargain bags, being as they were sealed and you couldn’t check out what you were buying, but I found my share of little gems, and a few little hits too. Racking my mind right now, nearly a half-century later, only one title jumps out at me that I got from these bags, a song called “Off And Running” by The Mindbenders – it was on Fontana Records and was part of the “To Sir With Love” soundtrack; the band had appeared in the film as well. Played that song to death I loved it so much. And it had been the “flip side” of an actual minor hit, “It’s Getting Harder All The Time“. For the record, we’ll have a look at “flip-side” another time.
As I got older, and as the 1970s turned into the 1980s and the record industry started to become the bloated, greedy, and corrupt industry it is now (IMHO, of course, heh heh), the various labels would press millions of copies of albums and ship them out proclaiming they were “platinum” (for an album, that’s 1 Million copies) on release. The RIAA would give them their Platinum award, only to have hundreds of thousands of copies shipped back unsold. The labels would take their loss on paper and dump them in the cutout bin. Good for the labels – tax writeoff – and good for the consumers – cheap albums. My mother freaked out one day when I spent almost $150 of holiday gift money on records, most of them from the cut-out bins. Were they all good albums? Well, no. But when you could grab the soundtracks from bad films like “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Thank God It’s Friday” for $3 a pop, when they originally sold for between $15-$20 a couple years earlier, they were worth having to me…now. Hey, I’d always wanted both of them anyway…and yes, I can be a musical masochist, ask my wife…heh heh…
Cut-out bins were also the place for discoveries. For every clunker album or CD I’ve paid a buck or two for in a cut out bin, I usually found five or six that were really really good. This was especially true when CD’s began popping up in the bins, for $2-3 bucks each – I still treasure CD’s I found in the bins in the late 80s-early 90s by Truth Inc., Natasha’s Brother, Latitude, Judson Spence, and of course, New Monkees (about which I will point out two things – 1, I already had the LP of it, and 2, even though the show was one of the worst TV shows ever, the music was really well done. So There!), among many many others.
But in the summer of either 1985 or 1986, can’t remember which, I hit the MOTHERLODE. Really.
I was living in Lancaster, Ohio, and the discount chain Hecks opened a new store out in the boonies end of town, right next door to Lancaster Cinema on Sheridan Drive. It was a 10 minute walk from our apartment, and they had everything. But mostly, they had the all time best cut out bin EVER!!!
My mom and I walked down opening weekend, and the place was mobbed. And tucked away in the front left corner of the store was a small electronics and music section. And the centerpiece of this section was a gigantic bin of cutouts. And these weren’t just no-sale albums by unknown artists, either – although most of them were at least five to ten years old at the time, most of them were legitimate minor hit albums a few years earlier. And from opening day until they got rid of most of them, they were selling for just TEN CENTS EACH! And they were all still factory-sealed – no used copies or returns here. I had taken a vinyl overdose…I was on a cut-out HIGH!!!
Here and there over the next two weeks, I plunked down about $20 and added nearly TWO HUNDRED albums (yes, you read that right) to my collection, including the entire collection of mostly critically-acclaimed Raspberries (“Go All The Way“) albums (including their debut album, the one with the scratch and sniff sticker that amazingly still worked, and which thirty years later still has a hint of the scent in the album cover), most of singer-songwriter Henry Gross‘ (“Shannon“) output from the mid 70s, most of Paul Davis‘ (“I Go Crazy“) earlier albums, and a TON of other gems. The Raspberries albums – those were manna from heaven to me; I already had all but one of Eric Carmen‘s later (and usually marvelous) solo albums (most of which had also been purchased in cutout bins over the years – what a sad statement THAT is…), as I was a huge fan of his songwriting and his wondrous voice (is there anyone out there who doesn’t get chills from the piano-only version of “Boats Against The Current” once they’ve heard it? I should think not…), and when I had gone back to try and find the band’s albums, they were out of print and used copies were selling for way too much money for the teenager I was at the the time.
Two months after they opened, with the initial allotment of cutouts all but gone or down to a few, they restocked, this time with stuff that was more recent, and they raised the price up to 50 cents each, but I still plunked down a bit of my hard earned cash for more great cutouts from Deodato, Peter Frampton, and a ton of others. Within a 90 day span that summer, I added almost 300 albums to my collection, and did so for under a total of $100 bucks…probably less than $50, actually, all things considered.
And the fact that at the time, I was working for the only record store in town – well, they got my money for the current stuff…the supposed irony was lost on me. Not that I didn’t spend money on cut outs at work…a year or so before I became an employee, they had a cutout sale and I spent about $50 on early, unsuccessful albums by Stacy Lattisaw, Roger Voudouris, and others at $3.99 a pop. But they were worth it.
Tapes are another matter. I’ve never been fond of cassettes. Kim is – most of her music collection is on cassette – but nearly 90% of my sizable collection of full album cassettes (as opposed to cassette singles, a different monster entirely, another topic for another day) came from the cutout bins. Tapes were just too easy to mess up, and I preferred making my own mix tapes from my records and CD’s rather than buy prerecorded ones. But there are a few gems. And the most valuable tape in my collection to me personally was found by chance one day in Lancaster when Woolworth‘s was still around. Again, I was working at the aforementioned record store (more about life at Buzzard’s Nest Records soon), and had walked up from the shopping center where it was to the one next door to get my haircut on my lunch hour, and on the way back, I noticed that Woolworth’s had a display with cassette cut outs, so I stopped in. And I may have let out a shriek when I saw one tape in particular, of an album from two or three years earlier that I had tried to special order at my place of employment only to be told it was out of print.
It was the debut album by singer Joseph Williams. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not a music buyer from the 1980s. The son of conductor John Williams, Joseph had finished in second or third place on the first season of Star Search, where he had been bested by singer Sam Harris. The solo album had been recorded right before that, and had bombed. At this point in time, he had recorded a song, “Save The Night“, for the soundtrack of the film “The Goonies“, and had just joined the Grammy-winning rock group Toto as their new lead singer. And I was a huge fan. I plunked my 99 cents on the Woolworth counter and headed right back to work with it. Let there be no mistake about it – it’s rather ordinary pop. But it’s GOOD pop, and I love the entire thing. And I would love to find a copy of the album on vinyl or CD because I haven’t yet digitized the tape and I worry about playing it sometimes because I’m afraid the cassette deck will eat it and it will be gone for good…I’m paranoid like that about cassettes, which is why I never got into them.
(Side Note – I just discovered while fact-checking during the writing of this blog piece that this prized possession has been re-released on CD – since 2002, OMG! – and I have just ordered it from Amazon.com. YAY! I won’t have to worry about the cassette any longer…PHEW!)
I don’t mind buying cut-out cassettes because you’re not spending much on them, and I’ve actually found a few things I never found on vinyl during their initial release on cassette in the cassette cut-out bins – like Jack Green‘s excellent 1980 album “Humanesque“, the self-titled debut album by Will And The Kill, Jesse Jaymes‘ “Thirty Footer In Your Face” featuring the inimitable single “Shake It (Like A White Girl)” and countless others. But I really DO need to digitize my collections soon – and Kim’s – because unlike vinyl and CD, cassettes tend to go bad after a few years. And unlike hits, you usually can never find cut-out bin gems again, except at a very high price on the secondary market.
Cut-out bins aren’t the only mecca for cheap fantastic music, though – promotional singles, albums, and CDs are good too…yet another great subject – we’ll talk about THAT mess another time…:-)
I had one of these…not proud of it…I begged and begged for a K-Tel Record Selector for Christmas in…1972? 1973? I can’t remember which year…but boy oh boy…I loved it. Even though I already had way more albums than one of these doofy devices could hold…but I made the best use of it – right up through my high school graduation in 1981 – my most current, most played albums were kept in it…
I look back on this commercial for it, and just go “What was I thinking? And…what f**kin’ doofus would actually WANT one? Ye Gods…the times, they do a frighten…
Rack Jobber: Wholesaler that provides racks of merchandise for retail locations and split the profits obtained from sales between the two parties.
Many of the smaller stores I frequented as a child and teenager had record bins serviced by “rack jobbers”. The store wanted to sell records but didn’t want the hassle of doing the ordering and inventory themselves, so they hired a third party vendor to do it.
When I was a grade schooler, we lived in the small berg of Utica, Ohio, population about 2000. It was situated at the intersection of US Route 62 and State Route 13, near the Licking/Knox county line, exactly 13 miles away from the two local mid-sized cities and county seats – Newark (county seat of Licking County) was 13 miles south, Mount Vernon (county seat of Knox county) 13 miles north. We were 33 miles east of Reynoldsburg and Whitehall, then the easternmost suburbs of Columbus, the state capital. Two places in Utica sold records: the local Ben Franklin store had a bin for a few albums and 45s; Ritchie’s Ice Cream Shop, which was a grungy but family friendly old-fashioned malt shop-type of place, had a few 45s and a selection of children’s’ records (yeah, I know…it’s weird). They even had old-fashioned “listening booths” in the back that had been closed and used for storage by 1970, so they obviously had at one time sold far more records than you would think.
When I was a teenager, home was Harrington, Washington, population 579 (it has since dropped below the 500 mark). No one in the town sold “real” records, though the drug store had a small selection of K-Tel compilation albums and a few 8-Track tapes (what’s THAT, daddy?) from about 1977 on. To get current stuff, you had to hit the small rack-jobber units at the drug store in Davenport (13 miles north…what is it with this 13 mile shit, anyway?) or one of the drug stores in Ritzville, 28 miles south.
And the Variety Mart. Ye gods, the Variety Mart.
The Variety Mart in Ritzville was this odd little store right downtown that sold…well, a variety of things, hence the term “variety store”. They were a “general store” type of place. Garden seeds? They had it. Lawn furniture? Sure, right out back. Knick knacks for your living room tableau? In the glass case over there. Toys for your tot? In the ‘toy city’ aisle. Ceramic garden gnomes? Try out with the lawn chairs. A hot plate? Definitely. over with the kitchen appliances.
And records. They had one small bin. But they kept it stocked with the latest singles and most of the current albums as well. It was right next to the checkout counter. And I gave them a lot of my record business – at least for 45s – from the time I was a freshman until junior year, after our car broke down.
But it wasn’t necessarily the selection at these two places that always intrigued me. It was the labeling.
Rack Jobbers usually put a cardboard or plastic divider behind each 45 with a name and artist so you knew what you were buying. And presumably so they could keep track of what they were putting in each store. But not all of them were perfect, and some of them obviously weren’t paying the closest of attention, leading to title cards like these (ALL of these were actual title cards, I SWEAR…complete with their goofs…and if you can’t figure these out, shame shame SHAME on you, heh heh):
“If I Were Your Wowman” by Gladys Night and the Pipes
“The Rapture” by Blondie (and conversely, “Blondie” by The Rapture)
“Samantha Sang” by The Emotions (more on this one in a mo…)
“Boogier Wonderland” by Earth Wine And Fire
“The Bells” By Stay Awhile
“Escape the Pina Colada” by Ruben Homes
I could go on and on but you get the idea, I’m sure… half the fun shopping these places was finding these gems. Even as a small budding record collector, I knew my stuff – and this kind of error, well it WAS sort of annoying as hell to me, your average 8 and 15 year old respectively.
But….They were also FUNNY AS HELL.
Sometimes it was made worse by the fact that the rack jobber had printed labels with mistakes on them, usually printed on the kind of label placed in jukeboxes of the day. Handwritten errors (“If I Were Your Wowman“) were forgivable, and probably only in that one location; printed ones, like “Samantha Sang” by The Emotions, were UNFORGIVABLE. Because it meant that the jobber had placed the same wrong pre-printed card in all of his accounts. I saw that one at Ritzville’s Variety Mart, and even in the large Pay N Save stores in two completely opposite locations – Spokane (where I usually shopped) and Bellevue (a suburb of Seattle where I was visiting my aunt).
Hey Mr. Rack Jobber…I know your job probably drives you nuts. But the song in question wasn’t some obscure title – it was a friggin’ top 5 hit written by Barry Gibb, for pete’s sake. And all over the radio, played so much I heard it at least 8-10 times a day. It was “Emotion” by Samantha Sang, not the other way around. For pete’s sake, PAY ATTENTION. Dumbass.
The job of the rack jobber these days is to keep places like your local CVS stocked in current cheap CD compilations and low priced hit DVDs. But back in the day, they helped supply me with some much needed music. And quite a few chuckles along the way…”Samantha Sang” by “The Emotions”….REALLY? Harf HARF HARF!!