Joy Spins Eternal Saturday, April 22, for Vinyl Lovers Everywhere. Record Store Day 2017 Rolls into Your Town

alan By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio
(Originally posted April 19, 2017)

Your mission this week, and not nearly an impossible one, is to compose your want lists and check them twice and, what’s more, map out your travel plans for Record Store Day 2017, happening in your town, and yours too.

Record Store Day (RSD), 10 years young this year, is the vinyl fan’s national holiday and quite the occasion for a big group hug. Taking place Saturday, April 22 at independent record stores worldwide, it’s the place to be to snag special RSD exclusive platters, fill in holes in your collections of archival and current artists, and meet with fellow vinyl hounds to talk shop, if by “shop” we mean, and we do, the musicians we love and, by the way, which albums and artists are in your top 10.

gary gebler trax on wax

Trax on Wax’s Gary Gebler

Trax on Wax, located in beautiful Catonsville, Maryland (also known as Music City), is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. Owner and vinyl guru Gary Gebler has participated in eight Record Store Days; he’s seen it all. In the following exclusive interview, Gary talks about how more mainstream artists have become a part of the annual celebration, Elton John’s status as the first worldwide Record Store Day Legend, the ongoing and increasing popularity of Big Star, and that familiar record store smell:

elton john 17-11-70What’s on your Record Store Day list this year? How about an extended vinyl version of Elton John’s famous, early live album, 17-11-70, with six never-before-heard songs and a newly-remixed version of “Amoreena,” a bonus track included on the CD reissue of the album back in 1995? How about The Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction album from 1966 in mono on 180-gram vinyl? Zombies fans will want to snag a copy of a special 45–on pink vinyl, no less–pairing a previously unheard version of “A Rose for Emily” and the version of “This Will Be Our Year” that everyone knows and loves.

Whatever your desires, an indie record store near you on Record Store Day 2017 will likely be able to fulfill them. Our hearts are with Trax on Wax; we hope yours are pledged to support your favorite local independent record stores, wherever they may be.

Happy hunting and spinning!

Learn more about Trax on Wax by clicking here.

alanhaberspurepopradiographiclarge1

listen sun blue 4-30-17

listen sun grey 4-30-17

app box 4-30-17

streamlicensing-badge

Record Store Day 2015: Crazy, Man. Crazy Good.

frederick-street-catonsville-maryland

Frederick Road in Catonsville, Maryland

by Alan Haber

It’s after lunch on this sunny Saturday, sometime after the regular crowd shuffles in to the various quick- and long-stop eateries along Frederick Road in Catonsville, Maryland. A woman, probably in her late thirties, maybe her early forties, walks carefully around the tight corners and through the narrow walkways separating the fully-stocked shelves and displays populating Objects Found, a neighborhood antique store within which shiny, happy jewelry pieces and Elvis Presley collectibles sit happily side by side in nooks and crannies and behind glass doors in crowded cases.

patsy-cline-crazy-45-label-sized-for-web-storyThe woman, looking here and over there, but not too far afield, is hearing the songs played through the store’s audio system, and they are coming one after the other and, what with her looking for just the right item or items to bring home, wrapped in tissue paper and put in bags at the counter, it is hard to distinguish one song from the other, but as if by some magical means, one song catches the woman’s ear and burrows into it. “Crazy,” the woman sings, “I’m crazy for feeling so lonely.” Whether she knows it or not, the woman is singing something approaching a duet with Patsy Cline; the woman matches Patsy word for word, perhaps not exactly in meter or in key, but she is right on the button with her.

“I’m crazy, crazy for feeling so blue…” All the while, as the melody flows through her, her face never betrays the feeling; she knows the song, has lived with that song for at least a time; maybe she heard it when she was growing up or discovered it at a friend’s house. Maybe she heard it on the radio, on some country station or oldies outlet. It doesn’t matter; she knows that song, and the act of singing it as she is shopping for something to cherish, however large or small, means that she cherishes the song, too. And then, as “Crazy” fades into another song that perhaps doesn’t strike a chord with her, the woman stops singing and moves forward through the store; a ring or a doll that looks vaguely Victorian is calling out to her, the way that music, the way that particular songs call out to people and burrow in and, really, what can you do about that other than sing along?

spot's-watering-holeThere was a lot of singing along, mostly, probably, silently, and tapping of feet at the famed Catonsville depot for vinyl records old and new and newer still on this Saturday in April, round about mid-month, just after tax day–a beautiful day, with the temperature rolling around the 80-degree mark; a day when even Fido could cool off with a tasty drink; shirt-sleeve weather delighting passersby and record geeks and music fans and folks who love the oldies or the latest hits or some kind of thing in between; people both young and older; people whose high-end sound systems can blow the roof off of their houses and their neighbors’ houses, and people with entry-level, all-in-one turntable systems; people for whom only the finest vinyl pressings will do and those who aren’t quite so fussy.

happy-birthday-golden-recordAll of these people are gathered at Trax on Wax in Catonsville, Maryland at about 11:30 in the morning, gathered together as one like-minded group, even if they don’t know it, snapping up the special Record Store Day releases and thumbing through the stacks that house upwards of somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 albums, give or take. Even a stack of old Golden Record 45s and other single delights shines brightly with one entitled Happy Birthday on top; the record inside of the brightly colored sleeve, depicting a kids’ party complete with lit candles on a festive cake, has part one of “Happy Birthday” on the a-side and part two on the b-side. The record, which advertises on the back of the sleeve other Golden Records–“3 Little Golden Records on a 45 RPM EP – 6 Songs and Famous Littles on Both 78 RPM and 45 RPM”–features the song stylings of the Sandpipers and Mitch Miller and his Orchestra and is from about 1960, when it could be had for a measly 29 cents. The Famous Littles were priced slightly higher in Canada–35 cents, to be exact. “Ask for the Fabulous Golden LP records, only $1.98 ea.” You could get a lot for so little back in the day.

But these Golden treasures, stacked on the floor in the back of the store, were only the tip of a very large iceberg; rock, pop, jazz, specialty, soul, comedy and just about anything you could want ruled the day and lined the shelves. Special Record Store Day releases were displayed on the walls to the left of Trax’s entrance.

trax-on-wax-full-of-customersAmidst the Record Store day chatter, you could probably hear people saying, “Hey, there’s the Sly and the Family Stone live album recorded at the Fillmore and never released until now!”, “Man, I love the White Stripes!”, or “Those Kinks EPs look rather tasty!” And “Do you have–” Well, that was probably the number one question asked of Trax on Wax owner Gary Gebler and his manager Jeff Ball and the other knowledgeable, passionate-about-music-just-like-you folks working that day. It was a day all about family; it was a day all about people who like the feeling they get when they are around other music and vinyl fans, people who grew up with the sounds of music and carried those deeply-set feelings through adulthood and people who just discovered the joy of holding a record album in their hands, of looking at people-sized artwork and included posters and stickers and full credits that tell you who played what and twiddled the knobs in the studio.

david-harris-and-gary-at-trax-on-wax-from-2014-sized-for-website-story

(Left to right) Vinyl collector and music fan David Harris with Trax on Wax owner Gary Gebler

It was a day about the extended family of vinyl hounds and casual music fans converging on the little store that does in Catonsville, and, really, it was a day of getting together and turning each other on to some band or singer or spoken word artist who really rings the magic bell time and time again. It was a day of joy for  David Harris, a collector of records played on fine audio equipment who knows what’s what, who is like a moth drawn to a flame when color pressings are in his sights; a man who lives and breathes music and for whom vinyl is a way of life–a man who talks about his favorite records and vinyl finds and lights up with such strength that he could probably power a city like Las Vegas, if such a thing were possible.

For David Harris, vinyl is king, as he explains in the following interview:

gwen-mister

Longtime music fan Gwen Mister shows off the special 180 gram mono edition of the Doors’ Strange Days album at Trax on Wax

The first 45 that Gwen Mister owned was “Shop Around” by the Miracles (actually, by the Miracles featuring Bill “Smokey” Robinson, as the credits read on the Tamla single label). Gwen was at Trax on Wax looking for Record Store Day releases such as the 180 gram mono pressing of the Doors’ Strange Days album, which she found and proudly shows off in the picture at left.

shop-around-tamla-45-resizedIn a perfect world, if you looked in the dictionary under “dedicated music fan,” you would probably find a photo of Miss Mister. A retired accountant, who used to study the violin and loves Diana Ross, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Motown, Grace Slick, Bonnie Raitt and, perhaps most especially, John Lennon, Miss Mister is a gracious and dedicated music fan, as is obvious by listening to the following interview:

In a perfect world, and this world of vinyl hounds and fans of Diana Ross and fans of just plain good music is about as perfect as it gets, every day would be Record Store Day–that is, a day to visit local, independent record stores to visit with the staff, talk to the owner, greet the day with a new vinyl find and pledge to come back again soon now, you hear?

gary-gebler-and-alan

(Left to right) Trax on Wax Owner Gary Gebler tells Alan Haber that Record Store Day 2015 was a great day

For Gary Gebler of Trax on Wax, Record Store Day 2015 was as perfect a day as he has had the pleasure to experience. Listen to Gary wax poetic:

frederick-road-2-small

Frederick Road, Catonsville, Maryland

On April 18, 2015, a sunny day, a beautiful day along Frederick Road in Catonsville, Maryland, at the center, the hub of vinyl experience for vinyl hounds and music fans who know what’s what and what’s up and what to look for in a sea of treasures, Record Store Day shone. It was a crazy day, a great day, a day that will stand among other days that came before and will come after. This day, this quite sunny and spectacular day, will be remembered by the people who were there. These people will play their records and think back to this day, and next year, around the same time, they will hope for sunny skies still, but really, really, it’s all a state of mind; every day is a sunny day when the music is playing and the beat, ultimately, will go on.

*     *     *     *     *

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Thursday

record-store-day-2015-small

With just two days to go before Record Store Day 2015 commences at your local, independent record store, it’s time to get down to it and, well, confess: Turntables? I’ve had a few.

This week, I’ve been looking back to some of the reasons why I fell in love with records, and how that love has fueled my ongoing obsession with the 12-inch vinyl wonders of the world. Today, I find myself waxing nostalgic about some of the turntables I’ve had in my life. Turntables that have been pushed to their limits. Turntables that were able to play records at 78 rpm, which came in handy when listening to Moby Grape’s “Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot,” a track on the group’s 1968 Wow album that played at 78 rpm. Turntables on which you could set the speed between the actual speed settings so you would be able to rock Beatles records back and forth to uncover clues to Paul McCartney’s death. Turntables like that.

garrard-40b-turntable

The Garrard 40B

The Garrard 40B was an entry level, three-speed turntable that seemed, for a time, at least, to be the go-to model for kids in my Long Island neighborhood. It seemed as though every kid had one. We played our 45s and our LPs on this gateway to the world of music that we were constantly discovering. It took a licking and kept on ticking. It was a reliable performer that did the trick time and again. It was what we had for a time, and we loved it.

turntable-zenith

Not the Symphonic model described below

Then there was an all-in-one model by Symphonic (not the one depicted above, but sort-of similar) that had built-in speakers on either side of the turntable, which folded out to the front. Maneuvering the speed lever between settings, you could rock a record back and forth, slowly but surely, when trying to discover the various audio clues that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Paul McCartney was dead. This was a handy (not official) feature, allowing my friends and I to go deep inside The Beatles, aka the White Album. Backwards clues? No problem. Not surprisingly, I fried one of these units doing the rocking thing. Thankfully, my father was tolerant and understanding when it came to me asking–begging–him to buy me another one. Good times.

turntable-stanton

The Stanton STR8-20

turntable-ion

The ION ITTUSB

Today,  I can use any of three turntables to play my records. The Stanton STR8-20 is the top model in my main rack; the ION ITTUSB allows me to record needle drops on my main computer. But the Peanuts Crosley Cruiser, purchased on Record Store Day 2014, is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio. I mean, just look at it:

peanuts-cruiser-large

The Peanuts Crosley Cruiser

Today, as was the case yesterday and the yesterday before, there is no activity finer than bringing the needle down on a great record, getting the volume just right (pumping for the driving stuff and not-so-pumping for softer sounds), and plopping down on the couch–comfort is key–for an immersive listening experience. Holding the cover–taking in the majesty of the art, reading the credits (“Oh look, it’s Robben Ford on guitar!”), and checking out the inner sleeve–is beyond important. And singing along? Well, naturally.

Tomorrow, I bring this week of vinyl memories to a soft landing, just in time for Record Store Day 2015 to greet your Saturday. What joy!

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Wednesday

record-store-day-2015

For day three of Pure Pop Radio’s exclusive countdown to Record Store Day 2015, I thought it would be fun to revisit the freedom I experienced in my late teens, driving around Long Island, visiting various secondhand record stores and snagging treasures beyond my wildest dreams.

warner-bros-inner-sleeve

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Right from the start of my record collecting days, I was a completist, or at least I tried very hard to be! I had seen the advertisements for Warner Brothers’ Loss Leaders, a series of one- and two-record sets (and even one three-record set) that compiled tracks from the company’s releases and rarities from both new and established WB artists (the releases were plugged on the company’s records’ inner sleeves). The artwork for the sleeves was colorful and exciting to look at, and the liner notes were full of great information and (sometimes) more than a smidge of attitude. Plus, the cost for the two-disc goodies was a measly two bucks (until the end of the series). How could you go wrong?

warner-bros-schlagerswarner-brothers-1969-songbookI drove my car everywhere I could in the hopes of getting as many, or all, of the available Loss Leaders as possible. Classics such as the first Leader, The 1969 Warner Reprise Songbook, and 1970’s soft-sounding compilation Schlagers!, which featured Trini Lopez, Frank Sinatra and the San Sebastian Strings, as well as Randy Newman, Petula Clark and Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, were must-haves. Until I left Long Island after graduating college in 1977 and moved to Delaware to start my radio career, I motored up and down the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway and other highways and byways in search of as many Leaders as I could find, all available for as little as 50 cents apiece.

warner-bros-looney-tunesThe Loss Leaders weren’t difficult to find, but it did take a lot of driving and wearing out of shoe leather to collect them. What I consider the treasure of the entire series didn’t become the crown of my collection until I moved to Brooklyn, New York in the 1980s. Walking toward Manhattan Beach one sunny day, my wife and I found a little record store that proved to be a goldmine of treasures. There, I found the only three-record set in the Leaders series, Looney Tunes Merrie Melodies, a box that featured on its cover a takeoff on the Warner Brothers cartoon logo, with Elmer Fudd center stage, and presented artists such as James Taylor, Harpers Bizarre (“If We Ever Needed the Lord Before”) and Van Dyke Parks (“On the Rolling Sea When Jesus Speaks to Me”). Showing off the Leaders’ fun and edgy attitude, one of the faux commercials in the set concludes with the tag line, “Warner Brothers Records: The shiny black chips you eat with your ears.”

Today, with a few holes still in my Leaders collection, I continue my pursuit of owning every entry in the series. And now, here in 2015, I am very, very close!

Read a quite detailed fun and informative history of the Warner Brothers Loss Leaders series by clicking here. Another detailed series history, played out in a survey of every release, two at a time, can be experienced by clicking here. More fun you can not have!

All record collectors can relate to the feeling you get when you’re this close to putting your hands on a particular platter to complete part of your collection. It’s quite exhilarating (even after all these years!)!

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Tuesday

record-store-day-2015-smallDay two of our exclusive countdown to Record Store Day 2015 continues with another look at past vinyl finds snagged through the years for my ever-growing collection.

suzy-and-the-red-stripes-box-smallToday I offer an eclectic bunch of platters–a group of treasured releases that, many, many years later, still hold a place in my vinyl heart, starting with a snazzy looking, special box set for Suzy and the Red Stripes’ “Seaside Woman,” released by A&M records in 1977. Suzy and crew were, of course, Wings. The yellow vinyl 45 in the box sported a hypno label and came with 10 “saucy” postcards and a red-striped badge. The box, too, was adorned with red stripes. I purchased the box at a Beatlefest in the early 1980s in excellent condition. It’s still one of my most-prized Paul McCartney-related possessions.

wings-spin-it-onwings-marySpeaking of Wings, here are two more nifty collectors items that have pride of place in my collection. The first is the rare picture sleeve for “Spin It On” b/w “Getting Closer.” The sleeve, with its showstopping, commanding and dazzling font effect makes the visual pop. Next is the picture sleeve for Wings’ “Mary Had a Little Lamb” b/w “Little Woman Love” (Apple 1851). This sleeve may actually not be as rare as I once thought it was, but I love it and I’m glad it’s in my collection.

Joe-Piscopo-v1In 1982, Saturday Night Live cast member Joe Piscopo recorded a great, funny medley of rock songs (listen below) as they might have been sung by Frank Sinatra. Saturday Night Live fans will remember Piscopo’s hysterical Sinatra impersonations as a highlight during his time with the show. Piscopo was promoting his medley at various record stores in Manhattan. One day, he appeared at Crazy Eddie’s on 57th Street, so I walked from work and found Joe behind one of the sales counters, with nary a fan waiting to speak to him. I shook his hand, told him I was a big fan, and got him to autograph my 12-inch record. This was just one of my brushes with stardom–remind me to tell you about the rest some day!

Eric-StewartIn 1986, my wife and I made the first of six trips to London and various towns in England and Scotland. One of my main concerns, other than making sure to visit every last Beatles-related landmark I could find, was, of course, shopping for records. We walked everywhere, and every time we saw a record store, we stopped in. My memory tells me it was in Kentish Town, in northwest London, that we spied a small record shop down a side street. I was on the hunt for Eric “10cc” Stewart’s 1982 solo album, Frooty Rooties, released on the Phonogram label. I had been looking for it since it was released, to no avail. We walked into this particular shop and I asked the clerk if he had a copy. “I think we have that one, yes,” he said, and in mere seconds pulled it out of the stacks and handed it to me. I thought I had discovered buried treasure! And it was a promo copy. Score!

buddah-recordsHere’s a weird one: In 1970, Buddah Records released a two-record set to promote its releases. Titled N.E.C. Convention Memphis/February 15-18 1970 – Rock and Roll with Buddah and adorned with the Buddah logo on the front and the song titles and artists on the back, the record, to the best of my recollection, was not released commercially (I remember it being advertised in a print publication, possibly Rolling Stone). I think it cost two dollars. The content varied wildly: Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” and the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Younger Generation” appeared alongside the Tokens’ version of “Don’t Worry Baby” and the Edwin Hawkins Singers’ “Oh Happy Day.” I’ve tried to find details on this release, but all roads lead to dead ends. Any details would be greatly appreciated. Was this created with an ear toward beating Warner Bros., with their Loss Leaders program, at their own game? A great curiosity, for sure.

Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at the aforementioned Loss Leaders program, and how getting my drivers license helped fuel my mad hunt for all available entries in the series.

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

(Photos of Joe Piscopo’s record, and Eric Stewart’s Frootie Rooties, were taken by ace Daily Planet photographer, Janet Haber; 45 scans by Alan Haber)

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Monday

record-store-day-2015This coming Saturday, people of all ages, whether they be short or tall, wearing glasses or contacts, dressed in blue jeans or suits and ties, driving their cars or riding in buses, college age or of a certain age, wearing long hair or short or in-between, partial to loud dress shirts or rock ‘n’ roll tees, rockers or jazzers or popsters, will be converging on independent record stores across America and various locations abroad.

It’s almost time for the vinyl fans’ annual pilgrimage to Mecca–the local or faraway or somewhere in-between record store that caters to them in a way that online shops can not; places where you are greeted with a smile by the owner or a knowledgeable staff member who can answer questions about a particular release almost faster than you can ask them; places where the new mixes with the old and all releases, regardless of genre or age, play nice with each other.

springsteen-record-store-day-2014record-store-day-ramonesMost people likely have their eyes on the prizes pressed by both independent and major record companies–special releases and items created for Record Store Day that bring out-of-print releases back to life, gather previously-unreleased tracks (such as last RSD’s Bruce Springsteen album), or simply celebrate the occasion with style (this year’s Ramones Crosley Cruiser turntable, the sequel to last year’s Peanuts model).

Record Store Day is a fun day–a day to meet other music fans, swap stories about favorite platters, soak up the vinyl atmosphere, and spend lots of money; one in which everything goes and favored releases go out the door at record speed.

Anticipating Record Store Day 2015, I’ve been in a vinyl state of mind that has gotten me in the mood to visit past vinyl purchases and think about where and why I bought them. If it’s true that every picture tells a story, record albums speak volumes. And I’ve spun a few albums in my time.

Freddy-McCoy-albumfreddie-mccoy-autographOne I probably haven’t spun since the late sixties is an album by jazz vibraphonist Freddie McCoy, who spent time with my father, a trumpet player, in the 440th band at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where I was born. Flipping through albums on a random shelf, I found a copy of McCoy’s 1968 Prestige records release, Soul Yogi, which contains covers of Brian Wilson’s “Pet Sounds” and the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.” Signed on the cover in pen by McCoy with a dedication to my father, the album, which I forgot I had, has brought back some wonderful memories. I’m thrilled that I found it. Check out McCoy’s inscription above right.

Our-Best-to-YouAnother album, a Columbia Special Products release from 1967 called Our Best to You, was a favorite record I got from a Columbia promo man who lived across the street from a friend of mine when I was growing up. Hits by the Cryan’ Shames and the Byrds stack up against Moby Grape’s “8:05” and Aretha Franklin’s “Sweet Bitter Love” for a fun spin. I somehow lost or misplaced my original copy; I was able to acquire another last year from the great record store, Trax on Wax (see below). This was an important record for me, because it came near to the start of my vinyl and music obsession. I about wore my copy out.

captain-kangarooThe first vinyl album I owned was a soundtrack recording by the cast of the kids television show Captain Kangaroo, which ran for more than 30 years on CBS television. I distinctly remember it being delivered to my house on a day when I was home sick from school. It was the greatest present I’d ever been given; unfortunately, I don’t have it any more, and I don’t remember which specific title it was.

soupy-sales-sez-do-the-mouseBut I do remember the second album I owned: Soupy Sales Sez Do the Mouse *and Other Teen Hits. I knew the words to every track on that record. I drove my parents crazy, running around the house singing “The Mouse” and “Pachalafaka.” “They whisper it all over Turkey,” I’d warble, trying to sound like Soupy. Crazy days! I don’t have the original album my father bought for me, but I do have another copy I bought a couple of decades later. Another prized possession that brings back great memories.

mighty-groundhogsOne more memory for today: A 1972 album by the Mighty Groundhogs, released on United Artists Records, featuring full comic strip art drawn by none other than super artist Neal Adams. I don’t remember how I heard about this record–I probably just found it in a used record shop and bought it because of the cover and package art. Pretty sweet, then and now.

These are just some of the vinyl memories I’ve been thinking about the past few days, leading up to the week-long countdown to Record Store Day 2015. We’ll be at the official record store for Pure Pop Radio, Catonsville, Maryland’s Trax on Wax, on Record Store Day, celebrating with fellow vinyl and music fans. We can’t wait.

Tomorrow: More vinyl memories as we continue counting down to Record Store Day 2015. See you then!

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

(All album photos, except for American Beauty, were taken by ace Daily Planet photographer, Janet Haber)

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Spinning Gold: Record Store Day 2014 Delights Vinylites in Catonsville, Maryland

Spinning the coolest sounds!

Spinning the coolest sounds!

Record Store Day 2014!

Record Store Day 2014!

The national holiday of vinyl worship, held on one blessed day a year, has once again come and gone, but this year–this year of limited releases from big names; medium names; and smaller, perhaps hungrier names, and a special, most smile-inducing, now coveted item–was perhaps the best of them all, a day in the year that will go down as the day that the lure of vinyl became part of the way of life for even more new vinyl lovers than ever before.

The art of embracing the vinyl experience, of holding an album cover and experiencing every pixel of the art, of unfolding the included posters and examining the other included tchotchkes–stickers, cutouts and the like–is an art unlike any other. The whole vinyl experience is an all-encompassing one that can not come alive in a CD store or during an online purchase. Today, as in days gone by, the real vinyl experience occurs in a record store, independent in nature, owned by a music guy who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of the great platter. This store is staffed by similarly-schooled kids-to-adults who take the right amount of pleasure in turning a customer on to some cool, real, really real sounds.

Alan Haber and Trax on Wax store owner Gary Gebler

Alan Haber and Trax on Wax store owner Gary Gebler

On Record Store Day, which has been going strong and now stronger still since 2007, vinyl people–true music fans all–converge on their local, independent record stores to purchase Record Store Day releases that are noted with a sticker, announcing themselves as honest-to-goodness Record Store Day platters. Also in the mix: used records and 45’s and the usual new release suspects. This year, the stars in the bright sky converged to create the Crosley Peanuts Cruiser Record Store Day Turntable, a highly-coveted item adorned with Peanuts comic strip record-related illustrations. The turntable, as you might imagine, sold like the highly-coveted hotcake it is. From inside the box, the turntable screams “Oh Wow!” You are drawn to stare at the box for as long as you must, but really you must open the box eventually and get to spinning.

Record Store Day 2014 set Catonsville, Maryland alight!

Record Store Day 2014 set Catonsville, Maryland alight!

At Trax on Wax in Catonsville, Maryland, owner Gary Gebler, a deeply-knowledgeable record man with more than 40 years experience in the music industry, worked tirelessly with his manager, unpacking Record Store Day boxes bulging with Record Store Day releases as a line of vinyl hounds, long as can be, hugged the sidewalk outside of the store. The hounds pushed gently through the door when the store opened and, for the first hour of business on the Saturday, focused on the official Record Store Day releases, snapping up the Wizard of Oz soundtrack on green vinyl; a Donny Hathaway live album, recorded in 1971 at the Bitter End in New York City ; and a Devo disc, among other treasures.

It's customer mania on Record Store Day 2014 at Trax on Wax!

It’s customer mania on Record Store Day 2014 at Trax on Wax!

Gebler spoke exclusively with Pure Pop Radio’s Alan Haber about the 2014 Record Store Day experience. Through the eyes and ears of a music industry veteran, you get the inside-out view of the day’s purchasing and hoopla. If you’ve ever wanted to know the inside story of Record Store Day, you’ll want to listen to this spirited conversation about every vinyl fan’s time spent in the platter’s favorite mecca. Oh, and by the way: Record Store Day 2015 begins spinning in 353 days and 11 hours. The next meeting of vinyl minds is just around the corner.

Click on the play button below to hear Alan and Gary relive the Record Store Day 2014 experience!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes