Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vintage vinyl o' the day

You don't have to ask me twice whether I want to buy -- $2.50 . . . cheap! -- some flaming red vinyl.

I almost don't care what's on it, though in this case, I lucked out. It's classic David Rose, from a 1962 promotional album put out by Montgomery Ward in honor of the venerable department store's 90th anniversary.

This was one of nine put out that year by Ward's, which called the special releases the Nine Top Artist Series. Obviously, with artists like Rose and his orchestra, Lawrence Welk, Artie Shaw, The Ink Spots and The Three Suns, these LPs did not represent the Nine Top Artist Series for Teenyboppers.
Click on album covers to enlarge

But speaking as someone who was a toddlerbopper in 1962, I still think it's all pretty jake . . . er, cool . . . er, groovy . . . er, exemplary.

WHAT I ALSO think is pretty exemplary are my memories of great old department stores like Monkey Ward's, as everyone called the late, great company back then. It was one entity of what I guess you could have called the Holy Trinity of Retailers -- Sears and Roebuck, J.C. Penney and Montgomery Ward, founded (if you do the early-'60s math) in 1872.

Ward's succumbed to modernity in 2000 but was sort of resurrected in 2004 as an online retailer by a company -- itself since acquired by yet another company -- that bought the name and intellectual property of the gone-bust giant. Meantime, Sears and Penney's are hanging on by their fingernails, mere shells of what they once were commercially and as cultural icons.

THE MUSIC with which Montgomery Ward celebrated its success once upon a time remains, though. Music, unlike institutions, never dies.

Though time marches on and memories eventually fade, the music plays on. The music plays on.

And it plays on 3 Chords & the Truth. Be there this weekend. Aloha.

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