My first rock-in-roll LP was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Platinum and Gold” that I purchased for $11 in 1981.
I had just purchased my first home stereo system that year. Previous to that, I had two old television speakers wired into the headphone jack of a Panasonic cassette tape player/recorder to listen to music.
I was uptown with my new stereo system, which consisted of an Akai stereo receiver, Akai turntable, a Yamaha cassette tape player/recorder and two Norman Lab speakers. It seems like I paid around $900 for it all.
The receiver and tape deck have since bit the dust, but I still have the turntable and the speakers. I had the speakers tested a few years ago and more than 40-years later, they still sound as good as gold. The turntable is stored away. I’m sure with the addition of a new needle and some tender loving care that she will be good to go.
At the time, I was working nights on the janitor crew for a grocery/drug store chain in Tulsa called Skaggs Alpha Beta. I became friends with the deli cook who arrived at work at 4 a.m. daily. She was known as Mama Jane, a name she garnered as a restaurant owner in the Tulsa area.
I would make my way to the deli kitchen on my break most mornings and dig into the bacon she was cooked on big pans in the oven.
Mama Jane lived in west Tulsa with her only son. Her husband, who was in the military, passed away within a few years after they were married in the late 1950s.
We became good friends and that friendship lasted many years, long after I moved from Tulsa in August 1992. And it all started over a pan of bacon.
I often called Mama Jane and would visit for an hour or more. After moving from Tulsa, when I was in town, I always tried to stop and visit with her.
The store I worked at in Tulsa had a stereo cabinet I wanted. One morning, Mama Jane was walking through a store aisle and I enthusiastically asked if I could show her the stereo cabinet I wanted.
“I will buy it for you,” she said to my surprise as I showed her.
She said she would bring the $50 on Monday and she did.
I ended having to go to another Skaggs location in Tulsa to buy the stereo cabinet as the store I worked at was out of stock. And it happened to be on sale, so I had $10 left over.
I offered to give Mama Jane the change, but she told me to by a record album. I visited Sound Warehouse in Tulsa and bought the Lynyrd Skynyrd album.
Never underestimate how a small act of kindness can impact your life. She gave me something from her heart that was the beginning of a life-long relationship.
At one point in my life, I had well over 100 albums. I spent a lot of money buying LPs at Sound Warehouse, Honest John’s Records and Tapes and Peaches, a chain record store that once had a location in Tulsa. They even had LPs at Skaggs.
I don’t have any of my rock-n-roll albums these days as I sold most of them. However, I do have more than 100 Christian rock albums. Having grown up in the Southern Baptist Church, I thought the only music was hymns sang on Sunday morning.
I good friend, Rob, who I grew up with, took me to a Sunday afternoon concert in one of Tulsa’s city parks to hear Sweet Comfort Band, a California-based Christian band that had put on a show the night before at Oral Roberts University.
It was a great show and I bought the band’s first album, “Breaking the Ice,” which I still have to this day. I saw them and other Christian bands in concert a number of times through the years.
I’m glad to see the resurgence of vinyl, as it is called these days. It’s great to relieve the memories of listening to music of my time period. There’s nothing better than an LP spinning on a turntable and reliving memories.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.
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