A while back, I wrote about the numbers of places I’d lived as an adult, and noted that I’ve lived here in the little white house off Lincoln Avenue longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. I also said that the odds were likely that there’d be another place in that list eventually and that the Texas Gal and I were going to start trimming down in order to fit into what would be a smaller space.
Well, for a few weeks, we actually planned to move from here back into the apartment complex across the back yard, the same place we lived for not quite six years when we moved to St. Cloud. And I began to sort LPs in the EITW studios. My goal is to trim the LPs from about 3,000 down to around 1,000.
There are some, of course, that automatically go on the list of those that will stay: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Richie Havens, some single albums from many performers, the blues collection, and so on. For many of the others, I’ll make certain I have the music in digital format. Some of those I might find at the public library, but I think I will spend a fair amount of time with my turntable.
And some of the vinyl on my shelf will not be replaced digitally. It showed up – generally during the hard years on Pleasant Avenue during the 1990s – and was played once, and it will be considered non-essential as I trim the library. (The most recent of those pulled from the shelf were albums by Dan Hill and by the Holy Modal Rounders.)
As it happened, though, we’re not moving. A couple of shifts in the universe have left us here on Lincoln for the foreseeable future. But we’re still going to downsize. And we’ve been trying to figure out exactly what to do with the albums. We’re going to try to sell them, of course. Many of the LPs I’ll pull from the shelves are good work that might actually be in demand now that vinyl seems to be the hip thing among certain demographic groups in our culture. But there is no vinyl retailer in St. Cloud anymore.
That means going to Minneapolis and to Cheapo Records, the business where I got maybe two-thirds of the 1,500 albums I bought during my seven-plus years on Pleasant Avenue. But I know from direct observation that it takes some time for the record folks at Cheapo to sort through a box of albums offered for sale. If we brought in ten liquor boxes of records, how long would we have to cool our heels while waiting for the records to be sorted and graded?
It seemed impractical. But I finally called Cheapo, which has moved its main location (but is still close enough to my old digs that I know the area), and asked about the best way to accomplish the sale. The fellow on the phone said that we could at any time drop off all the boxes of records we could bring, leave our name, address and telephone number, and they’d send out a check when they were done and then dispose of the records they did not want.
That’s going to work. Now, we need to find a place to store about thirty liquor boxes full of records. (I learned long ago that liquor boxes are the most practical to use for transporting LPs.) The Texas Gal questioned the total of thirty boxes, but the math works out: I can get about 65 LPs into a liquor box, and I need to trim from the collection about 2,000 records, and the math gives me a result of not quite thirty-one boxes.
I’m not sure we’ll be able to get thirty boxes of records into the Versa at one time, but we’ll open that gate when we get to it. In the meantime, we need a place to store boxes of records that leaves me room to work. (The 800 or so records I’ve already culled – and many of those required some hard resolve – are cluttered on the floor and set aside in the stacks.) We have some room in the loft, but lugging records upstairs just to lug them down again seemed impractical.
So the Texas Gal made a decision: She’s going to move her quilting operations upstairs again. That will require some work, but it will give her some more space to work, space that’s available now that we’ve given the treadmill and the pink beanbag chair to a friend. That will allow her some room to sort out the many yards of fabric she has in her current sewing room, and it will grant me space to stack boxes of records that will eventually make their ways to Minneapolis.
I imagine we’ll start that shifting operation in the next week or so and sometime this summer, about 2,000 LPs will head out of here and re-enter circulation. But I’m finding that deciding whether some records go or stay is hard.
Well, I did some digging this morning and found out that fifty-two years ago today, Dion recorded a cover of “Don’t Start Me Talkin’,” a blues tune written and first recorded in 1955 by Sonny Boy Williamson II. The cover was unreleased at the time and eventually came out on a 1991 box set of Dion’s work. It’s not a bad track, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I idly went to the page about Dion at Wikipedia. And I noticed that in 1989, he released a single from his Yo Frankie album that got to No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and to No. 16 on the magazine’s Adult Contemporary chart.
I listened to the single at YouTube and heard something that I just hadn’t noticed in November 1999, when I bought the album and played it in my new apartment further south in Minneapolis. The move put me about six miles away from Cheapo’s, but I still did business there as well as at the Cheapo’s in St. Paul, which might have been marginally closer to my new digs: My copy of Yo Frankie still has the Cheapo’s price sticker on it.
My copy of Yo Frankie was also in the stack of records to be sold. But having listened this morning to Dion’s charting single from 1989 and having learned that the saxophone solo on the track is from Jim Horn (mentioned here in fandom many, many times over the years), I moved Yo Frankie back to the “keep” shelf.
And all of that is how Dion’s “And The Night Stood Still” became today’s Saturday Single.