Sunday, October 29, 2006

Out Of The Thrift Store, Into The Old TAVC: Kennewick, WA, October 29, 2006

The Giant Nickel is one of those freebie papers you find at the market where people can buy and sell their goods, along with ads for used cars, etc. The local Giant Nickel revealed a CD/RECORD MUSIC SALE to take place at the Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick, Washington this coming Sunday. The Skills Center is what I still know as the Tri-Cities Area Vocational Skills Center, or T.A.V.C. (sometimes called by its initials, other times as "tay-vac"), the place where I went during high school to take Radio/Television Production. It was here where my childhood dream of being a radio DJ came true, and in a high school capacity became music director and in my senior year, station manager. But I remember it more for the music I played and having my own show, The Classic Cafe, where I played rock from the late 60's to the early 70-'s, an era I've always admired. I hadn't visited this place in 18 years so I wasn't sure what to expect. I've passed the building many times over the years, and yet as I went into the parking lot, I had a few memories, both good and bad. The good memories had to do with the music I played, the learning experience (the "TV Production" side of the class eventually lead to me getting my first "real job", as I don't consider my two-day stint at a thrift store a "job"). The bad had to do with certain parents being offended by some of the music we played on the air at the time, as the format was heavy metal. That coincided with the Parents Music Resource Center and of course the re-introduction of Satan in American culture. Unfortunately, I wrote a letter to the editor in the local paper, explaining that people have the freedom to listen or not. Unfortunately, I also spoke on behalf of the station and not my own, and I believe that was interpreted as "John is speaking on behalf of the class, the vocational center, and the school district", and it got very ugly to where I received death threats and was pretty much ignored by any friends I had.

It was a very rough two years, but I came out of it looking at the world differently. One, I quickly learned that the area I live in is considered "the most conservative area in Washington State", and anything considered "out of the norm" is not considered right. I listened to hip-hop AND heavy metal, had long hair, and also had a big nose, not exactly the stereotypical farmer's kid. I already had bad experiences in high school, but to enter a class that was my dream, only for that to fall apart and then be blamed for some of the troubles the station went through, was something that made me bitter. Two years later, I found myself embracing the local punk rock scene for the first time, and finding a better sense of community than I ever did in my three years at high school. If the punk community consisted of a group of rejects and outcasts, I fit in perfectly.

I've talked about it in writings elsewhere, but outside of the good times I had in Radio/TV Production, I would never wish my high school experience on anyone, ever. It was very much like Enid in Ghost World, where I just floated around and hoped I would be able to find the next bus out of town. Apart from vacations, I'm still waiting for that bus.

However, this post is not about mixed feelings of high school, but about returning to that old building where I did have some good memories. I got there, and not surprisingly I had to walk through the radio station (KTCV, 88.1FM) to get to the CD/Record sale. Lots of rock posters and news articles all over the wall, something that was not allowed when I was in the class. It felt like a class for students, not a business office, so that was cool. I got into the commons, which is where the record sale was happening. It was very small once I looked around, maybe four or five tables consisting of boxes of records, and I saw a familiar face, local radio DJ legend Ed Dailey. When I moved here, he was a DJ doing shows under another name, which I don't remember now, but he had one of the best voices I had heard. As someone who admired the world of radio and broadcasting, Dailey had that cool voice you always wanted to hear. I don't know the full story, but he stopped for awhile and returned to the radio under his real name. I've also seen him on local public access taking part in Christian music shows, but he is better known for his experience in radio and a show he hosts today called Legends Of Country. On top of that, he is also the instructor of the class I had taken part in (I had a different instructor).

Once I seen Mr. Dailey, I had assumed that there would be a significant amount of country. It was more than significant, it was almost all country. Fortunately, my interest in country music has grown in recent years. Dailey came up to me as I stared looking in the boxes and said that all albums were 25 cents, and if someone wanted to make an offer, he would consider it. I figured that a lot of the albums would either be from his collection, old radio stock, or both. I was correct. As I browsed through the boxes, I was hoping to find more rock, more soul, more jazz, more funk. I also assumed the CD/Record sale would have more sellers, but I only noticed one other seller. Dailey talked to a collector who also happens to hold his own show, I wish I had went over to talk story but as any collector knows, if you're slow during browsing someone will snap up that record you may be looking for.

The majority of the records were were unknown to be, but I knew of most of the names: Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Roy Clark, and many, many others. I heard Dailey also say that a good portion of the profits made during the sale would go back into the class, which I felt was cool. Since each record was 25 cents each, I could come out there with some great finds.

About half of the records had handwriting on it, some had seam splits, a bunch had masking tape on the side. In other words, your typical "dollar bin" collection. Dailey said that a lot of these albums were from his father's collection, he has held on to them over the years but now has no room.

Some records were in VG-/VG condition, a few a bit nicer. What I noticed first and foremost was the amount of albums on Capitol that were mono promos. With one or two, there had to be more, and I was right. I wish I had taken them all, and I could have but I resisted the urge. One guy looking through the boxes was on his cell, telling his friend "it's said that my paycheck has to go to rent this month". A Another guy, an older gentlemen, says "wow, this record is beautiful but it's going to mess up my needle really bad. I'll pass on this one." Before that he says "25 cents a record, that's amazing, and I'm probably going to go broke today." Aah yes, I was among my people, my fellow vinyl junkies.

I looked at another dealer, who was selling his collection of 45's. Some of them looked like they came from the bottom of a barrel, selling for $2 each? Not for me. I did spot a 45 of interest, Dyke & The Blazers' "Funky Broadway (Parts 1 & 2)" (Original Sound OS-64). The 45 was priced at $6, the paper in the front of the box said all records in the box was half priced and yet he charged me $5. I'm sorry my friend, but he took an L for that.

Behind me were boxes of promo CD's, as well as a box of CD-R's that were recorded. What surprised me was that they had promos of David Axelrod's The Edge compilation on Capitol, and the recent Mizell Brothers comp on Blue Note. Both are excellent albums, and I'm thinking "these two would be long gone if I was in Seattle."

This is what I made it out with:

Buddy Alan-A Whole Lot Of Somethin' (Capitol ST-592)
Merle Haggard-Strangers (Capitol T-2373)
David Houston-Almost Persuaded (Epic BN 26213)
Ferlin Husky-One More Time (Capitol ST-768)
Sonny James-Only The Lonely (Capitol ST-193)
Sonny James & The Southern Gentleman (Capitol ST-478)
Sonny James-Empty Arms (Capitol ST-734)
Buck Owens & His Buckeroos-Together Again/My Heart Skips A Beat (Capitol T-2135)
Buck Owens-Buck Owens Sings Harlan Howard (Capitol ST-1482)
Buck Owens & His Buckeroos-Roll Out The Red Carpet (Capitol T-2443)
Buck Owens & His Buckeroos-Roll Out The Red Carpet (Capitol ST-2443)
Susan Raye-One Night Stand (Capitol ST-543)
Billie Jo Spears-Country Girl (Capitol ST-560)
Tompall And The Glaser Brothers-"...tick...tick...tick..." (soundtrack) (MGM SE-4667 ST)
White Lightnin'-Fresh Air (Polydor 24-4047)
Soundtrack-Norwood (songs by Glen Campbell and Al DeLory) (Capitol SW-475)

In the 45rpm department:
Kip Adotta-I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus (Laff 024)
The Hagers-With Lonely/Tracks (Running Through The City) (Capitol PRO-4754)
The Righteous Brothers-Dream On/Dr. Rock And Roll (Haven/Capitol 7006)

DAMAGE:: $10

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