Saturday Single No. 160

Originally posted November 21, 2009

Two weeks ago, before my tabletop baseball break, I looked at the LPs I’d acquired in November from 1964 through 1989. Today, we’ll pick up the tale of Novembers from there. (For those who are interested, Rob won the Strat-O-Matic tournament for the fourth year in a row, this time with the 1922 Giants, who swept two games in the finals from my 1948 Indians.)

November of 1990 found me teaching journalism in Columbia, Missouri, which I enjoyed. I knew the city from having lived there a few years earlier, but for some reason, I wasn’t haunting the used record stores too much. I did get LPs by Karla Bonoff, Danny O’Keefe and Jud Strunk in November of that year, but that’s about all the record buying I did that autumn.

A year later, as I settled into my job in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, I got no LPs in November, but I made up for it a year later. November of 1992 brought me one of the windfalls I mentioned a while back: A charity based in Eden Prairie called Bridging, Inc., frequently got boxes of records – which it could not use – among its donations of household items. I knew the director, and for a few years, he’d call me when he had records for me to take away. I kept some, sold some (with Bridging getting a share of the take) and generally had to toss those in very bad shape. The November 1992 box from Bridging contained LPs by, among others, America, Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, Stephen Bishop, Waylon Jennings, Michael Jackson and Edward R. Murrow. There were also a lot of K-Tel and Ronco compilations. On my own that month, I picked up LPs by Wet Willie, Dr. John and John Fogerty and a collection of Bruce Springsteen covers, bringing the month’s total to twenty-nine records.

I skipped three more Novembers for some reason, and then got back to business in 1996. The take was minimal, though: LPs by Clannad, Dion & the Belmonts, Carl Perkins and Mother Earth, and a new copy of Springsteen’s The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle. By the time November rolled around again, in 1997, I was heading into the years of what I call vinyl madness, with stops at Cheapo’s at least three times a week: I brought home twenty-five records that month. The best of them? Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul, Taj Mahal’s Giant Step/De Ole Folks At Home, and maybe the Who’s Live at Leeds. The least satisfying? Almost certainly one of the K-Tel anthologies I grabbed. Otherwise, it was a good month.

I more than doubled my November take the next year, bringing home fifty-seven records in 1998’s next-to-last month; among them were LPs by Poco, Rodney Crowell, Robert Cray, Harry Belafonte, Emitt Rhodes, William Bell, Nilsson, Fleetwood Mac, Clarence Carter, Bonnie Bramlett, Don Nix, Louis Jordan, Clannad, Malo and Mason Profitt. The best? Maybe War’s The World is a Ghetto or Live at the Regal by B.B. King. The least of them? Probably Night Flight by Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. The most interesting? I’d say it’s In The Shadow Of The Mountain on the Nonesuch label, a collection of Bulgarian choral music, which to this day I find eminently fascinating.

In November of 1999, I almost equaled the previous year’s take, with fifty-six LPs. They included works by Sam & Dave, Elmore James, the Yarbirds, Carole King, UB40, Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Koloc, Dave Grusin, Joe Jackson, Dave Mason, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Cris Williamson, Caravan, the Byrds, the Indigo Girls and Phoebe Snow. The best of the month was either Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison or the Byrds’ Younger Than Yesterday. The least satisfying? Probably the Eagles’ The Long Run, and I’m not at all sure why.

Things tailed off from there, as I got a CD player, I met the Texas Gal and then moved, first to the ’burbs and then to St. Cloud. In November 2000, I found records by Ringo Starr, Steeleye Span and Bonnie Bramlett. In 2001, I brought home an LP by folksinger Kate Wolf. In 2002, I found a record by Dave Porter of Sam & Dave. And there the tale of Novembers ends.

So what to share? Well, I’m tempted to offer a track from In The Shadow Of The Mountain, but I’m aware my interest in Bulgarian choral music isn’t one that a lot of folks share. So I pulled out of the stacks a 1984 LP titled Cover Me, the collection of Springsteen covers I mentioned above. The first track was originally found on Dave Edmunds’ 1982 album, D.E. 7th, and it’s today’s Saturday Single.

“From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)” by Dave Edmunds from Cover Me [1984]


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