Monday, November 20, 2006


The "pat-down" is one of my family's holiday traditions. It typically takes place just as my brother or I am about to leave my parents' home after having visited for more than a day or two. Before we can say our final goodbyes, my Dad will turn to my Mom and say, "Did you check her/his/their bags? Every time one of them leaves from here, some of my cds and albums turn up missing." We all laugh, but everybody knows my Dad is only halfway joking. He owns a huge collection of vintage jazz and r&b records and cds. And for some unknown reason, he thinks we STEAL his music.

Now, I can only speak for myself. The only cds I have from my Dad's collection are the ones he's given me. But when it comes to vinyl, I've gotta confess, yes, I do own more than a few of THE OLD MAN'S albums. (Yeah, I can hear him now, See, see I KNEW they had my stuff!) In my defense, I didn't really steal them. These were records I used to listen to on my old stereo componet set (the one with the turntable, the cassette player and the 8-track!) before I went off to college. I had them in my room and well, they just sorta, kinda got packed up with all of my other personal items when I left home. For years, my Dad never said anything about them, so I figured he didn't really miss them.

For the record, I NEVER took any of the old man's vintage jazz. I don't have any of his Miles, Coltrane or Bird. Okay . . . I did take an album entitled "Soul Makossa" by Afrique, but I don't really consider that vintage jazz. Anyway, the following is a "near-complete (smile) list of titles.


1) THE MAGNIFCENT 7 (The Supremes & Four Tops) 1970 I'm not sure, but Dad might have given me this one. Back in elementary school, me and my friends, Lori P. and Leeda, used to play this album in my room and pretend we were the Supremes.

2) GREATEST HITS II (The Tempations) 1970 Remember the Temps song, "Ball of Confusion?" I can still remember me and my friend Lethea singing that song to the top of our lungs while swinging on her backyard swing set. "People moving out, people moving in, why because of the color of their skins. Run, run, run, but you sho'll can't hide . . ."

3) SKY'S THE LIMIT (The Temptations) 1971 My two favorite cuts from this one were, "Gonna Keep On Trying' Till I Win Your Love" and "Just My Imagination."

4) *WHAT'S GOING ON (Marvin Gaye) 1971 Who doesn't like this album? Let me just say, if I were ever stranded on an island and could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of my life, they would have to be the following three by Marvin.

5) *LET'S GET IT ON (Marvin Gaye) 1973 I bought this album as an anniversary gift for my folks, but ended up keeping it for myself.

6) *I WANT YOU (Marvin Gaye) 1976 The title of my novel, AFTER THE DANCE comes from a song by the same title on this particular album.

7) INNERVISIONS (Stevie Wonder) 1973 There isn't a single bad song on this album. My Dad used to play it to death, before I got ahold to it.

8) FULFILLINGNESS' FIRST FINALE (Stevie Wonder) 1974 I have no idea what the title means, but just like Innervisions, every song on here is worth listening to again and again.

9) SOUL MAKOSSA (Afrique) 1973 The only song I really ever listened to on this one was "Soul Makossa."

10) LET'S PUT IT ALL TOGETHER (The Stylistics) 1974 What ever happened to this group? Dude's falestto was something else.

11) DRAMA V (The Dramatics) 1975 As much as I liked this album, I must admit "cuteness" was also a factor. Ron Banks had some right dreamy eyes and Lenny Mayes had a nice 'fro and a pretty smile.

12) GRATITUDE (Earth, Wind & Fire) 1975 Yes, I did talk bad about Maurice and Verdine's hair. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate their music. I love me some EW&F!

13) PERSON TO PERSON (Average White Band) 1976 Did you know these guys were originally from Scotland? Whenever I'm in the mood for some vintage blue-eyed soul, I reach for this album (or my The Best of Teena Marie cd). My favorite cuts are "School Boy Crush" "Cut the Cake" "Person to Person" "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" "I'm The One" Oh hell, just about all of them (smile).

All right y'all, don't act like I'm the only one. I know some of y'all left home with some stuff that wasn't yours (whether records or something else). So, who wants to 'fess up first? Seriously, any comments about the list are welcome. Do you think this list says something in particular about me? ( I mean, besides the obvious)


Sharon J. said...

Your father has quite an impressive record collection. My father had a great collection, too. He was a big Count Basie fan. My cousin came by to try and "borrow" some of his records, but no way was I going to part with them. My mother was 11 years younger than my father. Her girl was Dionne Warwick, but she wasn't big on buying records. I really need to take an inventory of my father's records.

Lori said...

Sharon J.,
You did the smart thing as far as your cousin is concerned. We all know the Ebonic translation of "borrow" is "have and keep!" (LOL). Do you ever listen to any of your Dad's old records? That "Basie" might be worth something, someday. Thanks for sharing.
Lori D.

Sharon J. said...

Honestly, I haven't taken advantage of having this wonderful musical library at my disposal. He has record of C.L. Franklin's (Aretha's Dad)sermons that I really want to sit down and give a listen.