Dominic's Staff Pick: March 9, 2023

Hey there everyone! I hope all is well. Our apologies for missing you last week here in newsletter land. No slacking, just too much going on. That’s a good thing though, and we love being busy with the business of music and records. We’ve certainly been working hard on scoring some killer collections of used records. There will be plenty of good reasons for store visits if you are local or visiting Raleigh. I’m still halfway through a great collection of 1970s prog and weirdo electronic type records that has yielded some real gems. Lots of cool UK pressings of stuff. We also scored another nice Jazz collection that we’ll be adding to the bins over the coming weeks, and just yesterday I bought a small collection containing some cool US 60s Garage records. That had a couple of rarities in it that will blow someone’s mind soon. I couldn’t be in a better place, surrounded and almost buried by amazing records. It makes me so happy thinking about these great records being taken home by our loyal and fabulous customers and enhancing their lives with the music held in the grooves. Records rule!

As for me personally, the other week I was all down in the dumps over a game of footie and now this week it has all been turned around and I’m as happy as can be, again over a game of football. For those not following or caring, I’ll catch you up. I support Liverpool FC and last Sunday we beat our biggest rivals Manchester UTD 7-0. That’s right, I’ll say it again, seven nil. That’s an incredible score line. You don’t see games like that very often. Maybe it was a freak result. Whatever, it happened, and it was amazing. Liverpool have been having a difficult season this term. We’re struggling to get in the top six, let alone top four, but are on a good run of form more recently. UTD on the other hand have been doing great and playing well. They just won the League Cup to secure silverware and certainly came into the game as favorites. If we get nothing else out of the season, we at least have this historic result to keep a smile on our faces and will have a “sit down” card to play against UTD fans for some time to come. It’s up to them to try and do it to us next. Or maybe we’ll spank them again. Who knows? That’s all part of the joy and misery of following and supporting a team. If you know you know.

Still, this isn’t a sports blog or ESPN, and I can imagine there is a good swath of you reading that couldn’t give a crap about any of it, and so with that in mind let’s talk about music and records. I only brought all of that up because it made me so happy and changed my mood and took me to my happy place. It reminded me of being a kid in the 70s and 80s and my first experiences of supporting my team. That, in turn, got me thinking about the music that I first got into when I was younger and how it has stayed with me all these years and still has the effect to take me to a happy place. For me, it was the original rock and roll from the 1950s that was my big obsession when I was a kid. Not surprising, as the 50s revival was in full swing during the 1970s and early 1980s. So, I was all about Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Sun records, Gene Vincent etc. and particularly Eddie Cochran. I really gravitated towards him. My small local record shop in my town was run by an old Teddy Boy and so he had lots of great rock ‘n roll records and rockabilly stuff. Rockabilly was my youth cult back then. He turned me on to lots of great records, but one that has always remained as an all-time favorite song to this day is the track Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie by Eddie Cochran. Originally released on Liberty Records in 1958, you’d be hard pushed to find a better example of rock ‘n roll from the era. Eddie was a terrific and inventive guitar player, and his solo in this song is pure fire and makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time. Sadly, Eddie was taken from the world far too soon. He died from injuries sustained in a car accident whilst on tour in England. In the car with him was another legend, Gene Vincent. He survived but compounded an existing injury to his leg and the pain from that and losing his friend tortured him for the rest of his life.

I’ve had the Jeannie track on various Eddie Cochran compilations and albums over the years but for one reason or another have never had the actual 45 until literally last week, hence me becoming reenergized by the song again this week and fitting in perfectly with my sense of nostalgia for my connections with music that I was digging back then. As I loved this song so much and was getting more and more into the rockabilly youth cult during this time, it was just perfect that my favorite band from that period, The Stray Cats, covered Jeannie on their debut album. Just like Eddie, Brian Setzer is an amazing guitar slinger and his playing and solo on the Cats’ version of the tune is just as hot. He nails it and does what any good cover should do, matching the energy of the original whilst making it their own. Hearing them cover that song cemented my love for The Stray Cats that is just as firm to this day. Their first couple of records are great and they were so good live. Amazing energy from a simple three-piece group. I can put on their records and be in my happy place instantly. That’s the power of music. It’ll affect you and stay with you forever. I love it.

So yeah, love your music. Play those records that bring you joy no matter what they are and how “cool” or not they may be. Fuck anyone that tries to tell you different. I would thoroughly recommend you investigate the life and music of Eddie Cochran if you are not familiar, and I would encourage you to take a listen to that first Stray Cats LP when you have a chance. I’ll leave you links to the two versions of Jeannie to compare and hope that some of you will find them just as joyous and fun as I do. One last point of interest is how the spelling of Jeannie varies. Mostly the Eddie Cochran version is spelled with two Ns, but sometimes you’ll see it spelled with just one, whereas the Stray Cats version uses just the one. Okay, back to work and processing all these other killer records that are stacking up around me. Thanks for reading and indulging me. See you here next time. Cheers, Dom.

Eddie Cochran – Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie

The Stray Cats – Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie

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