The first 45 I ever bought was “Shop Around”, by the Miracles. “Who’s Lovin’ You” was on the reverse side. Since my father’s turntable was designed for 33 1/3’s, I had to buy the yellow plug that snapped into the middle of a forty-five to make it fit the record player.
Shop Around was released in 1960, so I had to be 10 years old. Don’t try to date me. I am still Boomacious! If Smokey Robinson can go to the Grammys, without a strand of gray in his head, then I’m as young as I want to be.
Anyway, I played that song 50 times before I went to bed that night. I knew every word of “Shop Around”. Finally, I got tired of it and turned the record over to see what was on the flip side. What I discovered blew me away. “Who’s Lovin’ You” was extraordinary. That was the old Miracles when Claudette was still in the group. I liked that the Miracles had one girl because I could imagine I was her as I sang along. (Sample the You Tube recording and come right back).
There was a theater called the Regal in Chicago, located on 47th and South Parkway (later known as Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.). On any given Saturday you could catch the entire Motown Review there: The Miracles, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, Gene Chandler, and Little Stevie Wonder. Every act would perform all of their hits, so we might be there all day long — into the night.
Later, we’d walk home singing and imagining what it would be like to be a star. We all formed singing groups and practiced in our rooms or in the hallways of buildings where the echos made exceptionally good acoustics.
What was your first record? Who was the first performer you ever paid to see? Where?
MylahMarch 13, 2010
My first 45 was by Ricky Nelson. Once I got to 9th grade I would go to Woolworth every week and buy a 45 for $.99 plus tax. My friends would come to my home to dance and drink coke and eat popcorn! Good Times!
MylahMarch 13, 2010
I was at the Regal at least once a month! Good times! From 47th to 75th was a nice bus ride home with the music swimming in my head!
Ron BApril 2, 2010
I honestly can’t remember the first 45 r.p.m. record I ever bought but I did buy quite a few. I still have a few originally released 45s and play them occasionally. As far as music is concerned, say what you will about CDs and MP3s, good old-fashioned vinyl is still the “bomb”.
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LynApril 11, 2010
For sentimental value I agree that vinyl is great, but back in the day it could be a drag running to the record player to catch the record if your recorder didn’t have an arm to drop the next record.
Ain’t nothing like an IPod! I am Apple’s slave where that thing is concerned.