Monday, November 29, 2010


ABBA, Super Trouper Atlantic, 1980. Worth about $10-15, near mint.
ABBA is not particularly collectible, but if you happen to have The Abba Special
2-record DJ edition, Atlantic, 1983, that's worth about $50-75, near mint

At the risk of being shuffled off to a home for the terminally dweeby I have to confess there was a time when I really loved putting ABBA on the turntable and dancing around the living room. Who knew the Swedes could rock out like this? But I guess in a cold climate it's advisable to play something you can move to.

On this day in 1980 I was probably dancing around with my firstborn child in my arms when ABBA’s Super Trouper hit #1 on the charts. It was a deliriously happy time.

ABBA was huge in the 1970s, a colossal commercial success. The four musicians were each accomplished in their own right and their blend seemed a perfect storm of talent. And while I’m in a confessing mood, I thought it was cool that two married couples comprised the group and even found the cutesy name clever–then. Course, now it sounds like what a group of middle-schoolers forming a band would come up with “Hey, how about each of our first initials?” Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog. ABBA. That'd be way kewl, right?

Alas, just as disco was destined to fade quickly, so did the marriages–and ABBA. But their songs live on and I hope someday to dance around the living room with a grandchild in my arms and ABBA’s “Take a Chance On Me” blaring from the speakers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Can Get Anything You Want...

Arlo, then and now.

All the guy wanted was a good Thanksgiving dinner with friends. And look what goes and happens…

Arlo Guthrie told the whole convoluted story of what transpired when he headed up to Stockbridge, Massachusetts to have Thanksgiving dinner with Alice and Ray Brock and a gaggle of friends in 1965. It took up one entire side of his 1967 LP.

Can this really be the 55th Anniversary of the infamous “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree?” Seems impossible that more than a half-century has passed. I watched a bit of the movie on Netflix last night and it now looks amateurish and dated in a sweet “hey, guys, let’s put on a show” kind of way. It was a treat to see Arlo Guthrie looking so baby-faced and cute. I’m glad he’s kept on keeping on through the years.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone and remember to dispose of your holiday trash in a lawful manner or Officer Obie might come to haul you away.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Little Song that Could

If you're lucky enough to find a near mint copy of this
1961 Herald release it could be worth up to $500.
It's the "near mint" part that's the catch.

It’s tiny, but mighty. The number one song in the U.S. on this day in 1960 clocked in at just one minute and 30-something seconds. But what a minute plus it is!

It is reputed that Maurice Williams wrote the song when he was a teenaged boy trying to convince his date to forget about her curfew and---well, “stay, just a little bit longer.” Don’t know if it worked with the girl, but the song certainly has staying power.

I believe Maurice and the Zodiacs still hold the record for the shortest song ever to make the charts in the U.S. There are differing accounts about how long the actual recording is, but all tally up to a minute and 30-something seconds.

In any case this song proves that good things do, indeed, come in small packages. It’s hard to imagine that scene in Dirty Dancing–all the staffer kids from the wrong side of the tracks having their gyration-fest–without Maurice doing the begging.

Later the song would be recorded by the Hollies, by The Four Seasons and other bands. Jackson Browne had a nice crack at it, too. But, in the end, this is definitely a case of “ya gotta dance with the one what brung ya”. So today maybe you’ll let Maurice convince you to stay for a while and just close your eyes and listen. Or get up and dance around your living room. It’s a great way to spend a minute and 37 seconds. But I warn you, this song will get in your head and....STAY.