The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Tag: Russell Thompkins Jr.

Brian Wilson and The Zombies add a touch of ‘Philly soul’ to the show

When I was a kid in the 1970s, listening to WLS out of Chicago, I used to keep a cassette recorder loaded with a blank tape on my nightstand next to the radio. As I lay there trying to fall asleep, I would listen to the music, and when a song came on that I liked, I’d fumble through the darkness and attempt to hit the “record” button.

That’s how we put a setlist together back in those days. And even though I got fairly adept at hitting the “record” button when one of my favorite songs came on (actually you had to hit “play” and “record” at the same time, which increased the degree of difficulty when doing it in the dark), my reaction time was always a tick or two behind. So my setlist of favorite tunes I played on that cassette recorder was inevitably missing the intros … Read more

Still stone in love with the music of The Stylistics

It was pretty exciting when my dad got me a cassette tape recorder and a handful of blank tapes. Given the audio technology of the times, my plan in 1972 as a 13-year-old eighth-grader was to record my favorite songs off the radio onto the blank tapes and create my own music library.

Recording songs off the radio wasn’t an exact science. Growing up in central Illinois, I was listening to WLS out of Chicago. If the disc jockey didn’t give the listeners an advance heads up as to what songs were going to be played, one had to be able to recognize a song from the first fews notes, then simultaneously push “play” and “record” on the recorder.

I wasn’t very good at that. And I didn’t want to start the tape during the commercials because I didn’t want the ads messing up my music. Thus, I had entire … Read more

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