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The Story of Bob Abrahamian and his radio show Sitting In The Park

The Story of Bob Abrahamian and his radio show Sitting In The Park magazine cover

Over the years whilst looking over Soul Source you may have noticed long time member boba regularly posting up the latest details of his weekly radio shows titled "Sitting In The Park". As the list of interviews with soul artists seems to be ever increasing we thought it may be a interesting thing if we ask Bob A for some background on both himself and the shows. Chalky got pm-ing Bob and they put together the below...

The story of Bob Abrahamian and his radio show Sitting In The Park.

"Sitting in the Park" is a weekly soul show that broadcasts every Sunday night from 7:30-9:00PM on WHPK 88.5FM Chicago. On the show, you'll hear Chicago soul and group soul, mainly from the 60s through the early 70s. You'll also hear interviews with soul groups. The webpage contains archives of every interview, so you can listen to members of these groups tell their stories in their own words. See the links at the end to view/listen the list of all interviews

Music shows

My parents never had a turntable or really owned any music. However, growing up, I got a boombox at a young age and really loved music, dubbing tapes, etc. Living in the suburbs in the pre-internet days, I didn't really have the ability to learn much about different genres of music, but I absorbed anything I could get a hold of.

I started college at the University of Chicago in 1995. I joined the radio station (WHPK) and was surrounded by people who had a huge depth of knowledge in all sorts of music -- it was intimidating. I specifically listened to the rap show every Friday night, as it was incredible not only to hear underground rap but to actually hear people coming up to the studio and freestyling live. It made the music seem very alive, real, and part of the community. Also at that time was a show called "The Dusties Party" which was started by and hosted by DJ Rick Wojcik. The show was focused on funk / soul / jazz­, played from LP cuts, often records that were sampled in rap songs.

I bought my first turntable in '95 or '96. I remember the first two albums I bought - a best of Sly Stone LP and EPMD's comeback album. Around that time, in soul music (at least in the US), there was a culture of collecting "breaks" (records that were sampled in rap songs) as well as collecting funk 45s (which were being bootlegged onto different compilations). The majority of people of my generation who got into soul music did so through hip hop and digging deeper for the original samples. Around that time, Rick Wojcik from the Dusties Party and JP Chill, the main rap DJ at the station started a company called Dusty Groove. It was originally an online-only music mail order company that they ran from the south side before they opened up a brick-and-mortar store up north. The store itself was the embodiment of this new jazz / funk / soul / rare groove / sample oriented culture.

Around that time, Rick Wojcik stopped doing the Dusties Party and the show continued with a rotation of student DJs. A friend and I got onto the rotation. It would probably be extremely embarrassing now for me to hear one of those shows as I knew so little and probably did a terrible show. Doing a radio show, however, led me to dig deeper for records to play, as I hated playing the same things over and over again. At that time, the neighborhood around the university was a great place to look for soul and funk LPs, as there were a few record stores that people from the south side would come to to sell records. Some of these stores had a "cheap bin" where they would put lesser condition but sometimes very rare LPs. It was a great way to accumulate a lot of material for not much money.

As part of my looking for records, I started to go to thrift stores on the south side, looking for 45s (mainly hoping to find rare funk). However, Chicago was not a funk-oriented city and I ended up finding local Chicago vocal group records. The records blew my mind as the Chicago sound was a totally unique thing that I had never heard before. The records were also made more "real" by the fact that they were on tiny labels with local addresses. Just finding a rare local record, without even hearing it, was exciting, as it made me feel like I had some real connection to the music and even the people who had previously owned the record (similar to how the rap show seemed more "real"). I remember three specific records that had a very Chicago sound that really got me into the music and the Chicago sound - the Notations "I'm still here", the Ledgends "Something to remember you by" / "Gotta let you go", and the Chymes "My baby's gone away".

 

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As I continued to do the Dusties Party, my shows fit into the format less and less, as I was playing 45s rather than LP cuts by artists such as Roy Ayers, Isaac Hayes, Kool and the Gang, etc. In 2002, I got my own show; I called it "Sitting in the Park" (obviously named after the Billy Stewart song) and played mainly sweet soul ballads off of 45s. Doing the show made me collect 45s much more aggressively; I listened to a recording of my show all week, it was like a mixtape, so I got tired of the music and didn't want to play the same song again. I went to record stores, record shows, thrift stores, bid on people's private lists and discoveries ads, etc. I would buy anything that looked interesting - I didn't really have any connection to other collectors who would put me on to specific "in demand" cuts. Also, I would only spend 25-50 cents per record until I couldn't find anything for those prices and went up to $1, then $5, then $10, etc. I still don't understand new collectors who want to spend hundreds on ultra-rare records rather than buying quality records by the Manhattans, Impressions, etc. for cheap.

When I started my show, I always dreamed of meeting some of the artists who made the music. My first interview happened by accident in 2004. I was at a record show and one of the people I always talked to said he knew Melvin Mason of the Mighty Marvelows and could bring him to the station for an interview. I agreed to do it. The next few interviews I did were also done through people I knew hooking me up with artists or just running into artists by being in the right place at the right time. I must have been very nervous; it's embarrassing for me to listen to earlier interviews now. The people I was talking to felt like celebrities, were much older than me, so it was difficult to interact with them.

I continued to do interviews on my show, almost all through word of mouth as one group that I interviewed would connect me to another group, etc. That approach also helped as I hate to cold call people I don't know; by using people's connections, one group could call the other one and explain everything up front and people would be warmer to me. I eventually put up a web page so people anywhere could hear these stories. There was also a lot of misinformation on the internet and I was hoping to clear it up via the actual people who made the music talking about their stories.

For everyone I interview, I make them a CD of all their material, actually give them a copy of their record (if it's less than $100 - almost nobody ever has a copy of their record btw), and mail them a CD of the interview afterwards. I also do a pre-interview with them on the phone, going over their story, as many people don't remember things from 40+ years ago until they've talked through it once; also, people don't remember things chronologically so talking it through once and getting all the information helps me keep everything in the order that it happened in the actual interview. Now I've done enough interviews that I'm no longer nervous or intimidated, which probably makes for a much better sounding interview. I also now have a large backlog of people to interview as I've found a large percentage of Chicago soul groups. I feel bad that I don't do more interviews now as many people are dying - some people have passed away since my interview and I've found people who have died a week before I called and talked to their widow. It's really important to get these stories out; most of the artists (many of whom were ripped off back in the day) are excited to be recognized and to have their material recognized as actual history (versus just something they did as kids).

Finally, with respect to my music shows, I am always looking for more records to play (since I still don't like to play the same records twice), and I spend a ridiculous amount of money on random records. A large percentage of the records I buy I have actually never heard. However, they almost always are interesting to me for some reason (e.g. the label, producer, etc.), and every day I open up record packages and listen to both sides of the records, putting some in the "to play" pile and putting others in the "to put away" pile. The most exciting thing for me is to discover a great, unknown record. Once a record is "known" and expensive, it is much less interesting to me and I will only try to get the record if I can get a really good deal on it. I don't understand the mentality of people who only want to buy expensive known records - it seems sort of like an ego thing to own or be able to show off as a DJ rather than enjoying all kinds of music. Also, I find my history of first listening to LPs and common records important, as I think the general context of the music and popular culture is extremely important in buying and understanding obscure records. After about 15 years of aggressively collecting soul music, I still am learning about new records every day. I also put in a lot of time into planning my music shows; I will pull out stacks of records from the "to play" piles and try to put together coherent sets of records with a similar sound. Some records sit in the pile for years until one day I get records that work together with them as a set. I find that meaningful sets are extremely important - I've heard shows from other DJs where they play a good, expensive record, then a couple of seconds of silence, then a totally different sounding expensive record. It just sounds horrible to me and makes good music sound bad. Overall, it's great to have something that I'm very passionate about although often it seems overwhelming spending so much time and money on it.

 

Recent Shows

Interviews

The latest interview is with Michael Sharkey of the Fugitives and the Fabulous Fugitives out of Chicago.

Michael Sharkey (Fugitives, Fabulous Fugitives)

 

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Click the following link to listen to music shows that I've done over the past few years

Music shows

 

 

This is the last show for 2011 as the next two weeks' slots are going to different DJs playing holiday music. Thanks everyone for your support this year. You can listen or download the show directly from:

http://www.sittingin...12-18-2011.mp3?

You can listen to other music shows and interviews just by going to my webpage

www.sittinginthepark.com .

 

Latest Playlist

Playlist for tonight's show follows. Thanks again for your interest.

 

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Little Willie Parker - Looking in from the outside - Mar-Vel

Linda and the Pretenders - Believe me - Assault

Pat Lundy and Bobby Harris - We got a thing going on - Heidi

Opels - Please don't cry - Trex

Rance Allen Group - Gonna make it alright - Gospel Truth

Patterson Twins - You give me someone to love - Commercial

Flyin' High - Summer days and summer nights - Non-stop

Gino Washington - What can a man do - Atac

Marc Copage and the Merging Traffic - Our very first romance - Marco

Krystal Generation - Wanted dead or alive - Mister Chand

Sound Stage #1 - Reachin' out - Sta-ber

Odia Coates - Showdown - UA

Three Ounces of Love - Tumbleweed - Ecology

Jan Jones - Independent woman - Day-wood

Creative Source - You can't hide love - Sussex

Jim Gilstrap - Move me - Roxbury

Mary Wells - Don't keep me hanging on - Reprise

Odyssey - Don't tell me tell her - RCA

Ike Noble - It's bad - Alley

"C" on the Funk - A place - no label

Vortex - I can't help but love you - Search

Jeffrey Chambers and Gentle Persuasion - You never say I love you - Single B


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Sleeps45's profile photo

Posted

killer story! much respect to you Bob..

Ian Dewhirst's profile photo

Posted

Great article.

I didn't realise Bob was tied up with Rick from Dusty Groove so that was interesting (I met Rick when he came to London sometime in the late 90's).

It's interesting how different people get into it isn't it? In the North of the UK in the late 60's and early 70's obscure Soul music was relatively easily available in most places. Even the youth clubs were playing decent Motown and Soul, so from a relatively young age we were exposed to it and had plenty of opportunites to dig deeper if we wanted to. Record supplies were abundant and cheap with Bostocks, Global, Soul Bowl, Robinsons etc mass importing U.S. 45 cut-outs which cost the equivalent of 5p-25p each. So really we were spoilt with choice. I did a Saturday job in Bradford in 1971 and brought 40 U.S. records back home every week for £2.00 (my Saturday wage was £2.50 at the time). That was a brilliant way to discover music for me. And cheap.

However, in the U.S. I've found many collectors who were self-generating, i.e. not necessarily influenced by a 'scene' but rather by their own curiosity and passion. So they'd tend to have wider collections which took in a lot more influences and their collections would often be better to look through because they'd have all sorts of oddball records. The best stuff I found in L.A. in 1976 came from a 'Garage' (60's local L.A. recordings) collector who looked like Charles Manson and had a similar taste in music. But the stuff he had was incredible.

It's good to see that the U.S. has people who care enough about the local scenes. If there was a Bob in every U.S. state, then loads of stuff would be unearthed.

Nice one!

Ian D :D

Jordirip's profile photo

Posted

Great article.

I didn't realise Bob was tied up with Rick from Dusty Groove so that was interesting (I met Rick when he came to London sometime in the late 90's).

It's interesting how different people get into it isn't it? In the North of the UK in the late 60's and early 70's obscure Soul music was relatively easily available in most places. Even the youth clubs were playing decent Motown and Soul, so from a relatively young age we were exposed to it and had plenty of opportunites to dig deeper if we wanted to. Record supplies were abundant and cheap with Bostocks, Global, Soul Bowl, Robinsons etc mass importing U.S. 45 cut-outs which cost the equivalent of 5p-25p each. So really we were spoilt with choice. I did a Saturday job in Bradford in 1971 and brought 40 U.S. records back home every week for £2.00 (my Saturday wage was £2.50 at the time). That was a brilliant way to discover music for me. And cheap.

However, in the U.S. I've found many collectors who were self-generating, i.e. not necessarily influenced by a 'scene' but rather by their own curiosity and passion. So they'd tend to have wider collections which took in a lot more influences and their collections would often be better to look through because they'd have all sorts of oddball records. The best stuff I found in L.A. in 1976 came from a 'Garage' (60's local L.A. recordings) collector who looked like Charles Manson and had a similar taste in music. But the stuff he had was incredible.

It's good to see that the U.S. has people who care enough about the local scenes. If there was a Bob in every U.S. state, then loads of stuff would be unearthed.

Nice one!

Ian D :D

Nice post Ian.

Jordi

Jordirip's profile photo

Posted

killer story! much respect to you Bob..

Totally agree, and Bob, you add a wealth of knowledge and sanity to this forum. Respect indeed.

boba's profile photo

Posted

Thanks everyone. It is interesting to hear how younger people get into soul music. As in the story, much of my generation got into it through hip hop and sampling. I know there is a whole new wave of young California collectors getting into the music through the sweet soul collector scene over there. And there are more soul nights in other cities in the US than ever before, but I'm not sure why -- maybe because it's such a "hip" and different sound from anything else. I think that these soul nights probably inspire even more people to collect the music.

A few years ago I was saying that the music would die as the collectors got older (which is sort of what happened to the doowop scene) but it's great that new blood is coming into collecting to keep it alive.

boba's profile photo

Posted

I didn't realise Bob was tied up with Rick from Dusty Groove so that was interesting (I met Rick when he came to London sometime in the late 90's).

another totally random connection I have with a person is that Eli "paperboy" Reed went to the University of Chicago for a year and started doing a southern soul show after me. I took him around the city to different record shows, thrift stores, etc. He then dropped out of school to focus on his music. Sort of random that I knew him before his recording career.

Kris Holmes's profile photo

Posted

I too find it pretty interesting how younger dudes get into it, so many are, as you say through the Hip Hop scene but for me whenever I talk to these guys I feel like a throwback because I came the other way going from the blues forward to soul. As a musician this made the most sense to me but nearly everyone else my age came back from Hip Hop/samples. I was lucky to fall in with a pretty deep blues collector back when I was starting out. I didn't really know much about Northern Soul or anything back then just liked the records & ended up collecting in a bit of a vacuum really for a long time as New Zealand isn't really what you'd call a hive of soul music afficionados.

Interesting reading.

TONY CEE's profile photo

Posted

very interesting story bob. you're definitely a wealth of knowledge when it comes to records, especially that you share the same passion of music as i do and several other chicano's do in california. and it's a great pleasure knowing you and please continue doin what you know how to do best.

tfk's profile photo

Posted (edited)

Over the years whilst looking over Soul Source you may have noticed long time member boba regularly posting up the latest details of his weekly radio shows titled "Sitting In The Park". As the list of interviews with soul artists seems to be ever increasing we thought it may be a interesting thing if we ask Bob A for some background on both himself and the shows. Chalky got pm-ing Bob and they put together the below...

The story of Bob Abrahamian and his radio show Sitting In The Park.

"Sitting in the Park" is a weekly soul show that broadcas...

this is an 500 chrs clip of the article - use link below to view the article in full (images, video etc)

Click here to view the soul article in full

here here Chalky

Great listening...Bob has a.great knowledge and taste in all good music for the soul....listening to his interviews and his compiled playlist is so refreshing and an inspiration!!!!

Love the "Sitting in the Park" radio show,

essential Chicago entertainment.....

keep on keeping on Bob

tfk :hatsoff2: .

Edited by tfk
boba's profile photo

Posted

I really appreciate the positive feedback. Thanks.

NUFCSOUL's profile photo

Posted

What a journey - been listening to the show for a couple of years or more Clicked through many a show to find the tune I was needing to hear before buying from ebay or wherever. Also bought from Dusty Groove. Not sure if this phrase is a nationwide one but up in the North East of England we say 'talk to someone long enough and you'll find you are related' !!! Love the story and connections and one thing is true - £5 or £500 - If it floats your boat then it doesn't matter.

Guest sigher the gutter snype\

Posted

great read bob, i can so relate to the hip hop side of stuff, if it wasnt for electro hip hop back in 1983 etc...i may have taken a different path, used to spend hours finding breaks and samples, through producing hip hop for my group has made me unearth so many lovely soul records.......keep up the good work and radio show.....

gazman's profile photo

Posted

Bob/Chalky

What a great story. Like you Bob I'm a lways interested in how people 'found' Soul music. I love your philosphy and attitude to buying records, there are so many wonderful tunes out there to be had without breaking the bank. I;m sure I read you say I'll only spend $10 on a record when I've bought all the $5 ones I want, this is also my mantra.

Love the show.

Great story.

gary

Steve G's profile photo

Posted

Great read, thanks.

Steve L's profile photo

Posted

Nice one Bob :thumbsup:

biggray1's profile photo

Posted

Best soul show on the net..keep em comin Bob.

arnie j's profile photo

Posted

i take my hat off to you boba,top man

jason

vince ayres's profile photo

Posted

crikey bob, i didnt realise that was you, i've been sending you 45s via my ebay site for a while now (vinsoul65) great story my friend and keep at it!

Nice to see you apppreciate a record on its true merit and not it's value, you have my thumbs up mate.

Kris Holmes's profile photo

Posted

crikey bob, i didnt realise that was you, i've been sending you 45s via my ebay site for a while now (vinsoul65) great story my friend and keep at it!

Nice to see you apppreciate a record on its true merit and not it's value, you have my thumbs up mate.

Ha ha, I think I've also bought from you. Nice to put a SS name to the ebay name!

vince ayres's profile photo

Posted

Ha ha, I think I've also bought from you. Nice to put a SS name to the ebay name!

Bugger! Ive been found out :ohmy:
Modernsoulsucks's profile photo

Posted

A SUPER show and a NATURAL for radio.

ROD

Dante's profile photo

Posted

That was a pretty good read. Thanks Chalky and Bob.

I thought it was funny that you said Impressions and Manhattans, as I've always thought they were like 'brother groups' in terms of style and quality.

Also, it's cool to see how people from different countries end up collecting soul 45s. Most of us down here arrived through the skinhead reggae/ska and mod scene.

boba's profile photo

Posted

That was a pretty good read. Thanks Chalky and Bob.

I thought it was funny that you said Impressions and Manhattans, as I've always thought they were like 'brother groups' in terms of style and quality.

Also, it's cool to see how people from different countries end up collecting soul 45s. Most of us down here arrived through the skinhead reggae/ska and mod scene.

thanks. what is a "brother group"?

boba's profile photo

Posted

A SUPER show and a NATURAL for radio.

ROD

ok i just got this

Dante's profile photo

Posted

thanks. what is a "brother group"?

I don't know, I meant they were very similar in lots of ways.

boba's profile photo

Posted

I don't know, I meant they were very similar in lots of ways.

gotcha. i agree.

Derek Pearson's profile photo

Posted

I often meet people whose favourite hobbies seem to revolve around opening beer cans and watching television preferably both at the same time.

By reading your history it's clear to see how your hobby developed bit by bit into what's looking like is gonna be a life long obsession.

Who couldn't be more impressed by your dedication and determination to interview scores of ageing Chicago singers from years gone by and documenting their story before time forgets. Nice one Bob.

My respect is obvious and unashamed.

Derek

If I had a crystal ball I'd like to think it would predict you in the future as compiling albums of under valued Chicago music for an old College buddy of yours....

boba's profile photo

Posted

thanks a lot. I watch trashy TV but I don't drink. I already help out the numero group on a lot of stuff. Thanks.

polyvelts's profile photo

Posted

It's great that you get to talk to the people that made these records and let their stories be told. Well done bob !

I listen to your show at work and the girls I work with always laugh when you say 'ok....' , so as you can imagine there's a lot of laughing going on ! Seriously though it is such a great and varied show and we all love it !!!

bgnrsoul45clctr's profile photo

Posted

nice story your radio show is kick ass so much good music im always being introduced to songs ive never heard before on your show so thanks and keep on doing your thing

boba's profile photo

Posted

nice story your radio show is kick ass so much good music im always being introduced to songs ive never heard before on your show so thanks and keep on doing your thing

thank you I appreciate it

Sleeps45's profile photo

Posted

my favorite set from the show..

4/26/2009

Sitting in the park 7th anniversary show

Montclairs - Unwanted love - Paula

Mixed Sugar - It's a bad thing - FGS

Minits - Still a part of me - Sounds of Memphis

Intensions - She needs somebody - USA

Volumes - Ain't gonna give you up - Karen

Ed Nelson - I'll give you a ring - Saggitarius

Double Trouble - To live is to love - Pilot Master

Stride - Come inside - no label

Vi Richardson - I can't believe - RSG

Mayer Hawthorne and the County - Just ain't gonna work out - Stones Throw

Brothers Unique - Heavy days, beautiful world - Spectrum sound

Decisions - Do I love her - York

Condors - Meet me halfway - Sheldon

Tracy La'vett - In my great big lonely room - Achillean

Fred Moss - I'll always love you - Vanessa

Brotherhood - Expressing my love - Tesseract

Past, Present and Future - If I could live for eternity - Rouser

Uptowners - From lovers to friends - Captown

El Pooks - Trisha - Orivious

Precisions - Take a good look - Hen-mar

Aftermath - Gretchen - The phoenix

Roman and Weston Expo - We'd better quit - Double Scorpion

Starborn - What does it take? - New Bag

Kansas City Express - This is the place - American Artists

Fillmotions - Young girl - Young girl

Color Us People Band - A day without your love - Lightning

Guest Sir T\

Posted

wow, what a great story! bob i really like your work and it's a pleasure for every collector & soul music lover to hear your show...much people collect the last years because it's "hip" to listen soul music but they not with heart & soul on it ,i think you know what i mean. I'm 24 and listen sweet soul since is was 13 and i never change that , sweet soul sound is a part of me and i'm happy to see people like you that spin that rare and unknown records with heart and soul. Much Respect from germany

boba's profile photo

Posted

wow, what a great story! bob i really like your work and it's a pleasure for every collector & soul music lover to hear your show...much people collect the last years because it's "hip" to listen soul music but they not with heart & soul on it ,i think you know what i mean. I'm 24 and listen sweet soul since is was 13 and i never change that , sweet soul sound is a part of me and i'm happy to see people like you that spin that rare and unknown records with heart and soul. Much Respect from germany

Thanks. it's amazing how many people in different places are now getting into the music via sweet soul. How did you get into sweet soul in Germany when you were 13? Is there a sweet soul "scene" there like there is in california?

Guest Sir T\

Posted

Thanks. it's amazing how many people in different places are now getting into the music via sweet soul. How did you get into sweet soul in Germany when you were 13? Is there a sweet soul "scene" there like there is in california?

When i was 12 i started listening to rap music and my big brother took me to the record shop to buy rap records. I found a 45' by the Fuzz and listen to it at the record shop and i was fascinated from the sound, the track was "I Love You For All Seasons"...so i started to buy 45's by the delfonics, bloodstone, emotions etc. i was spent hours of hours at the record shop...with 16 i had started to buy records on eBay but some records cost over 100$ and so i notice the names and saved money to buy them. Now i think i got a nice collection with rare and unknown 45's :-).....in germany is not a scene for sweet soul, the people don't like this kind of music, some few people listen to northern soul but sweet soul is not popular.

Dave Thorley's profile photo

Posted

Hi Guys

Mr Abrahamian is up this sunday on 'Soul People Show' 11-02-12. Bob will bring his exstensive knowledge to this weeks edition of the show and hopeful introduce you to some tunes new, but what ever he plays it will be good.

Solar Radio can be found on http://www.solarradio.com/ or 0129 on Sky

Chalky's profile photo

Posted

Look forward to it!!

ALIVE'N'KICKIN's profile photo

Posted

i've had the pleasure of playing records out with bob a couple times, such a wonderful man. He has such an amazing knowledge of music! and best of all he has turned me on to so many great records! There is such a snobbery between record collectors in Chicago, but not once did I feel it from him. In fact, he is one of few that finds it all childish. I guess what I am getting at is that he is a stand up guy with the best sounds in Chicago and everyone has a lot to learn from him! Keep up the good work bob!

boba's profile photo

Posted

i've had the pleasure of playing records out with bob a couple times, such a wonderful man. He has such an amazing knowledge of music! and best of all he has turned me on to so many great records! There is such a snobbery between record collectors in Chicago, but not once did I feel it from him. In fact, he is one of few that finds it all childish. I guess what I am getting at is that he is a stand up guy with the best sounds in Chicago and everyone has a lot to learn from him! Keep up the good work bob!

wow thanks a lot gary. i also like how you are really opened minded about records and not just focused on a few expensive ones. peace...

sickdog's profile photo

Posted

Hi Bob,

I am one of those young Cali collectors that you are talking about. Most of us grew up on the sweet soul sound as part of our culture (chicano) and are building off of that foundation. I know your show and collection have personally influenced many of us in expanding our knowledge of soul, so thank you.

boba's profile photo

Posted

Hi Bob,

I am one of those young Cali collectors that you are talking about. Most of us grew up on the sweet soul sound as part of our culture (chicano) and are building off of that foundation. I know your show and collection have personally influenced many of us in expanding our knowledge of soul, so thank you.

Thanks so much. By the way, anyone who wants to be added to my radio show email announcement list, you can PM me your email. Thanks.

Rob_Sevier's profile photo

Posted (edited)

The best thing about the show is the people who call in know nothing of the culture of collecting soul music, they just want to hear good records from their youth.

Edited by Rob_Sevier
boba's profile photo

Posted

What was crazy was that this nice lady who calls me up once in a while called me last week about the H Andrews record on Balance that I played, she was like "I only heard that once and haven't heard it since." She asked me to play it again. I asked if it was in Chicago and she said yes. How did this obscure san francisco record even get one play in Chicago (the payola capital)?

For the last couple months I have been getting calls from some guy who is clearly just lonely and wants to talk. He's like "do you like old movies? let me play you this clip I found on youtube." But I'm trying to cue records and go on the mic and other people are trying to call and I can't figure out a way to get him off the phone without being rude to him. I just sort of agree with him and don't say anything else. Last week he called up, he was like "I was watching the simpsons, but with the sound down, and listening to the doowop show. It went really good with the show and a lot of the music lined up with it. Does that ever happen to you? Your music is sort of different than doowop, it's like rockabilly versus rock. Does that make sense?" He went on for a while, it was frustrating.

I also get a call from this one dude who just associates my show with "oldies". So he'll request soul but then he also keeps asking for Benny Mardones "Into the night". I can't figure out how to explain to him that that doesn't fit into my show.

Guest\

Posted

you will m iss them when they are gone. the internet is full of takers, bless you for giving/sharing

boba's profile photo

Posted

you will m iss them when they are gone. the internet is full of takers, bless you for giving/sharing

yeah in general i appreciate everyone who calls, they are so dedicated to the music

djmelismo's profile photo

Posted

Interesting article. Always been curious to learn a bit more about Bob since I am a devoted follower of the Sitting In The Park show, a show that I find incredibly educational and impressive in all possible respects.

ATB,

Mats AKA Melismo

Motown Junkies's profile photo

Posted

RIP Bob.

Chalky's profile photo

Posted

I had forgotten all about this article. 

R.I.P. Bob, you will be missed by many.

Peter99's profile photo

Posted

Well done Chalky.

 

A fitting tribute to Bob and I'm sure something which answered lots of questions for many people - certainly me.

 

Top man.

 

Peter

 

 

:thumbsup:

Robbk's profile photo

Posted

Great article.

I didn't realise Bob was tied up with Rick from Dusty Groove so that was interesting (I met Rick when he came to London sometime in the late 90's).

It's interesting how different people get into it isn't it? In the North of the UK in the late 60's and early 70's obscure Soul music was relatively easily available in most places. Even the youth clubs were playing decent Motown and Soul, so from a relatively young age we were exposed to it and had plenty of opportunites to dig deeper if we wanted to. Record supplies were abundant and cheap with Bostocks, Global, Soul Bowl, Robinsons etc mass importing U.S. 45 cut-outs which cost the equivalent of 5p-25p each. So really we were spoilt with choice. I did a Saturday job in Bradford in 1971 and brought 40 U.S. records back home every week for £2.00 (my Saturday wage was £2.50 at the time). That was a brilliant way to discover music for me. And cheap.

However, in the U.S. I've found many collectors who were self-generating, i.e. not necessarily influenced by a 'scene' but rather by their own curiosity and passion. So they'd tend to have wider collections which took in a lot more influences and their collections would often be better to look through because they'd have all sorts of oddball records. The best stuff I found in L.A. in 1976 came from a 'Garage' (60's local L.A. recordings) collector who looked like Charles Manson and had a similar taste in music. But the stuff he had was incredible.

It's good to see that the U.S. has people who care enough about the local scenes. If there was a Bob in every U.S. state, then loads of stuff would be unearthed.

Nice one!

Ian D biggrin.png

So, you had the pleasure of meeting John Hillyard, or, perhaps it was Chris Peake.  Hillyard is weird, but very friendly.  Peake is harmless, but looks incredibly sinister.  He looks less like Manson than Hillyard, but might bring Manson to mind more than John.




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