Was there anyone less likely to buy Isaac Hayes’ soundtrack to “Shaft” in 1971 than me?
I was a sports- and music-obsessed ninth-grader from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, then a nice German/Dutch town with almost no black population. I doubt 14-year-old white kids were anywhere near the target audience.
But when I heard “Theme From Shaft,” the single, on WOKY, then the big AM top-40 station out of Milwaukee, I knew I had to have it. That was how kids like me got hepped to sounds like that. The Mighty 92 — my near-constant companion — mixed pop, rock, soul and R&B on its playlist. Hard to believe today, I know.
“Shaft” was only the third album I ever bought. I don’t recall where I bought it. Maybe the record department in the basement of Prange’s or maybe the record department in the Penney’s in the new mall.
I wonder what my parents thought. I never asked. They never said.
You know “Theme From Shaft.” You may not know the rest of the album. Most of the cuts are instrumentals — classic soul and R&B that still sounds just fine. These are a couple of my favorites:
The picture atop this blog is from the edge of the big water — Lake Superior. It’s our son, Evan, taking pictures on a breezy September day along the ship canal in Duluth, Minnesota.
We’re putting our toe in the big water today, too. It’s the first entry in our audioblog adventure.
We’ll often be heading back to a different time. Thus, today’s debut selection. We’ll have more conventional selections, of course, but we did want to let you know we are not below swimming in pop culture.
Did you know the same John Williams who composed all those movie soundtracks — “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” among them — also did this?
I was just 9 when “The Time Tunnel” aired on ABC in 1966. I loved then — and still love now — the notion of time travel. It would be fun … if you’re careful to not change the course of history, of course.
What you will find here, once the mp3s start going up, are bits and pieces from my music collection. That collection dates to 1971, when I was 14. I started earlier, but no longer have my 45s.
My taste in music has been described by a friend who also blogs about music as “eclectic but impeccable.”
I’m not so sure about “impeccable” — how do I explain having several Styx albums back in the day? — but “eclectic” certainly applies.
So we will make our way through obscurities and guilty pleasures, old faves and new faves. There will be a little bit of everything — rock, R&B, blues, country, swing, roots, rockabilly, soul, jazz and probably a few more genres I’ve forgotten.
These are mp3s from my collection, taken from vinyl whenever possible. Enjoy. All music presented here is shared under the premise of fair use. This blog is solely intended for the purpose of education, a place for me to tell stories and write about music and cultural history. If you are a rights holder to any of the music presented and wish for it to be removed, please email me directly and it will be taken down.
About the words
The text is copyright 2007-2022, Jeff Ash. Text from other sources, when excerpted, is credited.