Tag Archives: Badfinger

Stiller’s final closeout

Our story so far: In February 1970, the Stiller’s Top Ten singles chart suddenly disappeared from the Green Bay Press-Gazette after running in the paper every Friday for almost five years.

The Stiller Co. had sold records in downtown Green Bay for years. It was the place to go digging for 45s and LPs, a place where performers made in-store appearances, a place from which local radio stations did shows and remotes.

But the Stiller family, which had run the store since the turn of the century, was retiring. New owners were taking over. New owners with new ideas.

May 21, 1970 — a week shy of five years since the first appearance of the Stiller’s Top Ten chart — saw this offer from “Green Bay’s moving and grooving house of music!”

Stiller Co. record ad, May 21, 1970

July 14, 1970 — The Stiller Co. was blowing out “really bad” 45s — a grab bag of 10 for a dime — at the summer sidewalk bazaar in downtown Green Bay.

Stiller Co. record ad, July 14, 1970

Sept. 8, 1970 — “Every record must be sold.” The closeout begins.

Stiller Co. record ad, Sept. 8, 1970

Oct. 11, 1970 — The final closeout, slashing prices on LPs to $2.

Stiller Music record ad, Oct. 11, 1970

A month later, as the store marked its 72nd anniversary, the records were gone.

“A new sound department has opened, replacing the former record department,” the Press-Gazette reported on Nov. 8, 1970. “The department will feature sound equipment and components for stereos, radios and tape recorders.”

Two years later to the day — Nov. 8, 1972 — the new owners of The Stiller Co. filed for bankruptcy.

They blamed their predicament on having lost business to suburban shopping centers, on having too many people on the payroll, on high overhead and on “creditors that were too easy on the firm.”

Before the year was out, in the days just before and after Christmas 1972, everything in the store was sold at a bankruptcy auction.

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast

Which, fittingly, was the last song on the last Stiller’s Top Ten chart.

“Come And Get It,” Badfinger, from “Magic Christian Music,” 1970.

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Filed under June 2020, Sounds

That ’70s song, Vol. 12

The Beatles were all but done as a group by the last week of March 1970, but you couldn’t tell it from listening to the radio.

There, bunched together at the top of the charts 40 years ago this week, were these three hit singles:

— A song by the Beatles.

— A song by a solo Beatle.

— A song written and recorded first by a solo Beatle.

It was, perhaps, Beatlemania’s last stand.

It was about this time that I signed a petition begging the Beatles to stay together. It was something orchestrated by WOKY, the big AM Top 40 station out of Milwaukee. They wanted listeners to circulate petitions. If memory serves, the top prize was a complete set of Beatles LPs.

At our school, a seventh-grade girl named Robin took up the challenge. I signed her petition during lunch in the gym. Robin must have done a pretty good job. She got some kind of mention on the radio. Whether she got any Beatles LPs, I can’t recall.

We didn’t keep the Beatles together, of course, but no one was letting go of them. Not with these songs at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 in WOKY’s chart that week:

— “Let It Be” by the Beatles.

— “Instant Karma” by John Lennon.

— And the one written by Paul McCartney and released on the Beatles’ Apple label …

“Come And Get It,” Badfinger, from “Magic Christian Music,” 1970.

This was one of my favorite 45s. I liked this tune, but I liked the flip side even more. “Rock Of All Ages” is a wild piano- and guitar-driven rave-up that’s been posted here twice before.

McCartney did a solo demo of “Come And Get It” during the “Abbey Road” sessions in July 1969. It wasn’t officially released until 1996.

As for those other hit singles by the Beatles and by John Lennon … enjoy a couple of cool covers.

“Let It Be,” Ike and Tina Turner, from “Workin’ Together,” 1971. It’s out of print but is available digitally. Tina makes this one all her own.

“Let It Be,” the Mar-Keys, from “Memphis Experience,” 1971. It’s out of print. From the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, this is a sweet, laid-back instrumental with a warm sax lead. (This is a CD rip from “Mojo Beatlemania, Volume 2,” included with Mojo magazine in September 2004.)

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Filed under March 2010, Sounds

Where you been, man?

Would you believe …

— Buried by work, including final edits on a new book, a photo history of the Green Bay Packers?

— Caught up in the whirlwind that is the beginning of high school with a freshman in the house?

— Frequently behind the wheel, chauffeuring said freshman all over town in the Dad Taxi?

— Trying to break in new Rollerblades just a few days before skating still another marathon?

All that, and kinda taking a break from listening to a lot of music.

It might be a seasonal thing. Our Wisconsin summers are so short that we spend a lot of it outside, playing. As the weather turns cooler, then downright cold, that’s the time for more spirited ripping and blogging.

Little by little, I am getting stoked for more tunes.

Our trip to Duluth this weekend will keep me from digging for dollar records in the tents in my friend Jim’s back yard. Bad timing, Jim. However, the trip to Duluth will mean a return visit to Electric Fetus, digging downstairs for records.

Today, Al the mailman brought a postcard announcing next month’s record show here in town. We’ve had only a spring show in recent years, but this spring’s show was such a success that they added a fall show.

Finally, one of the advantages to driving the Dad Taxi is that one of our regular destinations is close to Amazing Records, our local used vinyl emporium. Found today while killing time at Amazing Records:

badfingermagicchristianlp

“Rock of All Ages,” Badfinger, from “Magic Christian Music,” 1970.

This is the terrific B side to “Come and Get It,” which I had on a 7-inch single when I was 12. I’ve always loved its wild guitars and pounding piano. I’ve been looking for this LP for a long time, and I found a nice copy in the dollar bin. That was pretty exciting.

One more thing: I also have resurfaced over at The Vinyl District with another ’70s album post. This time: “School Days,” by Stanley Clarke.

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Filed under September 2009, Sounds

Goin’ down Highway 51

We used to play a little game as we sat in The Hose’s living room, quaffing Hamm’s beer and watching basketball on a tiny black-and-white TV. We’d pick up the paper and check out the daily list of celebrity birthdays.

So let’s play “Who’s Older?” for June 21, shall we?

Ray Davies of the Kinks. I’ve never really been into the Kinks, but I do like this album:

“Apeman,” the Kinks, from “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One,” 1970. (You’ve heard the fabulous “Lola” enough. Here’s the single that followed “Lola.” Its notion of fleeing modern society holds up pretty well almost 40 years later. Ray Davies wrote both tunes.)

Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, who co-wrote this song (which Evan may find on Guitar Hero: Aerosmith some day).

“Pandora’s Box,” Aerosmith, from “Get Your Wings,” 1974.

Joe Molland of Badfinger, who played guitar on this, the terrific B side to the “Come and Get It” single, which I had when I was 12:

“Rock of All Ages,” Badfinger, from “Magic Christian Music,” 1970. (Thanks to the gents over at Popdose for posting this a couple of months ago.)

Lalo Schifrin, who composed several memorable TV themes, including this one:

“Mannix,” Lalo Schifrin, 1967, from “Crime Stoppers: TV’s Greatest P.I. Themes,” a 2000 CD compilation that’s out of print. (This is the long version, with an extra minute you may not have heard.)

Think you know who’s older?

Schifrin is 76. Davies is 64. Molland is 61. Kramer is 58.

And I am 51. I’ve driven quite a few miles on Highway 51, too.

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Filed under June 2008, Sounds