Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How I came to own a rare record (March 22, 2008)

Everyone at some point has heard the song "Wild Weekend" by The Rockin’ Rebels. It’s a staple of oldies radio, especially on stations and shows specializing in early 1960s material. The song was an international hit in 1963, peaking at 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Lesser known, though, is that the song was originally recorded in 1959 by a bunch of high school kids in Buffalo, New York. It is that recording that went famous.

For a long time, I had, rattling around in my pile of 45s, a recording of "Wild Weekend", not on Swan Records 4125, but on Mar-Lee Records.

I now know that this recording is exceedingly hard to come by. Here is how I ended up with it. My father had come into possession of it at one point, and when I became old enough to have my own 45s, he gave it to me, and told me this story.

He owned a 1961 GMC Suburban, a rather unusual vehicle to have in the early 1960s. Having such a set of wheels made him popular with people who needed favors moving stuff, and one such favor was to help a bunch of kids in a band who were playing a high school dance. He got the kids and their stuff to and from the gig, and as thanks they gave him a copy of the record they had just made.

A full history of the band and the song can be found here.

Here’s the record, which still resides in my 45 collection. I don’t know what it’s worth, and don’t much care. It’s not for sale. (full-size version is in my Pics)

Moral 1 of the story: The neat thing about going through a record collection is not in the 99% of the songs that probably everyone has one of (there were 15 million LP-format copies of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album alone) but in finding that lone copy of something that nobody else has.

Moral 2: Whatever keepsake you get from doing someone a favor may indeed be worth a good bit someday!

1 comment:

bus15237 said...

My father's Suburban was a light pastel green. He called it a Carryall and usually used it for motorcycles. This site has several pictures. This site shows the fancy version with the chrome bumpers; his were white. Same red/blue "V-6" badge, though.

Even in the mid-1960s, these vehicles were uncommon, and other 1961s were rare indeed, even then.