Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Obituary: The House of Sight and Sound, 1971-2011



Record stores are a dying breed, and we can blame the record companies for this as much as anyone.   Every time a record store goes down, we lose a bit of our heritage, our culture.

It happened again, yesterday: after 40 years, the House of Sight and Sound in Salina, Kansas, closed its doors.  (Salina --- pronounced, "sa-line-uh" --- is a smallish town located halfway between St. Louis and Denver, on U.S. Interstate Highway 70.  It's a surprisingly interesting place: Jonnie King visits there each July for the KKOA Custom Car Show, and there's a lively arts and music scene:  Check out  www.stiefeltheatre.org  and  www.salinaartcenter.org ).

Now, I don't live in Salina, but I've been shopping at the House of Sight and Sound on-and-off since 1974 --- almost all of its 40 years of existence.  The store was primarily a music store (LPs, cassettes, 8-tracks, CDs --- heck, the last time I was in there, they still had a rack for 8-tracks!) but they also did car-stereo installation; sold head-shop and smoke supplies; and for a short time even marketed some of the Priscilla-style stuff.  It was a kind of One-Stop Shop for All Your Home Entertainment Needs.   Up to the very end, the House had a massive collection of popular music from the 50s up till almost-today.  It was the kind of place that mom, pop, the kids, even grandpa, might find something they'd like to listen to.  Lots of families shopped there.  I found a lot of stuff there.

The store's closing just yesterday really pains me, and this little posting is my obit for a unique institution that will never reappear.

The House of Sight and Sound existed due to the management genius of Tom Headlee.  The first time I visited the store, back in the fall of 1974, I expected to find the usual "head-shop-style" staff, stoned and disinterested.  Instead, there was this quiet, soft-spoken fellow with short hair and a big smile who genuinely appreciated my business.   (I remember what I bought that day: a German LP import: "UFO - Flying: One Hour Space Rock"!  This was pre-Michael Schenker by the way....)

After shopping at the House multiple times, I got to know the soft-spoken fellow, who was the manager and whose name was Tom.   I asked him, "Tom, are you from around here?"  Tom said, "Nope --- I'm from Tennessee."   So I asked, "Tom, how did you ever find your way to Salina, Kansas?"  "Well," Tom explained, "I always wanted to live in the mountains, and a friend of mine wrote me and told me that he opened a new record shop near the Rockies and he asked me to come out and take it over.  So I came here, to Salina, where the shop was".   Unfortunately,  Tom's friend failed to explain to him that Salina is a 6-hour car drive "near" the Rockies, but the deed was done, and Tom stayed in Salina and managed his friend's store.  He met his wife, married, raised some kids, and became a grandfather.   All the while, he built the coolest record store, packed from floor to ceiling with the most eclectic inventory one could imagine.  (Tom once told me, "I like the strange stuff."  To Tom, Captain Beefheart was mainstream.)

Tom certainly had an ear for 60's and 70's psychedelia, metal, and all their offspring.  This was the store's strength --- it was The Library of Congress of Acid/Hard Rock.   When the decades rolled into the 2000s, Tom struggled a bit at ordering inventory and admitted to me that he sometimes asked his grandkids for advice.  Still, there was never a problem dropping into the House and getting a replacement copy of anything by Iron Butterfly or Motorhead --- LP, cassette, CD, 8-track --- take your pick!

As the years moved on, and I found myself in Salina less and less frequently, I lost track of how the House was doing.  But the last few years, I made it a point of stopping in every few months and chatting with Tom.  He always recognized me (although not always remembering my name), dropped what he was doing, and came out from behind the counter into the aisles to chat for 5-10-15-whatever minutes.  The last year or so, the news wasn't so good: business was slow and people weren't spending their tax refunds on new car stereos like they used to do.  Tom's bad back was starting to be a problem.   Last autumn, he told me that Christmas 2010 might be the signal whether he should keep the store going or think about doing something else.

Today, I was on the road, heading home after attending a funeral, my uncle's. (There are too many funerals to attend these days, alas....)  I had just enough spare time to take the Interstate Exit at Salina and stop at the House, to say hello to Tom.   I turned into Salina, rolled down South Santa Fe Avenue, saw the House's signature pink building, but its sign was gone.   I slowed down, stared into the front window --- where were all the shelves, the stock?!   I saw someone inside.  I parked the car and hustled to the front door --- locked!

Then I saw the sign: "Our last day is May 29.  Thanks for your patronage."  Rats!  Double Rats!  I looked inside and saw Tom.  I pounded on the window.  As usual, Tom dropped what he was doing --- in this case, he was disassembling the counter that he stood behind faithfully for 40 years --- and came to the door and let me in.   I couldn't believe what I was seeing: The last of the House of Sight and Sound being disassembled and loaded out the back door into a truck.   One long-term employee was standing there, staring as if in shock.  Tom explained to me that it was time to quit --- not enough business to make ends meet.   I realized that I had just attended one funeral and had found my way to another.

I asked him, "Tom, what happens next?"  Tom replied, "I've always wanted to live in the mountains and run a record store.  I think I'm going to give it a try...."

Thanks, Tom, for the music and the memories.  I hope it all works out for you --- you deserve it!

Here's a photo of Tom and one of the last staff line-up at the House of Sight and Sound.  In the staff photo, Tom's wife, Sherry, stands to Tom's left:



---Dave S.

P.S.  The above is how I remember it.  After I came home from saying my good-byes to Tom, I checked the web and learned that the House announced its upcoming demise to the world last March.  Here are a couple of articles that were posted:

http://www.saljournal.com/news/story/Sight-and-Sound-3-9

http://www.saljournal.com/news/story/tom-headlee-talks-about-closing-3811

There is even a tribute Youtube video out there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c53pGUGWyDk

Tom maintains a web site for the store:  houseofsightandsound.com

My Trip To Little Rock: Monday With Charlie ("King") Scarbrough

After so many years of fantasizing as a kid, then wondering as an adult, then getting verbally kicked in the keester by Jerry Sims, I finally made it!  There were a couple of false starts, where we had "catastrophic failures" on vehicles- you know, those "little things" that eat up money- that took much of my travel stash, but we perservered and finally made the trip the week of April 18-22, 2011.  Travelling Sunday night, we arrived, as we viewed the Little Rock skyline, at our hotel at 4:30AM.  The staff immediately put us in our room (we didn't have to wait until 3:30 PM as originally quoted!), took a nap, then woke up to meet Charlie Scarbrough ("Charlie King", 1967-1969) for lunch and a bit of a tour.

Charlie came to our motel and picked us up.  What a thrill to meet another one of The Greats!  My wife and daughter and I enjoyed meeting Charlie so much, we wasted some time in the foyer just talking.  Being sleep-deprived and hungry didn't matter to us at the moment....

Upon getting into Charlie's vehicle, he presented us with a bowling shirt!  Seems as if Pat Walsh had sponsored a bowling team, something that I never knew or that no one had ever mentioned.  It's in wonderful shape and appears to have been hand-embroidered, with "Charlie" over the left breast and "Scarbrough" on the left shoulder, with "KAAY 1090" stitched in the middle of the back.  Here's my wife and daughter showing off the back (actually when we were at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, later):

And a picture of the front:

Charlie took us all over Little Rock, showing us the capital, where tax protesters were picketing, as well as where the old W. 7 Street studio used to be (more later).  There was lots to see, as well.

At lunch, Charlie was visited by a fan who recognized his voice; seems as if the fellow's brother worked with Charlie at another radio station years ago...small world!  After lunch, we were headed off to do something for the ladies, when we were coming up where Dale Seidenschwarz ("Clyde Clifford", 1966-1972) worked at U. of Akansas for Medical Studies.  I asked if I could do a "cold call" and we whipped right in.  After being led to the Media area of the hospital, the receptionist for the area called down to Dale and announced my arrival, after which she showed me to Dale's office.  I was about to hit the ceiling, I was so excited...and I'd realized I'd left the camera in the car!  Dale said to go get it, he'd take pictures with me and, after getting a little disoriented with my surroundings, I got back to his office.  The same lady who showed me in took the pictures...in the first one, we were just talking away as she snapped the picture:

...and we finally posed for another photo:


Another Great, a legend all over the world, Dale took a few more moments with me, offering information about Beaker Street and KAAY.  One other thing I didn't know was that he told me the feedline to the towers at the transmitter site had been vandalized recently for copper...the station was off the air for a few days while they got it replaced.  What a shock, but it seems some people have no respect for others' property...and possibly had no idea what they were doing to our beloved station!  I thanked him very much for his time, realizing he was very busy and he gave me his contact information.  (By the way, we were told later that the vandal was locked up safe and sound in jail....bs)

Well, I got my breath, hiked back up to the car and we went on our merry way, over toward Scott and Keo, AR, because Charlie wanted to show the girls a great antique mall over that way.  Unfortunately, it was closed on Mondays, so we just toured around looking at the storm damage (tornados and straight-line winds had done some extensive damage in the area).  We stopped by another little store and eatery called Cotham's Merchantile, but they were also closed.  Heck, since the scenery was so pretty, we thought we'd shoot some more photos, so here's Charlie and I on the porch of Cotham's and near the lake:

After stopping elsewhere for a soda pop and other refreshments, we decided we needed some real sleep.  It had been a busy afternoon, so Charlie dropped us off at the motel once again and we sat around in the reception area, just jawing for at least another hour.  Since I was on my own "with the guys" the next day, Charlie told the ladies what to look for downtown and more local attractions.  They also went digging for diamonds later Tuesday afternoon, but only found some jasper and quartz.

Next installment: Tuesday...stay tuned!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day- A Day Of Rememberance

Please remember those who gave their all for our freedom....

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

By Gosh, I FOUND IT!

Dear reader and visitor, do you remember me saying I had been haunted by a song so many months ago? Well, thanks, in part to Clyde Clifford in an indirect way, I FOUND IT! I'd been viewing Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton videos on YouTube, re: the Crossroads Festival (see the second part of Beaker Street's last day on KKPT, part 2) where Winwood and Clapton sang "Presence Of The Lord" and I just followed subsequent videos.

BINGO!"Dear Mr. Fantasy!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DYC61HzmtM&NR=1




When I heard the opening riffs, I almost jumped off my chair! This has literally haunted me, staying in my brain for years! I swear that I heard it on late night radio somewhere- maybe or maybe not on Beaker Street- but, with not doing the constant research I do for this blog and Clyde's selection of "Presence Of The Lord", I might never have found it...thanks, Clyde!

Lyrics for "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (band: Traffic):

"Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar
Make it snappy
You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don't be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn't have known you all these years
Oooo Ahhhhh
Oooo Ahhhhh
Oooo Ahhhhh
Oooo Ahhhhh Ahhhhh


Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar
Make it snappy
Yeah, yeah


[Instrumental]


Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar
Make it snappy
You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don't be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn't have known you all these years"

This IS music at some of its finest...I pity the kids nowadays who think rap, hip hop, et. al., is "music"....and, as music goes, Dave M. has said, "This is so 'Clyde'...."

And feel free to visit all the other YouTube links from the same concert...Winwood and Clapton have aged like fine wine, mellowing and gaining value.

A MUCH relieved Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beaker Street's Last "Final Day", Feb. 6, 2011, Part 5

Herewith, the last part we have to offer of the last Beaker Street from KKPT, February 6, 2011.  No weeping here, dear reader- KKPT's loss is someone else's gain.  To be sure, we will continue to archive past Beaker Street programs here on The Mighty 1090 Blogspot to enjoy any time you wish, 24 hours a day, 365 and a quarter days a year...all due to the magic of archiving and computers and the hard work of the founders of this blog and of YOU, dear reader, who have sent in copies of your recordings.

Whether studio recordings or off-the-air airchecks, all are valuable.  Yes, those needle pops on the LPs, the slight atmospheric fade of signal (yes, they occasionally happened, as with any radio signal, even the Gentle Giant!), all created a wonderful sense of nostalgia listening to them today.  You better bet I'll continue searching not only for other Beaker Street material, but for other KAAY audio, as well.

So, with that said, please enjoy this last hour of the last Beaker Street on KKPT...compliments of the computer work of Dave S.:



For a playlist of this day's last broadcast please see this link:

http://beakerstreet.com/feb0611.htm

KAAY, 1966 to 1985...after a pause, KLAZ, then to KZLR (what are they now?), to Magic 105, to KKPT, 2011...it was a long run.  Yes, I wish Clyde had kept a journal....

...but, Clyde mentioned that he's still scheming...stay tuned!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beaker Street's Last "Final Day", Feb. 6, 2011, Part 4

Dave S. was one of the lucky ones, able to hear this as he downloaded it.  He mentioned that the last couple of hours got "pretty interesting".  I agree and hope you find them so, as well!

What more can be said?  Beaker Street has been an important part of many a listener's musical "growing-up", for lack of better words.  Yes, it has changed and evolved over the years, but Clyde has always brought an interesting mix of music to the table...or, the radio, as it were.  No, it's not been for everyone, but it definitely has had a broad following.  Clyde always knew how to create that interesting, magical mix...so enjoy:


(or  stream/download  from the audio archive page)

My thanks to Dave  for all his hard work!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beaker Street's Last "Final Day", Feb. 6, 2011, Part 3

And we continue on with Hour 3 of the last Beaker Street on KKPT.  In this segment, there is an interesting final interview with Scott Reed, Wil Warren and Mark Arouh of Little Rock Classics/Lost Classics/Watcher of the Skies, who interacted with Clyde during Beaker Street in the past.

Many, many people protested to KKPT in phone calls, e-mails and such --- myself included --- but the General Manager never budged, nor replied.  Ego, perhaps?

Such is corporate radio at all levels.  One boss leaves, another takes his place and will "show them all who's boss", in sometimes inane moves and decisions.

Clyde had mentioned that, if it hadn't been for management's decision, he'd have been happy to live out Beaker Street's last days at KKPT.  He got along very well with everyone there.  Such was not to be.  Still, through the miracle of audio and computer archiving, we can continue to enjoy (with breaking hearts) this event, as it unfolds:



Thanks, Dave, for the audio help!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beaker Street's Last "Final Day", Feb. 6, 2011, Part 2

And we continue here with Hour 2 of the last Beaker Street on KKPT.  Although this was the eve of the Super Bowl, Clyde mentioned that he wasn't interested...and so weren't many other Beaker Street fans who listened and called in.

Come to think about it, for many of us, there was nothing more important than this event, the last day of Beaker Street:


(or  stream/download  from the audio archive page)

Thanks go again to Dave S. and his audio and computer skills!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

P.S. If this link is still up, here's a YouTube video of Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood playing together at the Crossroads Festival...the song, as in this segment, is "Presence Of The Lord":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98XqT4kBWT4

Monday, May 9, 2011

Beaker Street's Last "Final Day", Feb. 6, 2011, Part 1

February 6, 2011 was the last "last day" of Beaker Street on KKPT.  I say "last day", since we've seen Beaker Street have a final day here and there on different radio stations.  Especially dear to our hearts was April 3, 1985, which we labelled "The Last Day" in earlier posts.  A lot of hearts were rent then, when KAAY went to be with God, as Clyde said.

At the time I write this, Beaker Street has found no home; there have been some offers, but none nearby, travel-wise, to be attractive to Clyde.  Maybe something has changed in the meantime.  Clyde did mention in an interview that he was enjoying Sunday nights with family.

Nonetheless, Beaker Street was dumped by KKPT's new General Manager, saying it "wasn't profitable".  I've heard that what's in it's place hasn't garnered any great ratings....

As promised earlier in the year, here is the latest "last" Beaker Street, in five parts...this is Part One, compliments of Dave S. and his intrepid skill in capturing and archiving the audio.


(or  stream/download  from the archive page)


Enjoy!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Remember all the things Mom did for you?

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Day At KAAY #13, May 18, 1971

"Back to the Bible, back to the Bible...."

We have reached the very last episode of Pat Walsh's archive of KAAY's May 18, 1971 broadcast.

This is the religious segment that was on Jonnie King's shift; this audio segment runs from 6:30 to 7:20 PM.

Again, as mentioned before, certain radio experts said KAAY's varied format wouldn't work.  This was proven to be wrong over and over.  Top 40, some country music, older music from the '50s and '60s, Marvin Vines' Farm Report and the religious blog all worked together and folks rarely tuned away from KAAY at all during the day.  Only when FM became popular did KAAY's AM broadcasts wane and the station was sold in 1985 to a religious interest.


(or stream/download here from the archive page)

Remember the great tune, "Turn Your Radio On"?  I wonder how many folks listened to radio with the likes of my old Philco here:



My sincere thanks to Russell Wells for preserving and contributing these valuable contributions that made up "A Day At KAAY"!   Also my gratitude for Dave S. for his valuable time loading and linking the audio; our library continues to grow and is larger than we ever expected!  May it continue to grow beyond everyone's wildest expectations!

If YOU have some audio to contribute, as well as any memorabelia of any type, it is ALL important!  Please contact me at my e-mail address below to make arrangements to have YOUR contribution(s) posted here!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Central Arkansas Library System Five Year Anniversary!

You may know them as the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, where I personally had two entries (thanks to The Greats and other sources) on KTHS and KAAY.  I just received information of their anniversary:

"Hello everyone. Can you believe that the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture is five years old? Neither can I. It seems like just yesterday that the staff was sitting around a computer with their fingers crossed, hoping that the site wouldn't crash when it launched.

During its first month of operation, the EOA received 46,960 visits. In April 2011, the site received 239,655 visits. Since the site launch, it has had 105,032,153 hits-that's right, more than 105 million hits. The response to the encyclopedia has been dramatically larger than we ever envisioned. I hope you are as proud of the EOA as we are.

I always say that the EOA is my first-born child. Today, I'm writing to you (its godparents) to say that baby needs a new pair of shoes...and a college fund.

We are getting ready to go after grant money to do a major expansion of the EOA website, and we need a pool of matching funds for these grant applications. As part of the expansion, we want to create a mobile version of the website for smart phones and other mobile devices and launch an application that will work with GPS-enabled devices to locate county-specific information-this new technology will allow a user standing anywhere in Newton County, for example, to easily see all entries and media related to that county. We hope that this new technology will be as well received as the original EOA website, and that it will help to launch or supplement local efforts to encourage heritage tourism and education.

Please consider making a gift to the EOA in honor of five successful years of making Arkansas-history information readily available to the public.

Send donations to:

Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture
Attn: Anna Lancaster
100 S. Rock Street
Little Rock, AR 72201

(make checks payable to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture)

Or click on this link to make a credit card/PayPal donation through the CALS website:

http://www.cals.org/donation/donation.html.

Please note that you must choose Encyclopedia of Arkansas from the drop-down menu under Please select an Endowment.

All donations are tax deductible under 170 (c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Thank you again for your support-past, present, and future.

Cordially,

Nathania Sawyer
Senior Editor
Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture"

(About the Butler Center

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System, is located in the Arkansas Studies Institute on the campus of the Main Library. For more information visit, www.butlercenter.org. All events are free and open to the public.)

QUICK LINKS

Our website: http://www.cals.org/

Events Calendar: http://www.cals.org/events/calendar.php

Latest News: http://www.cals.org/news/index.html

Browse the Catalog: http://encore.cals.lib.ar.us/iii/encore/home?lang=eng

Contact Information:
Kathryn Heller
phone: (501) 320-5717
email: kheller@cals.org

When I was on vacation in Little Rock a couple of weeks ago, we (The Greats and I) were able to donate some more materials when we visited the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.  When the folks there saw some of the items, they were obviously in awe.  I hope that we as a blog and as individuals can continue to donate materials and information to them for a long time to come.

If you feel led to donate, please do so!  As mentioned above, donations are tax deductable.  Thank you!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)