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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Esquerita Awareness Month: "The Rock-A-Round"

     Paul Peek and Esquerita were both from Greenville, SC, and met while Mr. Reeder was headlining there at the Owl Club in 1958. Paul was justifiably impressed with Mr. Reeder's act, and introduced him to his boss at the time, Gene Vincent, who would soon use his influence to get him signed to Capitol records. Before that point, though, he helped arrange for Esquerita and his band to cut several demos in Dallas, as well as today's selection (this material is all collected on Vintage Voola, from Norton records). This was Mr. Peek's debut record, as well as the first NRC single, and was co-written by Peek and "Esque-Rita" (if by "co-written", one means "swiped from Ahmet Ertegun and Ray Charles"--- but why nitpick?).
      This particular scratchy sound file, however, is not from that album. It's from the single pictured above, which I and an accomplice "shoplifted" from a Kroger supermarket, circa 1993! Perhaps this requires explanation: at that time, the now-defunct Broad St. Kroger here in Athens, GA was doing a goofy "Back To The '50s" promotion, with the store haphazardly decorated for the occasion. There were posters and crepe streamers throughout the store, the freezers had an assortment of pedal cars on top for some reason, and the deli section had dozens of 45s dangling on ribbons from the ceiling. They had clearly just gone to the Potter's House thrift store and grabbed up a six-or-eight-inch stack of singles from the top of the pile, and the bulk of them were '70s & '80s junk: Osmonds, KC & The Sunshine Band, and worse. On maybe my second or third visit during the promotion, though, I was shopping late, around midnight, and happened to see a familiar label out of the corner of my eye, and looked closer to see the above record (no sleeve-- I added that later). Looking around a lot more carefully, I saw nothing else of interest, except for a second copy! THey were hanging just out of my reach, so I went home, grabbed a couple of junk 45s, then went next door and fetched a fellow record hound, the slightly-taller Mr. Jim Tucci, and returned to the grocery store. he yanked down the records, we tied the ribbons to our replacement singles and left them on the floor (see? It wasn't actual thievery!), selected our groceries, and went home.

1 Comment:

Unknown said...

Great story!!! Loved it!