A Matter of Public Record
Yesterday we spent spent a beautiful spring day in Mobile Alabama trying to acquire/install a turntable so we could listen to our growing vintage vinyl collection. I will spare you the laborious details but we went to a local record store, no luck. Tried the flea market, no luck. Went to my sister-in-law’s to commandeer her parent’s old turntable, set it up…broken belt. Bought a new one at Guitar Center, got it all the way home, missing parts. Returned it for another one. Odd sound. Radio Shack for new speaker cable. Tried the Bose speakers. Hooked up the AR speakers. Troubleshooting, troubleshooting, troubleshooting.
Ten hours later we determined our vintage Onkyo receiver is on the fritz.
But one of the highlights of the day was spending time in Mobile Records with owner, Keith Glass. Originally from Australia Keith is a singer, songwriter, producer, record label owner. And now proprietor of an epic record store. This place is a true gem, some other patrons showed up having driven over from Biloxi just to check it out. Keith makes it, he is one of the most gregarious and knowledgeable musician/storytellers I have ever encountered. I plan on logging some serious hours in this place.
I was delighted to see he had this 45 of Curtis Gordon’s local hit “Mobile Alabama.” Curtis Gordon was an early rockabilly/country star who owned a popular music venue in Mobile called Radio Ranch which Elvis played a few times.
Keith also had an old copy of a Lawrence Reynolds album with a handwritten note scratched on it…from Reynolds himself! Lawrence Reynolds was a Mobile guy who was a prolific country singer. He recorded a vast library of tracks without ever really breaking through as a household name. But he had a big hit called “Jesus Is a Soul Man” which has been covered by countless country greats and even inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to create the Broadway smash “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Here’s a fantastic clip of Johnny Cash singing “Jesus Is A Soul Man” with Lawrence Reynolds as a guest on the Johnny Cash Show.
Got the bug to browse some vinyl? Want to support your local record store? APRIL 20th is NATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY. Check and see if your town has a retail location that is celebrating. If you’re in the Mobile area, head over to the parking lot of Mobile Records, Keith has plenty of live music lined up for the good people on the Gulf Coast.
PS…here’s what we took home from Mobile Records yesterday: