You have been missed! I trust you and your family have been well!
That's quite a compliment and we sure do appreciate it. Thanks for the love!
I share your childhood feelings about collecting records especially the first 10 or so albums of Glen's when record collecting and following an artist were new to me.
For me, buying one of those early albums would start with either a mention by Glen Campbell on the Goodtime Hour about a new "upcoming" album or I would hear a new Glen song played by a DJ on the local AM radio station broadcast picked up by my transistor radio that I carried with me almost everywhere. Hearing the new song for the first time was like the 4th of July....fireworks would go off in my head. I would walk or bike to a nearby Woolworth's, a "five and dime" store to buy the 45. It surprises me now that despite Woolworth's relatively small size (one level, polished but worn wood floors, stocking everything from soap and shoes to paint and pop at the soda fountain counter), I would usually find the new 45 in stock! If it wasn't in stock, then not a week would go by when I would check for it again.
I played each new 45 over and over, sometimes writing down the lyrics, sometimes sounding out the melody on piano.
The anticipation for the upcoming album would build and build and build. Woolworth's did not always carry the newest album, or the store did not stock it right away, so I would look through the Baltimore Sun newspaper daily to watch for ads with new record releases at Korvettes, one of the first big box stores in the county where my family and I lived. As soon as I saw the newest GC album ad, I would begin campaigning my parents to bring me to Korvettes for the new album buy! In those days, my family didn't just jump in the Chevy to buy one thing. We were mindful of the cost of gas for the car, so trips to the big store (probably 3 miles from home, same as yours, Rob) occurred only when we had more than just a few items to pick up, thus making the drive "worthwhile".
Seeing the new album in the store for the first time, examining the cover art all sealed in shiny wrap, bringing the album home ("Dad, can you drive faster?"), playing it for the first time created an unforgettable experience for me. You can just imagine how carefully I read every line of print on the back of the record sleeve. Then, I would ever-so-carefully slit open the shrink wrap along the jacket's opening for the LP because I always kept the wrap intact on all my records. Many of these LPs still have the original wrap which I know isn't a good thing, it can warp a record over the years.
Should I mention how good it was to sniff the newly pressed vinyl? lol
Now here is something that maybe is a little strange, but "delayed gratification" has always been a thing with me. I would play Side A first and play it over and over. I almost didn't want to play Side B because I knew that when I did play it, then that would be it for "new" recorded Glen music until the next single or album! Weird, right? Maybe hours after playing Side A, I would play Side B, and then it was a joy to hear another set of songs, some that I had not heard Glen sing on the Goodtime Hour. New songs for me, new favorites. Life was good!
There were times when I could not afford new GC albums. My dear grandmother would then get these albums for me. She also could not afford to buy these albums, but she had a very good friend who owned a record store in Baltimore City, and the friend would give her complementary albums, maybe a few at a time. One of the albums gifted to me from my grandmother and her friend was Glen's "Oh Happy Day" album. I don't know why obtaining this particular album still stands out for me; maybe I had had a long wait for it? Maybe Korvettes had not stocked this gospel album? Can’t remember why. Another album given to me by my grandmother was "True Grit", which is a beautiful coincidence because she had more true grit than anyone I have ever known.
Hey, Rob, thank you for hanging in here to read my long post and for motivating me to sit down for a few minutes to think about my early record buying experiences. Those were the days, my friend!