The other day i found myself in Evanston, Il. and the wife decided that she needed to stop at this hot dog joint that she's heard about called 'The Wiener and still the champion' or some such nonsense. We pulled up in front of the place, and there's this little record store right next door called 2nd Hand Tunes. First thing i said was, "let's eat first, because we're going to be in there for at least an hour."
We had our lunch (top-notch Chicago style dogs, by the way) then headed next door. Jenny found ELO's greatest hits on CD for 3 bucks, and i dove head first into the 6-for-5-dollar 45 bins. One of the first worthwhile titles i found was R.B. Greaves' "Take a letter Maria" and i also ended up getting about a dozen others. A couple old rock and roll instrumental and/or garage numbers, another Johnny Paycheck tune, a couple TV themes, one pretty rare and one not-so-rare funk jams, and a Mormon Tabernacle Choir record that for whatever reason i could not say no to. Not bad for less than a buck each. All in all i'd say it was 14 dollars well spent on my part.
As soon as we got home, i fired up the turntable and immediately converted everything. Everything i picked up is great, only one or two dud sides in the lot, but the tune i think i dug the most was the flip side of Take a letter Maria. It's called "Big Bad City" and it's one hell of a righteous jam. Recorded with the house band at Muscle Shoals studio back in the day, it's no wonder that this songs got such balls. This one's in the running for my new favorite song as well.
Fun fact: The songs were recorded on August 19th (yesterday) in 1969. Happy belated birthday to a great two-sider!
"Big Bad City"
If anyone feels the need to hear "Take A Letter Maria" again, just turn on your local oldies station and wait a while. It'll come on eventually.... .
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