Chuck Wagon Gang
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I gave Charles his main present today. A half-dozen Chuck Wagon Gang LPs.
The only musicians that Charles and I each owned a CD by when we met was the Chuck Wagon Gang. A few months ago our friend, Frank, was kind enough to copy an LP of their music to CD for Charles. He plays it often, particularly when he needs a lift.
He grew up listening to their music and for him it is a beautiful reminder of his happy times as a kid and of his family.
The Chuck Wagon Gang is an old-fashioned, white gospel group. Unlike the black gospel groups that I collect white gospel has hardly ever been collected on compact disc.
Several weeks ago, Harold was visiting our shop. Knowing how badly Charles wanted Chuck Wagon Gang music it surprised me that I hadn't thought of Harold before. He deals only in gospel with an inventory of over 15,000 records. Turned out he'd had some of their work that was so rare that the group members themselves had bought copies from him.
I didn't have that kind of budget. I told Harold that Charles liked the earlier songs. Gave him a price limit and asked him to pick our the LPs for me.
I have him the records today. We weren't able to find his turntable. So we went to a pawnshop around the corner and bought an old Sony turntable with a dead cartrige for $25.00.
Long ago Radio Shack was the place you went for electronics components. They had the first shop you could walk into and buy a personal computer. (My first PC was an even then out-of-date TRS Model III.) Nowadays you go there to buy a cellphone. They still have a catalog of turntable components you can order. But long gone are the people who knew what they were looking at.
Luckily nearby was a place that does everything from repair VCRs to supply Durham's DJs with their sound systems and lights. A nice guy was able to identify a cartridge that would work. Another #29.99. I'm hoping to connect the turntable to the PC and burn the songs on CDs.
The happy ending is that Charles is in the living room listening to his birthday gifts.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing him smile so we're both very happy indeed on the eve of his birthday.