If you’re like me, should your house ever burn down, you’ve got enough vinyl in it to make a big, smoky fire. Thus you might be interested to know that August 12 is Vinyl Record Day. It’s the anniversary of Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877, and the focal point for an effort to preserve and promote vinyl as a music medium. To commemorate the day, I’m organizing a modest blogswarm on the subject of vinyl. So far, the following fellow vinyl-heads are planning to participate: AM Then FM, Bloggerhythms, Davewillieradio, Echoes in the Wind, Flea Market Funk, Fufu Stew, Funky16Corners, Good Rockin’ Tonight, Got the Fever, Jefitoblog, Lost in the 80s, Py Korry, Retro Remixes, and the Stepfather of Soul. I’m hoping we’ll add a few more participants as the date gets closer. (If you’ve got a blog and would like to participate, e-mail me. Find my address here.) Prepare to swarm during the weekend of August 10-12.
I mean no disrespect to the other bloggers on the list—each of whom is a fine writer and quality human being with impeccable music taste—but the involvement of Larry Grogan at Funky16Corners is really gonna class up the joint. Every music-blog reader who digs the old school is a fan of his. Last Friday, he put up one of the mightiest music blog posts I’ve read anywhere in a long time, featuring Dennis Coffey’s 1971 hit “Scorpio.” Larry’s enthusiasm for his music is always right up front, but it’s pretty clear that “Scorpio” means something extra-special to him.
For what it’s worth, the way Larry first heard “Scorpio” back in the day was pretty much the way I first heard it back in the day, and I became, for a brief time at least, a Coffey fan. Coffey’s followup to “Scorpio” was another instrumental, “Taurus,” which sounds to me now like an obvious attempt to do the same thing, only different. I didn’t care back then. I bought that one on a 45, too. Unlike “Scorpio,” which made it to Number 6 in January 1972, “Taurus” missed the Top 10, peaking at Number 18 on the Hot 100 in April 1972. Its greater achievement was bringing some fiercely slashing guitar and funky rhythm to a season in which Top 40 stations were playing “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” every 90 minutes.
“Taurus”/Dennis Coffey (This one is rare. “Taurus” itself is un-anthologized, as far as I can tell. The original album, Goin’ for Myself, is out of print, although a fabulously expensive import is available if you want it on CD. Your best bet to find it is probably eBay, although if vinyl is OK, Dusty Groove America can help.)
(Post edited to add more participating blog-swarmers.)