I have two 45s and thought folks from our era might be amused to see them. Above is a "TOPS" label which your readers might recall were inexpensive versions of hit songs (two per side), in this case "Ko Ko Mo" and "Earth Angel" sung by Gayle Lark with the Rhythmaires. I believe Perry Como did the "real" Ko Ko Mo and the Crew Cuts did Earth Angel, but all sorts of well known singers covered these songs. The flip side had "Sincerely" and "Tweedle Dee," also sung by Gayle Lark. Big hit versions were sung by the McGuire Sisters and George Gibbs. As I recall we got TOPS records at Sears for something well under a dollar each. Back in 1955 it didn't matter much who sang the song, as long as it sounded okay -- hence the Hit Parade with Snooky Lanson and the like. It wouldn't work a few years later. We had to hear the original artists singing their songs.

Below is an expensive RCA Victor recording (over one dollar) and an early introduction to "buyer beware" for me. It's Harry Belafonte singing "Star-O" and nobody ever heard of it. But the flip side was his monster hit, "Banana Boat," AKA "Day-O." They are identical in every respect, including length (2 min), except the former substitutes the words Star-O for Day-O and "starlight" for "daylight." Beats me why I've saved these 45's--I have a bad tendency to collect and hoard -- Bob Richardson ’61

Such a cheap way to buy music, sometimes from the music shop with the neat little listening room, and more often from the swap meets!  I have many of my parents’ 45s from the 1950s, and my own added in the 1960s.  But, does Bob Richardson have any of the old yellow ones?  I still have a little yellow record of Cheyenne, by the Sons of the Pioneers, which I treasure. I also bet he doesn't have his original 45 of Parakeet Training Phrases!  Uh huh!  "Hi There, Beautiful" over and over and over.  I am surprised we never broke the record in half out of frustration. We used our 45s at Pershing Junior High for the class dances, but we had to submit the list to the principal ahead of time.  They disapproved "In My Room" by the Beach Boys (what exactly was going on in that room??!!) but let "Louie Louie" slip by.  That was probably because being older they knew the real lyrics, not the nasty ones we thought we heard! Thanks again for the memories -- Sharon Cramer Sceper ’68

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