The Very First Record Dealer

RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
edited June 2006 in Strut Central
Watchin' the Mavs, drinking some beer and thought I'd share a story.....When I started to dig seriously it was 1980 and I was living in Dallas. As I met more and more local collectors I kept on hearing about "Taylor's". Taylor's was where all the heavy collectors and Euro dealers went to when they were in the D/FW area. He operated out of three houses in Fort Worth, the LP house, the 45 house and the 78 house. I didn't actually get to go to Mr. Taylor's place until 1983 and the LP house was a psychedelic goldmine.....not only rare LP's of all sorts, but multiple copies of many of them. I continued to buy LP's there up until '88 or so, still finding great stuff.I never spent much time in the '45 House as it was well picked over by that point. The '78 House was more like a barn with probably 500,000+ 78's. I got to pull a lot of Post-War Blues and R&B at a buck a piece but I spent most of my time and money in the LP house.It was a house built in the 40's-50's and every room in the house had wall to wall, floor to ceiling shelves filled with LP's. Probably 2,000 square feet and nearly a million LP's. I got to be pretty friendly with Mr. Taylor who was an amazing guy. By the time I met him he was in his late 80's....he lived 10 more years. John was an Arthur Murray Dance Instructor in the 30's -50's and continued to dance regularly into his 90's. When he was teaching some of his students asked him where they could get the music he was using so they could practice at home. John began buying up overstock records from distributors as well as used Jukebox records and selling them to his classes, and soon to classes all over the country.He was honest and friendly and always had a great story. As far as I know he was the very first record dealer.Shortly after he died one of the houses burned down......some dudes from one of the Carolina's bought all the 78's and John's son continued to do mail order for many years as "John's Boy Records".And while I've been writing this the Mav's have shaved a 10 point deficit to 3!!!

  Comments


  • Excellent story thanks for sharing.

    I wish I could visit those houses in their prime, ah well. Closest thing I can think of is House of Guitars in my native Rochester, NY. But that place is a MESS and they don't let people into the record room anymore since it's a fire hazard. I'm sure it's been well picked over anyway. From what I understand though they do a pretty good job of rotating their floor stock.

    The bit about his son continuing the biz is nice too, 'specially with father's day coming up.

  • ExtraExtraExtraExtra 209 Posts
    This reminds me of a book a read a while back called "Exploding" by Stan Cornyn. It's a really detailed and well written book about this guys who has been down in the recording industry since day one. He talks about all the releases he was involved in from something like 1930 to 1996. He got his start writing the bios on the back of the sleeves.

    Has anyone read/heard about it?

  • LuckyLaneLuckyLane 35 Posts
    He got his start writing the bios on the back of the sleeves.

    I was just pontificating to the wife how one of the world's great losses is today's lack of bios on the sleeves. Reading some obscure radio DJ weigh in about the artist's past, present, and future...there's just something better about a world where that exists.

    Plus you get a lot of really cool outdated slang on that stuff.

  • MrSeanMrSean 57 Posts

    John's son continued to do mail order for many years as "John's Boy Records".

    Thanks for the great story. I didnt know that full background. And yeah Rich Taylor, the son, is still around and still puts out a paper auction list of 45s about 3 or 4 times a year. Some decent funk and soul 45s have been had from there over the last 5 years.

  • SooksSooks 710 Posts

    John's son continued to do mail order for many years as "John's Boy Records".

    Thanks for the great story. I didnt know that full background. And yeah Rich Taylor, the son, is still around and still puts out a paper auction list of 45s about 3 or 4 times a year. Some decent funk and soul 45s have been had from there over the last 5 years.

    Thanks Rock, that's an interesting story... I never knew that about Rich Taylor - I've bought some good 45s from John's Boy.

  • ExtraExtraExtraExtra 209 Posts
    He got his start writing the bios on the back of the sleeves.

    I was just pontificating to the wife how one of the world's great losses is today's lack of bios on the sleeves. Reading some obscure radio DJ weigh in about the artist's past, present, and future...there's just something better about a world where that exists.

    Plus you get a lot of really cool outdated slang on that stuff.

    If I remember correctly, the dude said the band responsible for putting an end to the back bios was Grateful Dead. They thought Pyscadelic Pics would be cooler, which in some cases is true I guess.


  • John's son continued to do mail order for many years as "John's Boy Records".

    Thanks for the great story. I didnt know that full background. And yeah Rich Taylor, the son, is still around and still puts out a paper auction list of 45s about 3 or 4 times a year. Some decent funk and soul 45s have been had from there over the last 5 years.

    Thanks Rock, that's an interesting story... I never knew that about Rich Taylor - I've bought some good 45s from John's Boy.

    I just got a package from Rich earlier this week. I was always curious where all those 45s came from and now I know.
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