Saturday, September 27, 2003

Harmony Records

Image Credit

William from Garbage Thoughts gave me a memory recently which made me think of so many more kind people on Queen Street in the west end of Toronto.

Two doors west of my uncles' store, there used to be a record store called "Harmony Records".
It was run by two aged brothers whose names escape me.
The record store was old.
It had been there a very long time.
The floors were flat hardwood that squeaked when you walked on it.
On the far wall next to the cash register counter was a wall of '45's.
The wall of '45's was always in the order of the current "Chum Chart".
I used to go into the record store, and the brothers would always play whatever record I pulled off the wall.
I spent many hours sitting in the store, chatting with the brothers.
They would send me over to the Tennessee Restaurant 4 doors east of the store to get coffee or sandwiches for them, and in return, I had company and the liberty of listening to any current hit I wanted.

My mother knew them.
My uncle knew them, and it was always ok to be there.
Occasionally, my mother would chastise me..
"leave dos poor peopl alon! I'm shur dey don vant yu der baddering dem every day!"
If it bothered them, they certainly never showed it.

What they gave me was a gift.
They gave me an early love of music.
All kinds of music.

I bought my first record from Harmony Records.
Wilson Pickett's "Soft Soul Boogie".
It wasn't even on the Chum Hit List.
It was one of the many blues albums they played for me during my visits.

I guess that it's partially because of them that I love the Blues.