Thursday, March 23, 2006

If I didn't care.

This past weekend I was watching the Sanford and Son marathon on TV Land. I have always been a fan of the show and Redd Foxx (whose real name is John Sanford), was a brilliant and dynamic presence. My wife also pointed out to me that Demond Wilson’s contribution to the show has been grossly underrated. Something that was painfully obvious in the Sanford and Son spin-off Sanford (1980-1981). One of my favorite comedic bits that Redd Foxx did, besides having the fake heart attacks and insulting Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page), was singing The Ink Spots’ song If I Didnt Care, or as Fred Sanford liked to call it "The Anthem" (His best rendition was on the Hawaiian episode). He always sang the line, "And would I be sure that this is love beyond compare? Would all this be true if I didn't care for you?" Redd Foxx was a huge fan of the '30s vocal group but the network would not pay the expensive royalties. Out of his love for the group Redd Foxx paid the royalties out of his own pocket.

My dad is also a big Ink Spots fan as well as a Sanford and Son fan. When I was visiting my family in Orlando, my brother wanted to check out this new Virgin Megastore. He was told that this was the greatest music store in the world and that this place was so big that you could find any music you could ever want there. When my dad saw the inside of the store he knew that amongst the thousands of CDs, he could find The Ink Spots. Normally when you are at a Virgin Megastore you can go to one of many computer terminals and look up a song or an artist. Of course when we are there the computer system was down so we had to look for it on our own. Being guys we didn’t need to ask for help. We started with the Oldies section, where there were hundreds of CDs, but no Ink Spots. We went to the Classics section, again hundreds of CD, but no Ink Spots. We went to the Black Artist’s section, again hundreds of CD, but no Ink Spots. After dedicating all this time looking though thousands of CDs, we broke down and went to ask for help. Several twenty something employees who pride themselves on their vast musical knowledge, had never heard of the Ink Spots. One employee suggested that we check the Vintage section. Vintage? They have yet another synonym for old. The Vintage section consisted of 2 shelves with half a dozen CDs, but no Ink Spots. I went through the plastic tabs that separate the CDs and found a tab marked Ink Spots. I showed the tab to the employee who then takes a key and opens a cabinet. Under the shelves, we found The Ink Spots Greatest Hits 1939-46 the Original Decca Recordings.

We went home and got some beers and listened to the CD. I was still bothered that these music experts did not know who The Ink Spots were. I know who the Ink Spots are and I'm not a music expert, I'm a TV expert (I learned about The Ink Spots thanks to Redd Foxx). My 25-year-old sister Rachel comes home. Rachel was a week away from graduating Law School, well read, cultured and the smartest of the Figueroa children. I had to ask Rachel, "Who are The Ink Spots?" She said, "Weren't they a cartoon?" I guess I can’t be to judgmental. When my friends were buying music I was buying comedy albums. Funny that I learn music appreciation from a comedian or should I say from his alter ego Fred G. Sanford, that's S-A-N-F-O-R-D-Period, and the G. stands for Golden Oldie.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa


Peter Miller said...

That reminds me of a time when I went to Hollywood Video because I was looking for that classic Billy Wilder film "Sunset Boulevard". I looked in the "Classics" section, nothing. I looked in the "Drama" section, nothing. I even looked in the "musicals" section (Sir Andrew might have caused some confusion) again, nothing. So I finally asked one of Hollywood video's "Movie Experts" for help and they led me to the "New Releases" section and, with nothing but genuine confidence, pointed to "Sunset Park", A "gangsta" movie.

Ivan G. said...

I weep for the younger generation.

john - twenty something in question said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john - twenty something in question said...

The Virgin Megastore Orlando does not have an "oldies", a "black artists", nor a "vintage" section. We also do not have lockable cabinets beneath the bins where we store cds.

We do, however, carry the Ink Spots. They are in our Popular Vocals section with the Rat Pack, Babs, etc.

But we are indeed the greatest record store in the world, so thank you for noticing.

Virgin Megastore Orlando: Serving Everything Since 1997.


Tony & Donna Figueroa said...

With all due respect John,
This really happened in May of 1999.
There was a "vintage" section and no of had heard of The Ink Spots.

It is a great store I'm an at the one in Hollywood all the time.

Sam said...

Dear Virgin Mega Store Guy,

You are a shill and a dupe.

It's stores like you that have driven indy record stores out of business. Yeah, you may have those discounts on the latest Good Charlotte, but you really know nothing about music at all. All you know about is thew fact that you can run mom and pop stores out of business with your load of crap. Have you ever listened to The Ink Spots, os say Bing Crosby? How about Etta James? Dean Martin? Sam Cooke? Do you even play it in the store to get folks to purchase it? Of course you don't. BECAUSE YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT THE FOLKS THAT WANT TO BUY IT. You are not quote, "the greatest record store in the world" in my opinion. You are a cog in the Virgin monolith, next to their airlines, soda and other crap that Richard Branson can load his pocket with.

Do me a favor...Give a damn about the artist that you sell. Listen and learn, shill.

Sam Johnson: Owning your sorry butts the moment I wrote this.