Mr. Fabulous and I hit the bins on Saturday, and I happened across two volumes of 78 rpm records. I had no idea who many of the artists were on the records that were in each volume. The records just looked really really old, and I couldn't pass them up. Each volume, each containing several records, was 49 cents.
I started doing some research, and these dusty old books filled with heavy 78s were well worth the dollar I spent.
But he was considered to be the most influential African American entertainer of the early 1900s. He was a tormented man. W.C. Fields described Williams as, "the funniest man I ever saw, and the saddest man I ever knew."
And she didn't even start her career until she was 42.
Then there's the flip side of Marie Dressler's record. It's a little number called I Don't Care by Eva Tanguay.
Eva Tanguay apparently had a distinctively average voice, but she made up for it with a robust, suggestive, enthusiastic delivery. Her songs, their lyrics and her lifestyle symbolized The Emancipated Woman.
Brittney Spears may have taken a page out of Eva's How To Get Noticed handbook. Eva got her name in the papers by allegedly being kidnapped, having her jewelry stolen and throwing a stage hand down a flight of stairs.
Her boom turned into a bust with the Wall Street crash of 1929. Apparently she lost over $2 million. That's a lot of ching now, and it was a whole lot of ching back then.
There are several other thick records in this collection that found its way to the Goodwill bins, and each has a history that's colorful and compelling.
The compelling part may explain last night.
Ever since I had kids, I'm a very light sleeper. I wake up at the slightest sound. And sometimes without provocation.
It really sucks. Very few things would be as sweet as a night of uninterrupted sleep.
Last night, I woke up around 2.30 am. My bedroom window was open a few inches, because Colorado days have become warm, and the house gets stuffy.
I was laying in bed, awake for a while. Then I heard the sound of someone walking outside. It was a klick-klack sound produced by a woman wearing heels.
I listened for a while, and I wish I'd have gotten up to take a look, but I didn't. I just listened.
Whoever was wearing those loud klick-klacking shoes wasn't just walking down the street. That sound would come lightly, become more pronounced, and then fade off. These steps were lingering.
I know I was wide awake. I wasn't dreaming.
So who wore those shoes last night?
Maybe Marie or Eva, looking for their records?
This collection of music I can't even play by people I didn't even know before yesterday is nothing short of haunting.