Welcome to Sounding Off: Musical Reflections and Recollections

This is the first entry of my new blog, Sounding Off: Musical Reflections and Recollections. I regularly read about music, own countless CDs, 45s and albums ( yes, albums) and watch whatever videos I can find on YouTube. I’m excited about the chance to share my passion with others. While my love  for classic R&B (aka “dusties”) is unapologetic and undeniable, I also look forward to writing about other genres –blues, gospel, jazz, pop and rock.

I grew up on Chicago’s South Side during the 1970s. The Jackson Five’s “Rockin’ Robin” was the first record I remember hearing on WVON Radio. I immediately became a devoted fan of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. On Saturdays, must-see TV meant watching the Jacksons’ morning cartoon, American Bandstand, then Soul Train in the afternoon. My mother bought a box of Alpha-Bits cereal, at my request, because it contained stickers of the handsome brothers from Gary. A subscription to Right On! magazine was inevitable, but still several years away.

In those days, my dad and I purchased 45s from Joe’s Records near 35th and Giles and Metro Music at 87th and Harper. Many of my selections were influenced by WVON’s playlist and included The Hues Corporation’s “Rock the Boat,” the Jackson Five’s “Dancing Machine,” and Sly and the Family Stone’s “If You Want Me to Stay.”  The radio station was a powerhouse in the black community, where Herb Kent, Richard Pegue, Joe Cobb, Bill “Butterball” Crane, Ed “Nassau Daddy” Cook and other on-air personalities worked their magic behind the microphone.

By the time I began high school in 1979, I was buying albums at a store on 63rd and Halsted. I don’t remember the name of the shop, but it was across the street from Delicious Donuts which was under the “L” station. I also shopped downtown at Rose Records on Adams and Wabash. For house music and 12-inch singles of club favorites, a visit to Imports Etc. on South Plymouth Court was essential. After all these years, hearing “Situation” by Yaz still makes me shake my head, pop my fingers and wiggle my hips.

Please join me in Sounding Off by sharing memories about the records you bought and where you bought them. Thanks for reading this!

Kimberly Vann

Disclaimers: All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Sounding Off makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Unless otherwise noted, Kimberly Vann is the legal copyright holder of the original material on this blog and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without her written consent.


14 thoughts on “Welcome to Sounding Off: Musical Reflections and Recollections

  1. LDub

    Glory to God!
    He is a prayer answerer, gift giver and promise keeper. Cuz, I’m so proud and thankful to see that the dream has officially kicked off…..May the favor of God continue to overtake you.

    This is wonderfully done, boy was I having flashbacks. All I need is the “original” Maxwell street and Johnnie Taylor singing “What About My Love”. Keep it going girl!

  2. maria

    Hello Ms Vann, I really enjoyed this read and can’t wait for more read, this is one of my favorite subject I love music,sweet sweet music!!! My husband Ray Charles Bozeman is music master R/b,Jazz, oldies name it. We love it crank it up, that’ my jam, taking me back to the good old days, what a feeling.talk to you so Kim or should I say read more of your word soon. Take care Maria (tati from 55th)

  3. James Barnes

    Kimberly, what an awesome launch! You verbiage conjured memories of listening to Herb Kent “The Cool Gent” back in 1966 on my portable transistor radio while trying to do my homework. The Temptations, The Delphonics, Smokey, Stevie, and the rest of Motown. I love music, good music always has its place. Thank God for your gift and the incredible energy of your Blog.

  4. Evelyn

    Very nice, Kim! Your blog gives me a welcome opportunity to “travel down memory lane” remembering the music of my life. Thank you and be encouraged. Well done!

  5. Anthony

    Your routine on Saturday morning took me back down memory lane. I never wanted to get up to go to school, but I was upset if I didn’t wake up at 7am to see The Jackson Five cartoon and watch Michael Jackson dance with the pink snake Rosie. Great Blog. Next you’ll tell you entered a contest to name the Sylvers’ new puppy.

  6. Julian

    Hi everyone! Found this blog by searching Importes etc. one of my favorite record stores back in the day. The other was loop records on Jackson and state right around the corner. Enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to more. As an avid music lover and DJ I appreciate finding and reading anything about the ol days seventy’s eighty’s some of the best music ever!


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