Does anyone remember The Mammoth Music Mart at the Old Orchard Shopping Center? Under a gigantic tent, some 500,000 used record albums and 45’s and 78’s would be spread out in bins. It was an annual fundraiser for the Les Turner ALS Foundation and the event drew record collectors from all over the Midwest. Dick Clark was the Honorary Chairperson of this event for over two decades. In 2002, I was invited to the ribbon cutting with WGN icon Roy Leonard. I remember how thrilled how I was to meet the host of American Bandstand. Dick Clark had been many things over the years, but to music fans of a certain age, he was the guy who let kids rate the records. ”It has a good beat and you can dance to it.” And here he was in Skokie talking about records. WXRT donated thousands and thousands of albums to the Mart over the years. We promoted the event with live broadcasts and appearances.
[photogallerylink id=72876 align=left]We also dove into the bins for hours because sorting through record albums is what we do best. The celebration of Record Store Day this Saturday should remind us of how many happy hours were spent looking for stuff like The Buffalo Springfield single of “Mr. Soul” with “Bluebird” on the flipside. And how many future hits were first introduced to us by Dick Clark.