Final Days Meaningful Memories


 

Final Days After Times Square Records

 About the year 1971, on a Friday night I accompanied my Cousin Vinnie to work. (It is this author’s opinion that Cousin Vinnie’s work does not need to be divulged at this time so same has been edited) We went from place to place and nothing eventful was happening. While he dealt with the various managers of the shops, I occupied myself by checking the merchandise, etc and then it happened. We went to a place on 42nd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway. It was there that I heard over the loudspeaker, an unmistakable voice that could only be the voice on one man……."Slim" Rose.

I immediately looked around and saw that the person broadcasting over the loudspeaker was indeed "Slim" himself. My cousin had just finished business with him ("Slim") and he ("Slim") was back to hustling customers. I grabbed my cousin and said “Do you know him”? His answer was “Who, Irving”?

We then proceeded back to “Irving” and I confirmed that he was in fact "Slim" from Times Square Records. I was no longer collecting records at this time, but of course I had to ask him the question if he was the same "Slim" from Times. He somewhat hesitatingly confirmed that yes he was "Slim" from Times. I then proceeded to ask him what he had done with all those records.

At first he didn’t answer me. I had to ask again about the records. His reply was that he could do me a favor because of my cousin. He pulled out a book and gave me a phone number of someone by the name of “Lloyd”. He told me to call him and mention that “Slim" sent me”.

Now remember I had mentioned that I really wasn’t collecting records in 1971. I put Lloyd’s number in my wallet, never expecting to really call him. About a year later, I had started collecting records again. I still had Lloyd’s number so I gave him a call. At that time Lloyd was an employee of the Chelsea Hotel. I think he was a porter or something similar. When I asked him about the records and indicated to him who had referred me, he replied that he had some that I needed to pay cash on delivery and no checks. I proceeded to meet Lloyd at the Chelsea Hotel. There I found an old man. He took me to his room which was half filled with boxes full of records. The labels were Josie, Jubilee and Port. It seems he had worked for Jay-Gee records and when they went out of business he ended up with a lot of their stock. Lloyd only wanted five (5) cents a record provided I bought $20.00 worth. I purchased them all. There were approximately 5,000 records in total. Most were second pressings, for example The Ravens on Jubilee, Cadillacs on Josie and all of the Port recordings.

There were some originals such as Peek A Boo by the Cadillacs, The Bell and I Love You by the Volumes and a couple of others. As we were concluding our deal, Lloyd asked me how I knew "Slim", I told him from the days of Times Square Records and more recently my meeting with him on 42nd Street. Lloyd mentioned that "Slim" was a “Times Square Guy”. Lloyd knew him from the area many years ago. All the years that Lloyd knew him, "Slim" was always referred to as a “Times Square Hustler”.

Shortly thereafter, with the “Doo Wop Revival” in full swing, I tried to find "Slim" again. My cousin was still in the same business; however he hadn’t seen "Slim" in months. I checked out every adult retail place in the Times Square area and "Slim" was not to be found anywhere at all. Yes, I did ask about him in a few places, but soon learned that even though they knew Slim they would not talk about him.

I eventually ran into someone who also had run into "Slim" in the 1970's. He told me that "Slim" was still in retail.

*****Author's Note - Sadly "Slim" passed away in April, 1979....*****

Tony D’Ambrosio©
2007


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