"When He Spoke You Knew Right Away It Was "Slim"
Remembering Days Gone By.......

"We moved Times
Records by hand.............in shopping carts!
...........Right thru the streets of New York, a little at a time, back
and forth............It was very strange..."
Wayne Steirle

I went to Times Square Records mainly in 1962-63. When
you went into the store then, the records were on the opposite wall
(to the left when you went in). The aisle was narrow.
  I do remember seeing the raccoon (Teddy) on
one occasion.  I also remember Slim being there, but don't remember him
as particularly gruff or intimidating. He was just there.  Of course
when I went to Times Square Records , I usually knew in advance what I wanted, as I'd
make my "want list" from what I'd heard on his radio show. I probably
never had more than $10-20 to spend at a time, and usually tried to
stretch it by sticking to $1.00 records. And you could get some great
stuff without ever leaving the $1.00 bins. It was a very COOL

Times Square Records seemed to figure into the lives
of so many of us who became collectors/doo-wop lovers during the early 60's.

One of the interesting things I noticed was on one of the record lists.
It shows "Lama-Rama-Ding-Dong" by The Edsels. Now this is how it was listed when it was originally released in 1958, and how I first knew the song, since I discovered the
 record through Times Square, probably some time during 1961. Most of my high school friends were not into the whacked. A few months later the record was re-issued
 as "Rama Lama Ding Dong" and did pretty well in the New York City market. Now I was vindicated, as my friends didn't remember whether I'd called it "Lama-Rama" or "Rama-Lama",
I didn't pursue the fine points of the minor title modification.

Slim was also good at disseminating misinformation. When he started pushing "My Reverie" by the Larks, he promoted it on the radio, as being from 1949, which probably increased the desirability of owning a copy of what at the time seemed like an "ancient" recording. It wasn't until many years later that I discovered that it really came out in 1951. Not that it really matters. It still ranks with my all time favorites.

Jim Dunn
 aka Little Phineas


As for my thoughts, I miss the old original Times Square Records store. 
It was cramped with musical charm.

We lived the music, it was part of our essence.  It was something we owned.  What Slim Rose unintentionally accomplished was the uniting of young people in a bond of captivating musical harmonies and melodies, the likes of which had never before been heard in musical history.

An imperfect man, a man with flaws, Irving "Slim" Rose nevertheless achieved historical status by spreading the collecting of what we now call doo-wop music among an entire generation.  He instinctively knew "the sound". Slim and his record store and radio program must be ranked even above legends such as Alan Freed and Dick Clark because he was at the "grass roots" level of the street music of the day, being passionately in love with the doo-wop group sounds, and he introduced all the various styles of doo-wop music to us over only a four-year period, 1960 through 1963, but what he started continues to mushroom decades later.  New generations will discover how enjoyable and pure doo-wop music is, since these groups sing the harmonies and melodies straight from the heart, with no pretensions.  All these groups sang, and the new wave of groups still sing, in group harmony for the love of the music and the euphoric feel it gives to both the singers and the listeners.

The fast songs are great fun and the love song ballads are emotionally-charged, sung with passion.  Slim Rose expanded our affection for this musical genre we now refer to as "doo-wop", and therefore he is one of the most important personalities in musical history, and ensures that this unique form of "Americana will live forever."

Keep the sound going! 
Pete Chaston


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