"When He Spoke You Knew Right Away It Was "Slim"
Remembering Days Gone By.......
“When I put the "Slim" 45 out (the EP), in the early 70's, I tracked
"Slim" down to the store where he was working...........He didn't own the
store.........But the owner had known him since the early
“I brought him 50 copies of the record and he almost cried.........He was
so pleased that his son, Bobby, would be able to see a touch of what he
had done...........To me it was bittersweet, because I had always been
carrying between 50 and 400 copies of singles from here in Jersey over to
Times by bus, and lugging them from The Port Authority to
Times................(Stuff that Donn & I, or myself had
re-issued......Such as "Rama Lama Ding Dong", "Baby Oh Baby", and others,
all records that had been bombs in the late 50's.........BUT,...That were
about to become national hits in the early 60's....).......”
“So here I was giving him these records a decade later, in what seemed
like a different, sadder universe..................He was slightly
confused and clearly beginning to lose his memory
somewhat.................(I never knew his age, and I'm glad I
didn't).......He would never say, but sometimes he would lie about it as a
“Arlene he referred to as "the big redhead", and sometimes when I'd answer
the phone she would be calling and he would signal me to say he had just
left........He seemed to be dodging something, but what it was I do not
know............He gave me that impression.....................He said she
was in Delaware, but I don't know...............”
I grew up in the Bronx [Locust
Point] during the 50's/60's. My one foray to Times Square Record Shop
had to be 1959-1960. I went to replace my copy of "Mary Lee" on Red
Robin. I had come by this from my cousin in Brooklyn [Bushwick] who had
given me quite a few records. The original was left in a window sill and
looked like a roller coaster track after an afternoon's sunshine.
Anyway...I remember walking into the
shop and a nice guy of 16 or 17 came up to me and asked if he could
help. I like to think it was Jerry Greene or Donn Fileti but I don't
know. He takes me to a bin and pulls out a copy of Mary Lee on Fire and
earnestly tells me this is the original label. My 13 year old self, who
knew virtually nothing of Group Harmony and R&B outside of what I had in
my small collection, loudly proclaimed "no it's not, it was issued on
Red Robin". The bottom line is I bought that copy for the princely sum
of $3.00 and still have it today.
I'm sixty now
which made me a young kid then touring NYC and eventually landing at Times
Square Records. I would guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 1959-1962 I
found myself shopping at Times Square Record. My friend who lived in
my building in the Bronx sang with the original Excellents (John Koos -
lead) and he turned me on to Times Square Records before their own hit,
Coney Island Baby, 1962.
Slim was a strange dude, at best. Kind of a nervous, constantly smoking
type, not overly friendly but knew his stuff about the records. I remember
he would do his best to obtain any record you wanted, if not in stock. I
had never met anybody that knew more about the DooWop era than "Slim".
Soon after that, one day, without any warning, I saw a sign on his front
door stating the store was permanently closed -- no forwarding address. I
was heartbroken and never saw him again.
The most amusing part of the whole scenario is when I listened to Nite
Train on 1480 with host Alan Fredricks, Times Square Records was the
sponsor of the show. Alan Fredericks referred to Rose as “Swingin” Slim”.
Slim was entirely different meeting him in person.
The record selection was unreal. He was the only game in town. We
traveled from Brooklyn all the time just to go to Times Square Records.
The shop itself was a hidden store located on the second landing down the
subway stairs. If you blinked you missed it. It took me a couple trips
just to find it because there were about six different staircases on six
different street corners all going to the same stations. For a while I
thought the place was a myth. I will never forget him in a million years!!
New York City
I was at Times Square Records, with my mother in 1964, I was 13 years old.
It was like being in heaven, I Will NEVER forget that trip. The store was
full of other kids, and the walls were covered with records, and Slim and
probably Jerry, where behind the counter. I grew up in Phila, we took the
train there on a Saturday.
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