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Is it the cover of John Denver’s 1982 album Seasons of the Heart

john denver secrets

Or is it the basement where Rey finds Luke Skywalker’s light saber in The Force Awakens?

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.24.14 AM

People used to write their names on LP jackets more often than they do today. Everything wasn’t so “collectible” back in the 70s. We think its a lot of fun.

And sometimes the name written on the album makes for a funny combination…

rolling stones

cars kit


The labels on LPs are not attached to the center of the record with an adhesive. The paper is placed in the hot vinyl just after pressing. They are printed on ordinary paper. Making records is an organic, chemical process — sometimes it is not as predictible as replicating CDs. For instance, the label may tear or be set off-center, rendering the last track of the LP unplayable.

We had a new LP returned by a customer last year with this problem (you can see a picture of it here). That reminds us — if you ever have a problem with a new LP please feel welcome to bring it in. Most of the time we are able to order a replacement, or to give you a new copy right off the shelves. These things happen from time to time.

This copy of Sly and the Family Stone’s 1970 Greatest Hits LP had a torn label which made the last track — “Thank You (fallettinme be Mice Elf Agin)” — unplayable.


The remaining eleven tracks play beautifully, and this awesome LP remained in someone’s collection all these years in spite of its flaw.



hymies letters

A few years ago, we watched every day as the old Peterson Machinery building was renovated into the Longfellow Market, our neighbors across the street who are coming up on the third anniversary of their opening. One fall afternoon, we realized that you could spell Hymie’s with the letters in Peterson Machinery. The construction crew was happy to save the letters for us, and they sat against our fence at home until that winter.

Unfortunately, the City of Minneapolis’ signage rules have made it just about impossible for a small business with our budget to get the permits to put these four-foot letters into use, even though they looked over Lake Street (along with P-t-e-o-n -a-c-n-e-r) for decades. So they have been stored underneath our shed ever since, in the hope that some day the city will be more supportive small businesses.

We just remembered the photograph we took of the letters after a snowstorm this morning as we were putting away the records we used to make this year’s Hymie’s Christmas mix cd (sorry, we’re all out of these but if you ask nicely we could burn you a copy without the special sleeve). The theme was classic jazz, and one of the songs we chose was “Snowfall” by bandleader Claude Thornhill.

“Snowfall” is certainly the song most associated with Thornhill, who we last featured on the Hymie’s blog for his role in the development of cool jazz in the late 40s. It was widely recorded in the big band era, and was even recently recorded by the Cafe Accordion Orchestra here in the Twin Cities — perhaps it will be featured at their annual Cedar show on Saturday, January 9th.

As a pianist, Thornhill played on the first sessions of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and as a bandleader he hired exceptional musicians (notably Gerry Mulligan) and developed an original and influential style. Another remarkable thing about Thornhill’s biography is that in 1942 when he had one of the highest-paying engagements in music (allegedly ten grand a week to play the Paramount Theater in New York) he left his band join the Navy.

He was from Terre Haute, Indiana, so he probably saw a lot of snow in his childhood. It doesn’t look like there’s any snow there this week, though.

And now back to our regular hours. Hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas day as we did — and that you are enjoying this beautiful snowfall which was just one day late.

Here’s a hilarious record cover from the stack we are cleaning just now.

Photo on 12-26-15 at 11.08 AM



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