I’ll Hide My Shoe Somewhere Near Your Shirttail

Here is a little gem that figured into a couple of mixtapes a friend made me way back when mixtapes were actually tapes. I remembered the words and the exuberant strumming style, but I’ll be damned if I could ever have pulled the un-bluesman-like name of Doug Quattlebaum (“Have you met my accountant?”) out of long-term storage.

But with scant information I found this quickly on YouTube. It’s funny to think how hard-won this kind of musical knowledge used to be. Hours of haunting out-of-the-way record stores, cultivating a collection of fellow-traveler weirdos, keeping an ever expanding inventory of lusted-for albums ready to mind. You might even have to read a book or two to get up to speed. And the only way to hear these hidden treasures was to be within earshot of a physical copy of a recording.

I would have to say I prefer, no, vastly prefer being able to hear virtually anything I can think of on demand. But, and I know this is a commonplace sentiment, I’m certain I don’t appreciate the triumph of discovery, the revelation of finding something really superior nearly as much as when it was a demanding and sometimes expensive quest.






12 replies
  1. 1
    wmd says:

    Back in my day we had to walk uphill in the snow to purchase scratchy vinyl records. The we had to walk back home in the snow. some how it was uphill on the way back too, funny how memory changes topography.

  2. 2
    zhena gogolia says:

    I know what you mean. It’s very weird that I can access my entire childhood television viewing with a click of the finger. It kind of diminishes the madeleine-ness of it all.

  3. 3
    Schlemazel says:

    Dr. Demento started his collection by sifting Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. He built a nice little career out of it

  4. 4

    Not to mention picking up the tone arm and putting it back down 50 times, trying to figure out how that guitar lick went.
    Now you’ve got ten videos showing you just how to play it. I guess it’s bettern ow, I dunno.

  5. 5
    Mart says:

    I spent many hours making mix tapes for friends. Probably have over 5,000 vinyl and CD’s. Rarely pull one out with bluetooth speakers, XM, and Amazon. Want a great mix tape?, just say Alexa, play the ____ ____ Band station.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @wmd: 45’s were 95 cents as I recall, although that seems high. My first record player was a x-mas present and I played the beetles songs

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @JPL:
    Yeah, 45s were a buck and LPs three and four bucks, depending on the artist.

    ETA those Beetles songs were primarily clicking sounds.

  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    But, and I know this is a commonplace sentiment, I’m certain I don’t appreciate the triumph of discovery, the revelation of finding something really superior nearly as much as when it was a demanding and sometimes expensive quest.

    Not me.

    The Intetnets is like an expanding and improving library. I love being able to make discoveries more quickly, and to be able to make new discoveries and to dig more deeply.

    Demanding and difficult are overrated. And cheap, fast and effective beats expensive and laborious any day of the week.

  9. 9
    Barbara says:

    You still have to figure out what to look for.

  10. 10

    Still have my viinyl Softee Man Blues elpee. I bought almost everything I could afford on the Prestige Bluesville label back in the mid-’60s. Check out The Blues Of Clarence Clay & William Scott: The New Gospel Keys, ya get a chance…

  11. 11
    pluky says:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Quattlebaum
    Fascinating! For extra credit, follow the link to the woman who wrote the tune, Memphis Minnie.

  12. 12
    Pittsburgh Mike says:

    Reminds me of the sheer joy of finding a record I’d been searching for for years in the cutout bin at the Harvard Coop (Tonto’s Expanding Headband)

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