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I recently brought a stack of records into Love Garden Sounds. They had been on a shelf in my garage for longer than I care to admit. For those of you who might not know, Love Garden Sounds is a resale record shop located at 822 Massachusetts St. They have been in business for 33 years.
I placed them on the counter surrounded by a mountainous stack of boxes that would also need to be sorted. Jackson Graham happened to be the person on the floor assigned to look at my stack; it would take 20 minutes or so to sort through them.
“I can give you $65 for these.” Graham placed the various records on the counter communicating where they fit on the continuum of value, motioning to several that would go into the dollar bin because they were so rough.
Graham then picked up a red 45, labeled “Hawk it to ‘Em” by The Tips, backed by Gary Jackson and the Soul Messengers.
“I don’t feel comfortable purchasing this from you, because it is likely worth hundreds of dollars,” Graham said.
Graham had researched the 45 online. The record was pressed for Audio House, a business located in Lawrence. Graham thought Audio House might have rented space at the Turnhalle building at Ninth and Rhode Island streets. It was made for the 1968 KU football team.
“Cyrus will be in on Monday. He knows everything about 45s,” Graham said. “I’d like you to meet with him.”
I thanked him profusely for his thoroughness and honesty. Graham did not have to handle this transaction with such care and integrity. To be honest, I would have been happy to walk out of the shop with nothing in my hands except the $65 Graham had just given me.
We set the appointment for a few days later. Graham mentioned he would be there also.
I met with Cyrus Dayani, a longtime employee and, as of January, a co-owner of Love Garden Sounds, and Kelly Corcoran, the other co-owner. Dayani cleaned the 45, put on headphones, listened to both sides, and reported it was in good condition, grading it a 7 out of 10.
He then shared more about the history, along with Corcoran. Dayani said there were only 500 of the 45s pressed.
Cocoran described the song as a funky soul tune dating to 1968, a pep song for the Kansas Jayhawks football team. The Jayhawks had a fantastic year, at 9-1, earning the right to play in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1969. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks lost to the Penn State Nittany Lions by 1 point as the Lions rallied in the fourth quarter with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion.
The song is really good. It has a funky groove, and the lyrics are simple and easy to catch. The tune reminds me of a young James Brown. Think about it: the task for The Tips was to create a catchy, relevant song that would appeal to the students and fans of KU football during the turbulent late 1960s. This was a challenging task. I certainly think they achieved their goal, balancing KU enthusiasm with a funky soulful groove.
Dayani explained that he would likely sell it online and after the fees he would be charged, they would net around $280 or so. He usually splits that with the customer and offered me $138. I accepted.
Corcoran and I continued our conversation. I expressed gratitude to Graham, thanking him again for his care and honesty. I also thanked Corcoran — this way of treating customers comes from him.
Corcoran replied, “It’s important for us to be transparent with people about the value of what they bring in. … Sometimes we get burned because once people know the value, they might not want to sell it to us, but it’s just the right thing to do.”
Love Garden Sounds has survived and thrived for 33 years not just because they love music and sharing it with our community. They have also followed a simple and profound tenet — the Golden Rule, the principle of treating others as one would expect to be treated.
Friends, if you have a stack of records/CDs that aren’t getting played, if you need cash or you’re ready to trade for something new like an obscure 1968 KU 45, think about taking your stack in to Love Garden Sounds. They will treat you fairly and honestly.
By the way, a friendly PSA: The team at Love Garden Sounds asks that you make an appointment to have them look through your records versus just coming in with a box of records expecting someone to sort through them on the spot.
Mehlitronix posted the song on YouTube. It’s just longer than two minutes and it will put a pep in your step. Give it a listen here along with most of the lyrics below. Yes, I listened to it about 25 times.
Yea he yea he, the game’s in session, the game’s in session
Here come the ‘Hawks, here come the ‘Hawks
Hey man, who’s the ‘Hawks?
They’re No. 1! They’re No. 1!
And why they No. 1?
They got the Big 8 won! They got the Big 8 won!
Well, let’s get the ‘Hawks in there and fight, so we can have national fame tonight.
National fame tonight — National fame tonight
Well, the ‘Hawks really better beat their foe. They will beat the team
Baby it won’t be “a to do” cause the ‘Hawks got plenty of steam
Why oh why is it going to be so easy to do?
We’re No. 1. We’re No. 1.
Now tell me, is it that much fun to be No. 1 just because we …
We’re gonna take a trip, gonna take a trip
Where oh where are you going to go?
We’re going where the oranges grow.
We’re Miami-bound! We’re Miami-bound!
Well, this old KU is Miami-bound; gonna take every school and beat them into the ground
Beat ’em into the ground, beat ’em into the ground
We’re No. 1.
Why why why
We’re No. 1.
Why I said … now ‘Hawk
Hawk ’em — ‘Hawk it to em — put ‘em all to shame, get national fame
Yeah — they sure look mean
‘Hawk it to ‘em
‘Hawk it to ‘em
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About the writer
Tom Harper is a Realtor at Stephens Real Estate helping people in Lawrence and Douglas County buy and sell real estate. He is the founder of Lawrence Modern, a group whose mission is to raise awareness of midcentury and modern architecture. You will find him posting frequently on Instagram under @lawrencemodern, sharing his daily observations of his favorite place on earth: Lawrence, Kansas. Read more of Tom’s writing for The Lawrence Times here.
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