Since I was born, in September of 1958, it was common for me to hear music sung by some of
the premier vocal groups of the 1950’s such as the Valentines, Nutmegs, Heartbeats, Channels,
Cleftones, Mello Kings, and Dubs, just to name a few. My Aunt Mary was the one who exposed
me to this music. She had been purchasing the tunes of the day since 1955, as played by her
favorite DJ Alan Freed. She was not your “average” teenager when it came to her record
purchases. She would spend all her “baby sitting money” on some very cool R&B tunes. The
45s that she played for me are what established my musical tastes and have stayed with me all
In the early 1960’s, my Aunt would purchase records from the local jukebox distributor. He used
to sell her a box of 25 records for $2. It was fun for me because we never knew what we would
find in those boxes, but it was always exciting to find unknown records. I even remember her
taking me to the local record store in 1966 - and I was only eight! By the time I had entered high
school, I started to become more knowledgeable about music. My favorite record, at the time,
was an album on Jubilee records called “Rumble”, which featured songs by the Channels,
Bopchords, Lovenotes, and the Continentals.
Once I learned of music publications like “Billboard” and “Cash Box”, a door opened to a
universe of countless 45s that I would have never known about. I then started reading various
books about the music industry and the recording artists. I started to search for records and
added them to my existing collection that already included my Aunt’s vinyl treasures. I did not
consider myself a “record collector” until 1973, when I purchased a book, by Steve Propes
called “Those Oldies but Goodies – A guide to 50’s Record Collecting”. This book was
instrumental in opening my eyes about the record collecting hobby. Then I saw a commercial on
TV for a radio show airing on WPIX-FM called the “Gus Gossert Oldie Show”. Gus would play
songs that I was familiar with, but more importantly, many songs that I had no idea even existed!
I would tune into his show every Saturday and Sunday night like clockwork. Around that same
year, I became aware of another oldie show called “The Night Train” with Norm N. Nite on WCBS-
FM, which later evolved into the “Doo Wop Shoppe” with Don K. Reed.
My thirst for music and discovering rare collectible vinyl caused me to do quite a bit of radio
surfing. I discovered the “Time Capsule Show” with Tom Luciani and Joe Marchesani on WFUV-
FM, which I considered the premier show for vinyl collectors. I also listened to other shows on
WHBI-FM hosted by collector DJ’s such as: Roy Adams, Bobby O & Jivin’ Joe, Johnny Angel,
and Ronnie Italiano. I would write to many of the shows requesting to hear the rare sides. I
recall one DJ, by the name of George “Doo-wop” Tompkins, who would broadcast from
Westchester Community College. I used to write to him every week. Once I stopped writing, he
wrote back to me asking what he did wrong!
While listening to these shows the music became more addicting to me. I started to compile a
“want list” of records I would hear on these shows. I soon made it a point to go “record
hunting” every weekend and visit local flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores. It was
amazing what I was able to find over the years. Originally, I wanted to collect every record that
hit the Billboard Hot 100 – but then noticed many records I was seeking did not make the
Billboard charts, so I started buying any record I could get my hands on. As a result, I have
accumulated over 150,000 45s that spans over half a century of music and encompass oceans
of record labels.
I subscribed to “collector trade papers” like “Goldmine” and “Discoveries” in addition to other
specialized collector publications such as “Bim Bam Boom”, “Time Barrier Express”, “Story
Untold” and “Record Exchanger”. I began bidding for rare records in auctions and buying from
set sale lists from dealers all over the US. I soon started attending tri-state record conventions
where I would find very rare and expensive 45s. I have met many dealers over the years and still
interact with most of them. I have also met many fellow collectors at these shows. One such
collector, Al Bernard, from CT, was the first to invite me to do a guest spot on his “Moondog
Matinee Show” on WESU-FM back in 1999. I also made several guest appearances on the
“Group Harmony Revue” with Dan Romanello on WFUV-FM. I was the first guest collector
featured on former XM radio jock Dave the Rave’s “Relics and Rarities Show”, as broadcast on
Top Shelf Oldies. Dave was instrumental with my becoming associated with Top Shelf and
having my own internet show. I have now been spinning original vinyl 45s, on Top Shelf Oldies,
since September 2005.
It is truly a dream come true for me to present original vinyl from my personal collection each
week on Top Shelf Oldies. I find great joy in playing my collection for the listeners. I try to
provide unique information on the groups and artists I feature, along with information on the
record labels, writers and producers. I sometimes wonder if I can inspire another “Johnny G”
who will fill his home with countless vinyl treasures just as I do.
I continue to add records to my collection every week. I aggressively pursue collecting rare
Black and White vocal group harmony 45s, in addition to acquiring countless R&B, Soul, Blues,
Rock & Roll, Pop, C&W, and Rockabilly 45s. These sounds are what I feature on my “Vinyl
Treasures Show” heard only on Top Shelf Oldies, www.topshelfoldies.com, every Saturday
night from 8 to 10 p.m. EST.
I hope you will tune into my live broadcast on Saturday nights, or you can listen to my
ARCHIVED shows at your leisure. I look forward to hearing from you, whether you have
comments about my “Vinyl Treasures Show” or just to play a special request. Thank you so
much for your time and please continue to listen to “Vinyl Treasures” with Johnny G.
Johnny “G” Galindo