Pop Tunes In Memphis, I Will Miss YouSeptember 15, 2009 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
I read that Pop Tunes in Memphis closed their doors this week. If I had known it was coming, I most likely would have set a puptent outside their doors and cried a bit.
You see, Pop Tunes is the place where Big Daddy and I used to shop. He owned jukeboxes before he retired and once a week, he would trek from Hoots to Memphis to pick up the 45s to load them. When I was a kid, Billboard magazine was always at his shop, and he would diligently look for what was going to hit the Top 40. He would make a list of what the thought would trend and then head to Memphis and on some occasions, we would get to go with him. Homer and I were usually allowed to buy a cassette or an 8-Track while the shop owners would go to the back and pull the songs, sometimes dozens of copies to go onto each jukebox.
You may understand my joy and love of a good jukebox now. It’s a part of my history and a good one is always sort of hard to find. I’m not talking a CD/Internet box, but the ones where you can hear the scratches on the vinyl when a song has been played too much because it’s beloved.
I would always go through the records and touch each album cover while I was in Pop Tunes. It got to the point that the store clerks knew my sister and my names, and they always greeted Big Daddy with a smile. He was a regular and they would talk about what songs would be a hit, and which ones wouldn’t. Inside the store, there really wasn’t much to see except swinging fluorescent lights and it was a bit junky, in retrospect. But there was the music, the stories of Elvis and Johnny Cash, the smell of cigarette smoke and cardboard dust, but it didn’t matter. We would look through everything and we loved it. I went years later, and it hadn’t changed much other than the 45s were pretty nonexistent at that point and store clerks were relegated to the parking lot to burn one.
My father still has a Wurlitzer in his house now that he’s retired. Every one of those ancient 45s ready to play once you push the buttons for the song of your choice came from Pop Tunes.
I realize the older I get, I grieve the small things. Pop Tunes was a large part of my childhood with my father.
I will miss it.