Big Bill Broonzy – I Feel So Good/Tell Me Baby (1942/Okeh 78rpm)

Getting this record was an exciting adventure for 14 year-old me. Being of the record resurgence generation (and Australian), I could only really read about the journeys that record collectors took to ‘junk’ (collect) old Jazz and Blues 78s from before WWII. My chance at finding anything like this was practically nonexistent on this side of 1965 (and this side of the world).

While this record isn’t rare by any means, it was still a lucky find. Around 10 years ago, when I decided to collect records and had been mad on pre-war Blues and Jazz for a few years, I sent out an email to every antique store and record lot that I could find on Gumtree, listing labels and artists I was interested in. This was one of the few that actually came back positive. Someone offered to sell this to me for $30, but only if I picked it up as shellac records are so fragile. The trouble was, I lived in Wollongong, and the seller lived in Gosford. There was no way my parents would allow me to travel there alone, or take me there for the sake of one record, so I had to hatched a plan. Over the school holidays, my friends and our parents would go to Sydney to shop and explore, and us kids were allowed to do our own thing because enough of us had phones and we were all near enough if anything went wrong.

As soon as the kids got off the train at Central and the parents headed to Town Hall, I hopped right on a train to Gosford, where I met the gumtree seller and bought my record. I met the ancient-seeming lady at the train station, who told me her husband had been put onto Jazz and Blues during the war by American soldiers. She’d brought some Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong records with her in case I wanted to buy any more, but I only had my $30, so I paid her, and headed back to my friends just in time to make lunch (which I could no longer afford!).

Overall, I would’ve spent more than 6 hours on the train that day, but my level of excitement at having my own record collecting adventure would make you think I’d been buzzing around town with my friends all day.