Shining a light on the tastemakers behind the desk
In the lead up to RSD 2022 we’ll be featuring some of the legends behind the scenes at participating stores in a short interview segment we’re calling Turning Tables—shining a light on the faces, names, minds and tastemakers behind the desk who greet our crate-digging friends with invaluable knowledge and an undying love for all things music.
Today we’re featuring Songland Records’ Frog!
Fun Fact: Frog was the one that first introduced RSD into Australia, so it’s an event that he has a lot of history with! Here he is pictured with the Australian legend Richard Clapton. His latest album “Music Is Love” was Songland’s major promotion for last year which was tv advertised themselves and was the store’s biggest seller for 2021.
Take it away Frog!
What store can we find you at and how long have you been there?
Songland Records opened in 1995, so later this year we will celebrate 27 years!
How has the store and its customers changed over time?
Generally with indie stores, the stock will mirror the owner/ manager and influential staff. That’s because indie stores are more passionate about what they sell, and want to push and promote the music they feel moves them. In this way, over the years, Songland has specialised in metal, always specialised in country, but for the last 10 years now has one of the best classical, and blues sections in Australia.
What’s your general vibe to kick off the morning music when doors open?
It can be influenced by something I hear on the way to work, generally by listening to community radio, as their playlists are far more interesting, and unpredictable. So, one day it may be Loretta Lynn, another could be Stephen Stills, and the next could be Sibelius….
Ever had any notable cameo walk-ins in store?
Well, if you’re asking what famous musicians have walked into Songland over the years? The list would probably be over 100—everyone from Suzi Quatro to Anthony Albanese….
Do you remember the first record that started your own collection? Was it bought, gifted or handed down?
The first record I bought was actually a cassette tape from the Earlwood (in Sydney) Record Centre in 1978. My mum bought me an Abba Greatest Hits tape which, while appreciated, wasn’t actually what I wanted. So I went back and exchanged it for what I did want, which was The Sports’ first album “Reckless”.
What about the first record you purchased for someone else? Where’d you buy it?
A Liberace album for Mum from Edels at Roselands.
Favourite debut record of all time?
Hmmm….I could not split “The Divine Miss M” (Bette Midler), “Days Of Innocence” (Moving Pictures), “Crosby, Stills & Nash” or “Cold Chisel”…and about 10 others…..
Tell us about the most valuable (monetary or sentimental) record in your collection. Why is it so important to you?
“The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle” (Bruce Springsteen)-simply because it’s my favourite album.
Favourite Australian release of all time?
Hmm….split between “After Hours” (Little River Band), “No Plans” (Cold Chisel) “Matt Finish” (Matt Finish), “Van Diemen’s Land” (Russell Morris) and “Snake King” (Rick Springfield)
What’s your number one pick of the 2022 Official RSD releases?
It’d be between Willie Nelson’s “Live at the Texas Opryhouse 1974” and Chicago’s “Chicago at Carnegie Hall April 10, 1971”
What record has been on repeat for you lately?
“Resist” (Midnight Oil) and “Soulfire Live” (Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul)
Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.
Bruce Springsteen is my favourite artist, so, assuming they’d never heard anything of his, after I welcomed them to Planet Earth, I would ask them what musical mood they were in, and then direct them to either “Born To Run”, “Western Stars” or “The River”.
Favourite in-store performance of all time?
Songland has welcomed A LOT of artists over our time. This list includes Leo Sayer, Lee Kernaghan, Colin Hay, Russell Morris, Glenn Shorrock, Brian Cadd, John Schumann, Daniel O’Donnell, Jon English, The Angels, Sheppard, Lime Cordiale, Short Stack, Normie Rowe, Jo Camilleri, and Suzi Quatro…… But, for the sheer scale of the event, I’d have to say Jimmy Barnes. To sign his album “My Criminal Record” people lined up around and outside the shopping centre for 5 hours.
Best thing about working at a record store?
Within reason, choosing what I want to hear for 8 hours a day.
It’s closing time in the store, what’s spinning?
Anything from Mi-Sex to My Dynamite to Fastball…..
Shop T 7 Cooleman Court
Weston Creek, Canberra
Phone: 02 6293 4677
Open 7 Days!