- Artist: Lee Roye
- A Side: Tears ( Nothing But Tears )
- B Side: Who Am I
- Label: Decca
- Format: 45s
Every old-timer can tell you exactly when, where and how he found any significant 45, no matter how many years have since passed. Finding Lee Roye - Tears - in a Memphis bathroom, was far more significant to me than the world's most famous Rock N' Roll artist's sudden passing.
I hope you don't mind me telling this story for the umpteenth time, but Lee Roye always triggers memories of that day 43 years ago in Memphis with Jim Stapleton a record dealer of high renown in the 70's.
I was having a shit day looking for Soul records. There are many Northern Soul classics that generate euphoric recall whilst you're dancing at a Northern Soul event. Then there are a few that transport you back through time, to another point in your life. My personal mind-journey with Lee Roye, takes me straight to Elvis Presley and a city in mourning.
In August 1977 I was on my 4th. buying trip to the USA in Memphis to visit the legendary local record man Jim Stapleton. Armed with a head full of record titles, that I wished and hoped I would find. I spent the day at his house trawling through his well organized stock of 45s. I found next to nothing to tick off my burning "wants list", I was quickly becoming a little disillusioned as my hopes with Jim were high. I had been so focused on finding records, I'd held back my urgent need for the bathroom..
When I eventually got in there, a typical "Record Dealer" bathroom confronted me...piled up high with record boxes. Right next to the seat where I sat hands on knees, breathless in relief, was a box of 45's. Well, you can't resist can you? So adjusting my position slightly on the seat, I pulled out a handful of 45's, as the strain of the day was expelled.
I shouted top Jim "What Are These 45s in here" he called back "they are all shit". A rather apt reply for my current situation; "50 cents each" I heard, without moving my ass another inch, I dug into 3 100 count boxes next to the pan. They were full of 60's promo's. Kapp, Decca, RCA, Columbia, all the major labels and all the obscure stuff that Jim didn't recognize was left there unsorted...a treasure trove of mint unplayed radio station rejects of mostly Northern Soul.
Out jumped a Johnny Caswell, Dana Valery, Roy Hamilton, Lorraine Chandler..and a very lovely copy of Lee Roye (a hugely wanted record of the moment) . It was a great score. The best "score" I've ever had in a toilet, did I wipe my ass before jumping up, to rip open the other boxes that littered the room? I think I did...but very quickly.
I pulled over 200 45's from that bathroom...
For me Lee Roye doesn't take me to Cleethorpes where it was a floor-destroying monster; It catapults me back to Memphis, an unwashed basin splattered with toothpaste, shaving foam and months of unrinsed face stumble; Yes a typical vinyl-man's bathroom. But a very comfortable toilet seat, with the floor "tiled" with rare 60's promo 45s...
Don't worry this "Lee Roye" is not the same copy from my "Stapleton" experience, super clean vinyl (no skid marks)
Condition Report"Free Sample" rubber stamping on the label (see image) a minuscule on the a-side just above the "For" in the "Not For Sale" vinyl carries full gloss, just a few super-soft sleeve storage hairlines. plays perfect. housed in original company sleeve.
- Title: Tears ( Nothing But Tears )
- Title: Who Am I
- Year: 1968
- City: New York, N.Y.