- Artist: Paul Anka
- A Side: I Can't Help Loving You
- B Side: Can't Get Along Very Well Without Her
- Label: RCA
- Format: 45s
In the early 70's Simon Soussan was in New England looking for records. Providence Rhode Island to be precise. Diggin' through one of the East Coast's finest hoards of 45's at Big Al Records.
Big Al (Pavlow) was no ordinary record dealer. To this day since my first meeting with him in 1976 I have never encountered a more knowledgeable record-man across all genres than Al Pavlow. His stock was immense, his cataloguing was precision personified. His memory for detail second to none.
Simon was the complete opposite, perhaps the most untidy 45 digger of them all. There he was frantically ploughing through Al's mind-boggling array, making a mess of slopping piles, when he would constantly pause to play a few seconds of a 45, then straight back into his uncontrolled burrowing. Big Al had never seen such frenzied enthusiasm, which made him very curious. So he asked Simon "what was he doin' ...what was he looking for".
Simon picked up a pile of selected keepers and showed them to Al. Even with Al's telephone directory brain, he was none the wiser; as the 45s were on all different labels, different artists, groups, male & female artists and instrumentals; with 60's pressings being the only common denominator, this was very confusing. Although he did notice the arranging name of Charlie Calello on more than one of Simon's "keepers". Big Al needed to investigate further. Simon explained it was the "sound" he was seeking, an up beat production close to the sound of Motown..
After listening to Simon playing a few examples of his "sound". Big Al said "ok I got it..." "I have a Paul Anka record I think you'll like.." Simon admitted afterwards he thought Al was an "idiot" with no conception of what he was looking for
About 30 minutes later through the shop's speaker Big Al had turned up the volume and dropped "I Can't Help Loving You " onto the turntable. Soussan momentarily froze, then threw the pile of 45s he was holding, and literally sprinting to the shop counter screaming in his distinctive French / Arab accent
"WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS!!!"
Al with a satisfied grin... "IT'S THE PAUL ANKA 45 I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT"
This story was told to me by Big Al in 1977 when I found another copy in his house, a huge building racked wall to wall in 45's. One of the greatest Northern Soul 45's discovered by a man who really knew his stuff... the rest is chiselled in stone as a Northern Soul record that has set every NS dancefloor of the United Kingdom alight for over 45 years.
R.I.P. Big Al Pavlow, record collector, historian, writer, DJ and all round genius; you were and still are the most knowledgeable record man I've ever met, your humour and story telling and of course your amazing stock will stay in my mind for ever.
One of the greatest Northern Soul 45's discovered by a man who really knew his stuff... the rest is chisseled in stone as a Northern Soul record that has set every NS dancefloor of the United Kingdom alight for over 45 years.
Condition ReportTwo clean black stock copy label, vinyl reveals only the merest hairline whisker under direct light.
- Title: I Can't Help Loving You
- Title: Can't Get Along Very Well Without Her
- Year: 1966
- City: New York, N.Y.