Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Back In Time With Counter Clock Records

Article posted with permission from our friend Robert Benson over at Collecting Vinyl Records blog.

written by Robert Benson

As we all enjoy the vinyl record revival, there is another aspect to this phenomenon that sometimes gets overlooked: the forgotten 45 rpm records from years past. Sure, there are some mainstream artists, punk rockers and indie musicians who have found this audio medium to their liking, it is a marvelous way to not only give their fans what they want (the music), but also create a collectible as well.

Another medium from the past has gone through some major changes in recent years. Remember when AM radio dominated the air waves? And then another format in the 70’s added even more alternatives for music lovers -FM radio. Now we have satellite radio and another inventive medium, the Internet radio station.

One Internet radio station in particular has been able to combine the aforementioned 45 rpm records and the Internet to form Counter Clock Radio ( and Counter Clock Records ( The business is the brainchild of the wife and husband team of Jane and Norm Geddis of Mission Viejo, California who have developed a ‘play what we find’ programming style that is very unique and allows their listeners an eclectic array of music genres to listen to. I had the opportunity to speak with the developers of this novel concept, let’s learn more about Counter Clock Records and Counter Clock Radio:

Obviously you have a love for vinyl- what is it about records that make them so appealing to you?

Norm: “They're round, like wheels. It's by far the best use of man's first invention. CD's never felt quite the same. Downloads are radio plus labor. I'm a decade past being impressed with myself for getting software to work after an evening playing around with my computer.”

Jane: “I like the built-in nostalgia value of vinyl - whether it’s a 1964 Top 40 one-hit wonder or a super rare Private Press Psych LP. It felt like a part of me died and was buried when CD's became the standard. With downloads, it’s like the moss has grown over the headstones.”

How long have you been online/ selling on ebay and what are your thoughts about the fee changes and the overall operations of this online giant?

Norm: “We started Counter-Clock Records in July of '07. Or rather, I started selling on eBay about that time, just 45's that I was done loving on, and then both us created the store and glued these other parts (blog and radio station) to it.”

“As far as those changes everyone talks about, I came into the middle of that and, speaking just for me, I'm a part of Counter-Clock Records. eBay is just the venue, the shopping center where our store is located. No matter where one has their store, there's not a merchant on this planet, or likely any other, who isn't complaining about the rents. It's not a complaint I'm going to pass along to my customers.”

When did you decide to go ‘online’ with the Live365 radio station?

Norm: “The station has been running since March of '07 which was several months before we opened the store.”

What kind of fan base do you have, what kind of records/music do you play?

Jane: “Our base is our customers who have found our station. The station is very close to exactly how we want it to be, with short music news segments and trivia, so now we have something unique and something we're proud of. It's time to let everyone know. We play what we find. I call the programming style Accidental Nostalgia.”

My readers love the “Top 5 vinyl record sales” feature each week. How long have you been doing this? Have you noticed any specific patterns- what sells the best (and who) and what is the most expensive record that you have ever documented on the list?

Norm: “I began the blog about the same time I started the radio station. The "store" so to speak began when I put a few records up on my eBay account in July of last year.”

“The most expensive record I've documented was the White Album that sold last week for $30k, which is saying a lot for vinyl collectibles in this economy. Unfortunately I flubbed that one and it got left off that week's list. The seller had listed it in "Music Memorabilia" and I keep my eyes on the "Record" category. I also didn't keep an eye on your blog that week, Robert, or I would have caught it - the problem of selling records and writing about them during the holiday season. So I did a mea culpa entry on that one so it makes it on the Record Store Day year-end list.”

I love listening to the station- your format and genres of music are very eclectic. Where do you get the music and how do you decide what you want to play?

Jane: “We buy collections from individuals, closed record stores, from eBay as well. Mostly the 45's speak to me. By that I mean that when I look through a stack of records I sense what's interesting, unusual, weird . . . just enjoyable. Norm has an encyclopedia of music history in his head, but if we just went on that alone we'd sound like tons of other stations. So clairvoyance plays its part.”

Do you have any plans to add DJ’s to the mix?

Jane: “A podcast is in the works. But it may not happen unless the Earth starts spinning slower.”

What are the future plans for the station and Counter Clock Records?

Norm: “Next year is going to be about more of everything. We have lots of inventory to love on and get out there to the world. The backbone of vinyl records is the community record store. The Internet cannot deliver that. Counter Clock Records is something to come home to, but not to replace the chill up your spine dirty tile smell of your record store.”

What do you think of the ‘vinyl revival’ and where do you see vinyl in the next ten years?

Jane: “I think the vinyl revival is great! I also think it was inevitable. Tens of millions of us who love vinyl are either retiring or have more time on our hands, and whether you have a little or a lot of money, there's something for everyone. Plus, it seems that even though they're not buying "our music,” young adults and teens are discovering that there is something more to vinyl than the downloads. And getting squeezed in the middle are CD's. It seemed only a matter of time before these two groups converged and the music market opened up to let us back in.”

Norm: “I'm not a money guru and this isn't investment advice. However, as my grandmother used to say during tough times, "there'll always be somebody with money." And, like during the seventies and early nineties, traditional investments are not attractive. Comic book values skyrocketed in the seventies, as with sports cards in the early nineties. I think it’s about to be vinyl's day in the sun.”

Do you have a Top Ten list of your favorite 45’s and or favorite recording artists?

Jane: “I'll do artists-Etta James, Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, The Band, Bill Monroe, Renaissance, Mazzy Star, Opal, Joan Armatrading, CSNY.”

Norm: “45's for me- Mixed Feelings "Sha La La"/"Love Will Find A Way," Moody Blues "Go Now"/"Lose Your Money," Small Faces "Itchycoo Park"/"I'm Only Dreaming," Sandi Sheldon "You're Gonna Make Me Love You"/"Baby You're Mine," Pink Floyd "Point Me At The Sky"/"Careful With That Axe Eugene," Olivia Tremor Control "California Demise" EP, Hedgehoppers Anonymous "It's Good News Week"/"Afraid Of Love," Barbara Lewis "Baby I'm Yours"/"I Say Love," Denny Laine "It's So Easy”/Listen To Me"/"I'm Looking For Someone To Love," The Intruders "Every Day Is A Holiday"/"Old Love" and probably a hundred others.”

So, if you are looking for some great old obscure rock and roll, one-hit wonders and soulful R&B, drop by Counter Clock Radio and Counter Clock Records and give them a spin. Your ears will love what you hear.

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