I have a lot of appreciation for our next collector. Not just because he has amazing records and a sweet ride to match. Jay’s just a stand-out-guy. Always down to earth, humble, respectful, supportive and showing love. We check in on each other once in awhile for a wee chat on anything from fatherhood to rocksteady records. I learned a lot about certain aspects in Chicano culture - the oldies, freestyle music (80s electro a la "Let The Music Play" by Shannon), old-skool boogie and lowriders - by listening to his radio show Sounds of Soul. Would set my alarm clock at 4am and tune in from 5000+ miles away. Often, around my breakfast time they were still dropping heat and knowledge. Good stuff. Keep reading.
Introduce yourself my friend...
My name is Jason Jaramillo, i grew up in the north east of the San Fernando Valley, California and still here. Not gods gift to collecting by any means but definitely made a mark in the soul scene with creating Sounds of Soul collectors radio along side my good friend Al Alvarado. Being casted at a distance by the older soul collectors out here, we felt this was our way of being heard. Our show was focused on the individual and his or her sound. Each collector had to be unique by the sounds that came from their soul box.
Tell us how you got started with collecting soul records? Some of the early sounds you were exposed to? First records you got?
For me the saga began when god gave me life. Music played as my heart and soul developed. My father was in bands most of his life and the band I remember the most was called City Magic out of El Sereno. The songs I remember the most were the ballads they played during band practice. They would do a melody of Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire songs. Oldies were always played on the block, either coming from the lowriders or a garage. I started to play music for family party's since I was too young to drink and I would get hand me down records to play or albums that were about to get thrown out. I've always had records put away. I had records past down to me from just about everyone. I guess, because they didn't have the heart to trash them. I had the common Motown stuff, a lot of Chicago, Bob Scaggz, Malo, Santana, early Doobie Brothers and a lot of freestyle music my sister got tired of. The local record store was PAT'S in Sylmar and one time I took a 45 from The Royalettes "Its Gonna Take A Miracle". I thought my sister was gonna buy it for me but walked out with it instead and I still have it.
Is there a song you get especially melancholy by, that reminds you of a certain period in your life?
One songs that sticks out the most is a song a older homie would play out of his truck over and over... "Sad Man's Land" by The Spoilers. At that time, in the early 90s, I was trying to find myself as a man and chose the neighborhood hangouts instead of the relationship I was in and let her walk.
Tell us a bit about your record collection. How many do you own? Any special method in keeping things organized?
The collection has grown as far as 45s go. Still have most of my beat up albums. Too busy to count but no rhyme or reason on how I have them organized other than the heavy weights are in a flight case.
Is there any record you are done with, and can never put on again? Played to death?
One record I cant stand is the JB's "Doing It To Death".... were gonna have a funky good time... im done with it. Its like an alarm clock to me. But still have it! I dont get rid of anything. As a collector you collect. That's why it's called a collection. If you buy and sell, that's a business in my eyes no matter what you say.
Some food for thought in that answer (JB's pun included). What's ranking high on your wants list nowadays?
My biggest want is probably Elijah and the Ebonies "I Confess" or at least until they re-issue it then I don't want it anymore :)
Fabulous record! You have a lot of gems in your collection and i have the idea that you always go opposite of what the rest is doing. Can you speak a bit on that?
Most of my rare stuff has been through friends and networking. Internet is a good source but feels like a fish bowl. I'm into cars and get the opportunity at times to travel out of state. I always plan to set time aside to hit the local record shops. Patience is the key when it comes to finding good records. Also be open to unheard music and don't restrict yourself to just 45s. There's a lot of good unknown stuff on albums too. I have to give a special shout to my good friends and veteran collectors Benny Godeniz and Ian Pellegrin who helped me get into the rare soul and to be different than what everyone is after. My story wouldn't be complete without mentioning them.
Collecting deep and sweet soul records has become quite popular over the last years while before it was limited to certain regions and subcultures - especially yours. How do you feel about that? What do you think about this scene?
The scene today... well, where do I begin. I speak on it and get criticised because truth is the new hate so I try not to give it too much energy. But it's good to see the movement pushing forward and soul music strive. I'll leave it there.
Can you share a nice story that relates to your record collecting?
The best story I have is about a gospel record. I used to hang around a collector who makes compilation CDs, that's his hustle. He made a few volumes of gospel CD's. The one i bought of him had this song by The Mighty Chosen Sons of Alabama "Stay With God". This guy claims to have all the vinyl he puts out so i asked him about the track. All of a sudden he "sold" it. He said it was on an album so i was looking like crazy for this album which i know now doesn't exist. This guy never owned the record. You can do the math from the rest of the story to figure out where the recording came from. Anyway, this song to me was like prayer and I had to have it. Fast forward to the time i was interviewing Greg Belson - amazing collector and DJ of gospel soul, who played this record on my show. It's a 45. My head hit the ceiling! Greg was amazed I knew the song and sang along with it. Come to find out a good friend reached out to me and told me he had a copy for me, keeping his good word and now for ever this record is a part of my life and my collection. That friend was you Jakob. Thanks!
I remember that show with Greg Belson and your reaction when he played the record. Intense! Felt really good i could help you get your white whale ticked off. That's what it's about. Money isn't everything. That's a serious record though. It's in rotation on our stream. Talking about rotations. Name 10 tunes you play a lot nowadays?
Anything that's playing on High Note Radio :)
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