Mr. Ricky is one of the many sweet soul and oldies collectors from California that i follow on Instagram. I like Ricky's feed. It's pure. There's no bravado. Just passion for the music and the tradition that goes with it. He's a cool guy too. Always showing love. Let's return some.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Mr. Ricky from South LA. I'm not a DJ, never put out any compilation and never was on any radio show. My collecting is for my listening pleasure and I love to share with people who enjoy soul music like i do. My music collecting started when i was young. Started with vinyl of course, then escalated to tapes and CD's but as i got older i started to get myself in trouble and lost a lot of years of my life. Through the course of time and when I got myself together i said to my uncle I need to find myself a hobby. Found different things to do but music drew me back in. I started to search for rare oldies and started buying comps that were put out by older collectors and started to discover things i had never heard. That's when it started on going to different record stores and digging for donuts.
What's the first record you ever bought?
The first record i ever bought was Patti Dru's "Tell Him". I was around 11 years old. Got it from a record shop that was in my neighborhood when I was growing up in South LA on Imperial Highway and Vermont to be exact. I think it was called JJ Records.
Patti Dru's "Tell Him"? Pfew, that's the jam. What a pick for an eleven year old! What's your pick for most moving song in soul history? The one that hits you straight into the heart?
The Spoilers "Sad Man's Land". This is one that i cherish. The words are beautiful and relate to my life. This song hits me hard. "It's So Hard To Break A Habit" by the Webs as well.
Tell us a little bit about your collection? How many records do you own and do you keep them in a special place?
I've never counted the records in my collection. I probably have around a 1000 45s, or more. My music setup is in my living room where my family can also enjoy good ear candy. I have a couple more crates in the garage because my wife gets mad when i put all my records on the floor as you can see its a mess.
Where do you get your records from? Do you search in the field (stores, flea markets, yard sales, etc.) or online? Or both?
My way of looking for records is by digging through record stores, the few we have out here. I do travel as well. Go to swap meet's and antique stores. I have met people who have let me dig through their storage's. And of course, Discogs is a good source to find them gems that people overseas have.
Are there any records you are done with and can never put on again? That in your opinion are played to death?
I'm never done with records, my ears never get to that point. I love all music but my favorite genre is soul music.
Is there a record you have been trying to find for years that you still haven’t found? What’s your biggest want?
Curley Myrick Jr. "It Bees That Way". Still need this one. I've been tight with myself as it has went through the soul scene.
Good one! Talking about the scene... Collecting deep and sweet soul records has become quite popular, globally, over the last years, while before it was limited to certain regions or subcultures. How do you feel about that? What do you think about the state of the scene?
I think the state of the soul scene is great because everyone now is introduced to a lot of regional music that people have never heard of before. Its good that sweet soul and deep soul have become very popular. I'm not the one to knock on no one but there is a lot of collector's that do knock on other people who collect but that's another story.
Can you share a cool story about anything related to your record collecting? Something that happened while looking for records? An artist you met? A special moment? Can be anything…
One of the coolest moments that ill never forget was when i did Uber as a side gig. I picked up a family and as i was driving i was playing some good soul music. The wife of the guy that was sitting in the front asks me what you know about this music? I started to laugh. Then she asked do you know the guy sitting next to you? I looked at him but couldn't picture him. He then told me he was one of the members from The Delfonics. I was like, wow! One of my favorite groups growing up. I'll never forget that moment.
That's awesome! To close our Q&A. What are your top 10 records you currently have in rotation?
Soul Majestics "I Done Told You Baby"
Bull & The El Capalaras "No Sign of Sadness"
Danny White "King For a Day"
Henry Ford "Take Me For What I Am"
Houston Outlaws "What Am I Going To Do"
Harvey Scales "Don't You Ever Let It End"
Francine Babe "Love Now If You Can"
Hands of Time "This Love Is Real"
Benny & Tina "Over My Dead Body"
Force "Children of the World"
Follow Mr. Ricky on Instagram