Good to see an old friend and customer in this week (Barry) reminiscing about how the music scene has changed over the years and one topic was the way sheet music is now distributed.
There are obvious pro and cons to the changes but here are some of the things we miss:
The top twenty sheet music charts were as important to many musicians as the record charts. We would try to pre-empt sales and duly order what we thought popular i.e. 20 x American Pie 6 x Beg Steal Or Borrow etc Saturday morning came along and customers would be queuing to buy the latest releases, eager to learn the song in able to perform it that night in one of hundreds of clubs around the region.
Usually the sale would involve the whole band or at least two or three of them, pondering the key, the difficulty and the range, it was great to watch.
Chart music that was left behind would be gathered together in bundles of three or so and sold off at half price in lucky dip tubs, you never knew what you were getting, three you’d love or three…..
We would have several musicians on board that could transcribe the music for you if it wasn’t in the right key (no Sibelius then), a popular and lucrative pastime for those with a quick turn around.
Unusually high best sellers that come to mind where tabbed versions of Eddie Van Halen “1984”, Randy Rhodes “Tribute”, Oasis “Definitely Maybe” and “Whats The Story…”, with the highest selling single in a short time being Elton John “Candle in The Wind” revised edition for the funeral of Princess Diana – they were pilled high in their hundreds.