The Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School Band poses in front of a DeLorean circa 1980. The famous trumpeter Roy Hargrove is visible on the cover.
The invitation to participate in NPR's early-evening meet-and-greet at this year's SXSW music festival came too late for me to find a reasonably priced non-stop flight into Austin. And do I hate layovers. So I booked a ticket from LAX to Dallas and put in a call to Roger Boykin — an old friend, a Dallas jazz/funk/soul legend, a longtime AM-radio personality and the owner of the small but important Soultex Records imprint.
"I'm flying into town," I said. "Please introduce me to some of your old friends that will let me investigate their collections — and sell me some records if I can name the right price." In his typical, relaxed tone, Roger agreed.
It had been years since I last visited Roger's Duncanville home, but I hadn't realized that it had been nine years. His ranch house, neat as always, was exactly as I remembered it — down to the Soultex records pinned into his studio wall in an arrangement that reminded me of a cross.
"Man, I never got that Savoir Flair 7," I jokingly complained, until Roger went into the kitchen and, grabbing from the stash he's kept atop his oven for the past 18 years, brought me back the last copy he had.
While he wasn't able to introduce me to anyone willing to part with their Black Gold, he agreed to let me peruse his personal collection. You see, Roger is a packrat, and amidst copies of his own releases, he had healthy amounts of Strata East albums ("You can only have 'em if I have 'em on CD," he said), a mass amount of early-'80s Dallas boogie 45s (Roger played on nearly every early '80s soul record to originate in this city, it seems), acetates, test presses and — this one floored me — psychedelic high-school band albums.
I negotiated a price, left for Austin, and returned on Sunday. I did a quick interview on Roger's show before he handed me a bag full of vinyl. Here are five selections.