Friday Flashback #268

A little feature of “06880”‘s daily Roundup is a song (or three) at the end.

It may be linked to an artist’s birthday. A historic happening, that day in history. Or a random connection to one of the stories in that particular Roundup.

It takes a bit of digging to find those birthdays and historic events. But most of the songs to accompany them pop into my head fairly quickly.

I’m no music expert. But I was fortunate enough to grow up knowing Sally White.

I first met her when I was about 12. Sally ran the record department at Klein’s, the downtown department store located for decades where Banana Republic most recently was.

She had plenty of famous customers — Dave Brubeck and Barry Tashian, to name two. But she always had time for me.

Later, she opened her own shop, a few yards north on Main Street. Because it was hers alone, Sally’s Place was even better than Klein’s.

Her customers were equally famous — Keith Richards and Mary Travers were regulars — but she still always had time for me. And everyone else.

She knew what we liked, and either had it or ordered it. She also knew what we would like, even if we didn’t know it at the time. Casually but insistently, she got it in our hands.

I thought of all that last week, when a photo of Sally surfaced on social media.

Sally White, at Klein’s Department Store. Her customer — Terry Coen — was a Staples High School student who became a noted record promoter. Like so many others, he learned a lot from Sally. (Photo courtesy of Steve Baldwin)

Thank you, Sally. Plenty of people comment on my Roundup selections of the day.

But you were my professor, at the College of Musical Knowledge.

(To read more on the closing of Sally’s Place in 2013, click here. To read tributes after her death in 2017, click here.)

13 responses to “Friday Flashback #268

  1. What I didn’t realize at the time—mid-1960s—was that Sally was only a couple of years younger than my mom. But Sally seemed so much younger; she was so on top of the music scene then. She was cool! And I don’t think I would have ever said or thought that about my mom or her friends/peers. They were simply a different generation to me.

    That is a fabulous pic.

  2. My friend Art Shipe who knew Sally years before I did, also sent me that great photo. He said that’s a wig she’s wearing due to an operation she had, from which she completely recovered.

    I was one of the “regulars” at Sally’s Place. We gathered there around 5:00 most afternoons and talked about music and everything else along with Sally. Those were great times! I also ran the “Collectors’ LP bin” for her, supplying the records.

  3. Wendy Crowther

    How sweet to remember Sally today and to read your tribute, Dan. It brought
    tears to my eyes.

  4. Sally was the best!! When I first met Sally at 10 or 11 and told her I played drums, she put Let it Bleed in my hands and told me I would enjoy it as it came with instructions that it should be played LOUD – and it was – and then the world was never the same.

  5. As a “student” and lover of jazz, this was a Mecca. She’s up there with Monk, Miles, Lester and the other giants of jazz.

  6. Darin McKeever

    Dan – I love the photo and any opportunity to reminisce about Sally. I was so lucky to work at Sally’s side throughout high school and during college breaks. Her musical knowledge was encyclopedic, but it was her intuitions about and deep care for her customers that was just so special. I learned so much from her at Sally’s Place.

  7. Jim Honeycutt

    Dan, Sally was one of the Westporters I guess I will never forget. I so enjoyed going to her store and buying CDs under her watchful eye. It is so nice to see her name pop up in your blog. I guess I just don;t want to forget her. I love the video one of our Staples video students Claire Bangser made about her. I watch it ever so often to remember those. You had the link on one of your posts. Here it is again:

    I wish I could go back and visit the store and talk to her again. Those were wonderful days.

    Jim Honeycutt

  8. David Sampson

    Sadly, Terry Coen passed last year. He was a great guy to hang with at Sally’s, with lots of knowledge and stories of his work as an A and R guy. I miss them along with everyone else who hung around to schmooze music there. We miss you guys.

  9. Sally was amazing….she had an encyclopedic knowledge of music and always had a great sense of humor. We all miss and I still value every record and CD we purchased at Sally’s Place and the selection she had with a heavy concentration on Jazz! We miss you!

  10. Linda Pomerantz novis

    Amen to all this..

    Beautiful photo -So many great memories!
    Sally was truly one-of-a-kind ..:-)
    I still hear her Great Laugh ‘Hey,Lin!’…

    Thanks,Dan,for this special note-

  11. Carol Lupo-Simek

    Sally’s Place enticed me on many a Saturday afternoon where I would hang out while rifling through the CD’s and chatting with Sally about the newest jazz releases. She would often pull out some music she thought I might like and her expert knowledge of the genre would inevitably lead me to some wonderful new discovery. An incredible and very special lady. Thank you for the tribute Dan.

  12. Melissa Newman

    My Jazz Mom…. But also schooled me on King Crimson. Remeber how she would rip open a CD and tell you to take it home and see if you liked it? “It’s my shop, Lis, I can do what I want…. She is up there swingin’ with Chet Baker….