Wednesday, March 25, 2015

David Lloyd Whited & Cho Yong-Pil

Artist: Cho Yong-Pil
LP: The Woman Outside the Window
Song: "Short Hair" 
[ listen ]

I'd like to thank local author, storyteller and poet David Lloyd Whited for introducing me to Cho Yong-Pil, one of South Korea's most popular and influential singers. Some even call Yong-Pil the Michael Jackson of South Korea! I've never actually met David Lloyd Whited, but my nephew Maxwell turned four last week, and our family was getting together for his birthday dinner out on Vashon Island this past Sunday evening. As I was preparing to leave my apartment in Ballard on Sunday afternoon, my brother-in-law called to let me know about an estate sale on Vashon that he'd happened upon the day before. He said they had two entire rooms full of records! He thought I might be interested in stopping by to check it out on my way to the family dinner. 

David Lloyd Whited, who claimed Native American, Finnish, and Norwegian ancestry, was born in Canyonville, Oregon in 1951. He studied English, Mathematics, and Fine Arts in college and was a well-known author and poet here in the Pacific Northwest. He worked with Native American groups in Southwestern Oregon, where his efforts resulted in official recognition of five different tribes; his more recent work was with the Puyallup Tribe here in Washington state, just outside of Tacoma. David had been living with his wife, Marian, on Vashon Island. Sadly, David passed away at the end of November; they were his records and other items that were being sold at the estate sale. You can find more information about David Lloyd Whited's life and work in his online obituaries here and here; more detail about his work with Native American tribes can be found here; go here and here to read about Whited's writing, and watch a video of David reciting one of his poems here

All of that is interesting, worthwhile, and commendable, but I'd like to talk about David Lloyd Whited's vast collection of records. When Jon, my brother-in-law, told me about the sale, I knew I couldn't resist stopping by, but I suspected I'd probably find two rooms filled with mainstream, widely-available records—Boston, Led Zeppelin, Journey, James Taylor, Chicago, Neil Diamond...and maybe some Kim Carnes, Gloria Gaynor, and Swing Out Sister for variety and spice. While it's true that some of those and other popular singers and groups were included in the collection (lots of records had reportedly already been carted away by others before I arrived on the scene), I found that when it came to collecting music on vinyl, David Lloyd Whited definitely had a thing for variety and spice. I'm surprised none of the online biographies mentioned David's appreciation for music, his wonderfully eclectic tastes, and his passion for collecting such a wide range of music on vinyl. It's worth reporting too that he was evidently one of the biggest Ramsey Lewis fanatics in Washington state! Multiple copies of numerous Ramsey Lewis albums were stashed at various intervals throughout his collection; I picked up a Ramsey Lewis LP that I'd never seen before and upgraded two others that I'd previously only found in shabby condition. 

David Lloyd Whited's amazing collection of LPs, 10" EPs and singles included everything from Brazilian bossa-nova to lively Dixieland jazz; from multiple albums by the likes of Sarah Vaughn, June Chritsy, and Dakota Staton to bunches of records by The Pointer Sisters, Xavier Cugat, Henry Mancini....and more! Soundtracks! Organs! Doris Day! It was thrilling to stumble across a fellow collector who obviously shared my enthusiasm for all different kinds of music on vinyl. I only wish we'd connected earlier so we might have been able to thumb through our record collections together. I bet we would have had lots to talk about. 

At some point David acquired this 1980 disco-synth album by Korean pop star Cho Yong-Pil, who you can read all about on Wikipedia here. (Did I mention that he's been called the Michael Jackson of South Korea?) So thanks again to David Lloyd Whited for introducing me to this guy...and to other artists too whose records I'll be posting in the days and weeks to come.

 [ Cho Yong-Pil, recently ]

[ David Lloyd Whited: January 28, 1951 — November 30, 2014 ] 

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