Late in the summer of 1972, just before my first year of high school, I started buying record albums from Mazzuca's Tapes and Records instead of 45s from Woolworth.
My first purchase was the Eagles' debut album with "Take It Easy," "Witchy Woman" and "Peaceful Easy Feeling" all released as singles. That LP started me on a lifelong musical journey.
I took it home and listened to it over and over on my parent's Zenith console stereo. It wasn't too long before I became familiar with all of the songs and the four band members: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner.
"Take It Easy" was co-written by Frey and Jackson Browne. Browne also contributed "Nightingale" to the record.
I bought Browne's "For Everyman" LP containing his version of "Take It Easy" the next time I went to Mazzuca's.
Initially, my favorite song from the Eagles' debut was "Train Leaves Here This Morning" written by Leadon and Gene Clark of the Byrds. In talking with Mazzuca's manager, Steve Scholbe, I learned the song originally appeared on "The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark" from 1968 by Dillard & Clark. When I could afford the $3.99 I bought the record.
That band consisted of Doug Dillard, Clark, Leadon, Chris Hillman and three studio musicians. It is still one of my very favorite records.
I quickly became a regular at Muzzuca's, and through conversations with John Mazzuca and Scholbe I learned that Henley made one record with a Texas country rock band he was in called Shiloh. That self-titled debut was produced by Kenny Rogers.
I also learned that Frey made one country rock record with John David Souther called "Longbranch Pennywhistle," that Leadon was in the rock band Hearts & Flowers, and that Meisner was in Poco.
I own one LP from those first three groups and several from Poco, one of my favorite bands.
Shiloh, made up of Michael and Richard Bowden, Jim Ed Norman, Al Perkins and Henley, played laid-back Southern California style country rock. Henley handled most of the vocals and wrote "I'm Gone" and "God Is Where You Find Him."
All five members of Shiloh have remained in the music business since the 1960s.
Michael Bowden played bass and was a production engineer for Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Michael Martin Murphey, Hillman, Albert Lee and many others.
Richard Bowden, who plays guitar, violin, mandolin and cello, became a much sought after session musician who shows up on my Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Austin Lounge Lizards records.
Norman played piano, produced and arranged vocals on the Eagles' "On The Border" and "One of These Nights" LPs. After that, he did production work for Murphey, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Hank Williams Jr. and others.
Perkins, a guitarist, was a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers for its last record. After that he became part of Stephen Stills' Manassas with Hillman. He was also was part of the Souther Hillman Furay Band and is on records I own by Frey, Dan Fogelberg, Clark, the Desert Rose Band and many others.
I own every album mentioned in this column, and at least one by every artist here. Everything I learned came from those records and my visits to various record stores in my earliest days as a record collector.
And it's all because I bought one record in 1972, well before the internet.
Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St. Email him at email@example.com.