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7/25/2017 Hello Gary and Cindy, I learned about your website from one of my occasional forays over to the RMCR Usenet newsgroup. To say that I immensely enjoyed your content regarding the marketing of classical records via supermarkets would be an understatement! I've listened to a LOT of LPs tapes and CDs over the years
I grew up in suburbs near Seattle during the 1960s and 1970s. To my recollection, my parents' only classical music was a 4-LP box set of music by Strauss family - a set sold by Radio Shack (Realistic) under license from Vox. That was my first real exposure to classical music, but it was followed by two other events:
First: Grade 3 field trip to the Seattle Opera House for a children's concert by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. I believe that the orchestra's associate conductor, Dr. Hans Wolf, conducted those concerts (principal conductor was Milton Katims). Although I recall the school bus trip and my classmates walking through the Opera House, only one piece of music stayed in my consciousness from that concert. For years I could not identify that piece, as I didn't actively pursue further interest in classical music at the time. Eventually I discovered that the "mystery music" was Wagner's Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin.
Second: Grade 7 - my first year in what was called "junior high school", I enrolled in a Music Appreciation class. In 1973 they still offered Music Appreciation in public schools. Shortly into the class, I bought my first classical LP (Carlos' "Switched-On Bach") and started frequently borrowing records from the public library.
My fascination with listening to and collecting classical recordings, and to some extent with classical music performances, really dates back to the fall of 1973. Once the addiction set in, I bought a lot of the budget-label reissues from Odyssey, Victrola, Gold Seal, and Vox.
One type of box set you might bring up on your web site: those 1970s-era Murray Hill, Olympic and Sine Qua Non box sets which were very common at department stores and bookstores. These typically weren't listed in Schwann, marketed almost entirely through department stores and bookstores rather than record stores. Those box sets included the Krips/London Symphony Beethoven symphony cycle as well as the Furtwangler/Bayreuth complete Wagner Ring cycle. Were Murray Hill, Olympic and Sine Qua Non affiliated with each other? Were they affiliated with another record company like Everest or Vox?
Last but not least, did you ever have the pleasure of buying or selling records with a Bellevue-based classical record dealer named Jim Monahan? Jim passed away just before Thanksgiving 1998 at age 46. During the many times I came to his home to buy record, Monahan was astonishingly generous in discussing recordings, performances, musicians and his business as a vinyl LP specialist during the height of the CD sales boom.
When my wife and I finally adopted a cat last summer, we named our adopted Russian Blue cat in honor of Jim Monahan's cat, "Petrushka".
In any event, thanks for your kindness in sharing about your experience enjoying the Basic Library, Standard Library and other classical record sets which became the "gateway drug" to start a lifetime interest in music appreciation. Warmest regards, Ron