Local realtor and music collector, Mike Montague, bought his first album sometime in the late seventies.
As his passion for all things rock, jazz and blues grew, the record collection kept pace – expanding to over 1,700 vinyl treasures stored in 18 plastic milk cartons.
Now that collection, which Montague says sat untouched in his garage for about 16 years, will bring joy to a whole new generation of music lovers and history lovers in Barrie.
BJ’s Records in Barrie has just processed the 2000+ piece collection to add to their inventory of rock, jazz and blues vinyl and donated $1,000 to the Barrie Historic Archives.
“While in high school I had a part time job washing dishes at Shultzies Schnitzel house on Dunlop Street where the British Arms Tavern is now,” Montague said.
“Across the street at the Five Points was Sam the Record Man. One or two record purchases here and there grew into a few plastic milk crates full of albums at a time when it was a point of pride to be able to show off your album collections to friends.
Barrie’s Sam the Record Man store was destroyed by fire in 1994.
Montague is pleased that his “historic” record collection will now assist the Barrie Historical Archives committee to preserve and share the city’s history.
“There was something to be said for going downtown to Sam’s with your friends on a Saturday morning to flip through bins full of albums, then rushing home to peel away the cellophane and place that brand new disk on the turntable to play, and play again,” he said.
“Along with the music, you would study every detail of the album jacket from the artwork to the liner notes. Its a more limited experience today when music is instantly acquired at the click of a button.”
Archives chairman Travis Doucette says through partnering with BJ’s Records, “everyone has benefited through Mike’s generosity and his record collection has been saved from the landfill to be recycled and enjoyed by others.”
BJ’s Records owner, Bill Loiselle is calling on other collectors to bring in their treasures and he will donate funds to the BHA for any clean vinyl collections of rock, R&B and jazz.
To donate call BJ’s Records at 705 737 3031 or bring records to the store at 13 Clapperton St. from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.