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Jack Meets Garth Brooks

19 February 2013

Store date: unknown

The process of buying product for a record store could be done completely via fax machine in the early 1990s, of course. In the following decade, the internet made ordering electronically a snap. But there is now and was then no substitute for good old-fashioned human contact – even if it was only over the telephone line – with any of our friendly, enthusiastic, music-loving and usually somewhat eccentric “music reps,” people you would probably call “salesmen.”


Valley Record Distribution of Woodland, California, was one of the “one stops” we used to fulfill special orders that needed to be filled in quick order (stock orders from the major label distributors generally took about a week to arrive at the store and we needed an alternative for those patrons who needed their Captain Beefheart or Ellen Taaffe Zwilich fix NOW!).

K. Kay Byrnes was my beloved rep at Valley; in later years it was Jack (whose last name I, criminally, cannot remember). Rarely did I get to meet these reps in the flesh, and many of them I had never seen pictures of, so imagine my surprise when I received the photo above in an envelope, stuffed inside one of our orders. I did not picture Jack this way but, to be fair, don’t recall picturing him at all. And here he stood, in all his smiling and chirpy glory, palling up to country superstar Garth Brooks.

On the back of the photo, someone (either K. Kay or Jack, I don’t even remember who sent it to me) wrote the following note:

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From → photographs

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