After our summer break it was fantastic to see so many people at our August show! Fall, football and school have begun and we are back Sunday, September 18th! Admission is always FREE and we are here from 9 am – 3 pm. We also have food service for breakfast and lunch and a 50/50 raffle. The drawing is at noon! As usual there were many wonderful finds and vendors, many coming from near and far, some getting up at 1 am to be there. That is dedication!
In August we had an extra special treat – a visit from a true, local music legend. It’s been five years since she came to the Arbutus show but Freddie is back! Anyone who lives in the Baltimore/DC area who loves and has collected music over the past 40 years knows this modest, beautiful lady. And if there is anyone who knows anything and everything about music – from soul to jazz to R&B – it’s this lady. Everyone was thrilled to see her and we hope she comes to many more! Thanks to Derek Shaw, we had a chance to talk to her for a bit – although we probably could have spent hours chatting! She’s got great stories to tell and could write a book (and we told her so!) Derek also found one of her old business cards.
The Braxtons are her cousins (Yes, Toni Braxton!) For five years she dated a band member who played with Ray Charles. Her ex played with James Brown for 10 years. Freddie attended every show at the Royal Theatre which was THE place to see the biggest stars in the black entertainment in Baltimore. You name them and she has every autograph of every musician you can think of (such as Nat King Cole, Count Basie). She got to go back stage, sat on Otis Redding’s lap and did errands for James Brown.
Freddie started collecting records in 1957 and became a self-educated student of music. When Road House Oldies opened in Brooklyn just over 40 years ago (sadly it closed but the Silver Spring store is still in operation), Freddie walked in, already an expert and knew more than the owner. She wanted to help and for the first eight years, was not paid “per se.” If anyone had a question about music, Freddie knew the answer.
Working at Road House Oldies was for the love of music. She already had a job at AT&T. Despite a bit of stage fright, she was asked to demonstrate to Japanese and German businessmen how the the first computer chips worked and other advances in technology through the years. She was also a disc jockey on a variety of radio stations starting in 1961 – WNAV, WKHS, WEBB, WSID and WPFD. We are so thrilled that we had the chance to talk to this incredible lady and we hope to see her sweet smile more often!