When driving to some college fairs the other morning, one of the songs I heard on KLUV in Dallas (98.7) was Take on Me by A-ha. I have my own memories of A-ha as I once got caught in a traffic jam outside Radio City Music Hall when one of their concerts let out.
Hearing that song reminded me when I moved to Dallas 24 years ago this month, there would have been no chance any song from 1986 would even be considered for airplay on a local oldies station, KLUV. When I moved here, KLUV barely got to about 1973 on their play list. Of course, all these years later, 1973 is for the most part the earliest time frame for any song played on KLUV. Now there is a music continuum that runs from about 1955 through about 1992 which changed after some of how singles charts were configured late in 1991. Now, today with digital downloads, this is even different from just 20 years ago in terms of monitoring sales and air plays.
For card collectors, and especially for those collectors who buy Topps collectors the recent decision by the NFL Players to give Panini an exclusive in two years will put a serious jolt in those collectors who have built up a six-decade collection of Topps cards. We do understand that there was a brief NFL break in the 1960’s when Philadelphia Gum had the league’s trading card contract and Topps had the AFL but safe to say Topps has been producing pro football cards from 1956 till the present day.
If there is a break in Topps’ production when the exclusive license changes hands in 2016, it’ll be a jolt to ‘completist’ collectors who are company loyal and own one set from each year. However, Topps has promised we haven’t heard the last of them in football so it’ll be interesting to see how they keep that string of sets going if that is indeed the plan.
Continuums are funny things. I was asked, and did write an article for the 25th Beckett Football anniversary issue which was interesting because when I was discussing the assignment (actually based off a column written for Sports Collectors Daily) I mentioned that I had an article in the very first Beckett Football Card Monthly. When we posted some of that on Facebook, Pepper Hastings, who worked at Beckett for more than 20 years, mentioned the print run was 138,000 and the issue was sold out. I remember Mary Campana, who was working the day after Thanksgiving and was one of the few people in the office that day, got calls all day asking for copies of which ZERO were available, Talk about a rough day at the office.
Issues were so tough to get that writers were promised copies of the magazines their article appeared in and Pepper had to find me a slightly damaged staff copy just so I could see how my work looked in print.
Today, of course, 138,000 would be an off the charts sell through for any hobby magazine. And I would wager that many of the collectors who purchased that Football magazine still have that magazine to this day because of the terrific Bo Jackson cover which truly captures the late 1980’s.
And although KLUV’s music has changed, the idea of songs helping people remember the good times of their youth has not changed for nearly 30 years. And for Topps collectors, there are nearly six decades of memories in their cards which even with a licensing change, will never be able to be taken away from them. So enjoy Topps football cards while they are still being produced, enjoy those old sets that bring back memories and give Panini a chance when they take over the exclusive license in 2016.