Kansas City Musicians Collaborate To Remember Anne Winter Of Recycled Sounds

Jan 7, 2016

Story of a Song is a monthly segment on KCUR's Central Standard, in which local musicians tell the story behind a recent song, and explain how it was constructed musically.

Artist: Johnny Hamil of Mr. Marco's V7

The Song: "The Privilege (Recycled Winter)" performed by musical act Victor and Penny

It started with a dream: "I just dream sounds," says bassist and composer Hamil. "Sometimes I see colors but mostly it's just black." The Kansas City, Kansas, native says that music is running through his brain constantly. He's composing in his head all the time.

It was a dream that inspired Hamil to start a musical project titled  GAV7D: Thanks For Everything. The idea, to take old instrumental songs from his band Mr. Marco's V7 and invite other artists to collaborate on a series of recordings. Sixteen tracks and 26 different artists later,  the first of a series of five albums was completed. 

The privilege:  The seventh track on the album, The Privilege, it dedicated to, and mostly about Anne Winter, who was a central part of Kansas City's music scene. Winter owned the record store Recycled Sounds. She died at the age of 45 in 2009.

Recycled Sounds used to be at Westport Road and Main Street. Hosting frequent in store concerts, it was a focal point for the local music scene in the 1990s and early 2000s.  It closed about 10 years ago.  

Bassist and composer Johnny Hamil working with Victor and Penny to write the song The Privilege. It's dedicated to the memory of Anne Winter.
Credit C/O the artist

Hamil invited collaborators Victor and Penny to help write lyrics and perform the song. Based on their own experiences and a collection of stories gathered from other local artists who knew Winter, they found the words.

Hamil says the whole collaborative project, has been a celebration and tribute to Kansas City's music scene and all the supportive people who have been a part of it. "It was just a privilege to play music with my friends."

Remembering Anne Winter and Recycled Sounds: "The best part of Recycled Sounds was Anne," says Hamil. He recalls that Winter would loyally show up to local gigs and encourage artists to make recordings, which had a lasting impact on the scene. 

"You knew that she was going to ask you to record a record every time she saw you. Every time. You know like, 'Where's my recording that I can sell in my store?'" 

Hamil says that encouragement and positive push, inspired a lot of local musicians to pursue their music. It came up again and again as Hamil talked with other artists about their memories of her.

Hamil says their first three CD release parties were at Recycled Sounds. He says Mr. Marco's V7 avant garde style would often stump Winter when labeling his music in the store.

"She'd be like, 'It's hard to actually know where to put your CD in my store.' Which I liked a lot," he says. Hamil says his main purpose in life is to defy categories. "Like you could put a V7 record in a rock aisle, the jazz aisle, the weird aisle, the polka aisle."

Hamil says he thinks it was hard for Winter to shut Recycled Sounds down, but recalls that it was a changing time for record stores.  

"It was at the time when people weren't buying records. You know, the digital age," says Hamil. "That killed every record store. It's interesting now that we have Mills (Record Company) and Josey (Records), and that they're popping back up, because people are realizing that they're missing this thing."

The Lyrics: 

Now everyone is digging the kcbeat

and this girl is always dancing with those happy feet

ask her and you’ll get a list of all the local greats

find the sound Davey’s Uptown

(getting down Recycled sounds)

Supporting the scene with your face in the place

and she is always waiting for the record release

Community sets the creative pace

Listening Loyally

Inspirational reach is long and deep

and her smile is your weapons defeat

politely teaching the kc belief

gather around, passion found

There you are

You’ll go far

living in that smelling car

Life is war for the Main street star

Smiles to you Records True

if it takes a little while KC style

Building creatively Music Scene

It’s just a privilege to know you

It’s just a privilege to know you

It’s just a privilege to be true

It’s just a privilege to see you

It’s just a privilege to be you

I only know that you're the only one

that looked at me and didn’t run

You looked at me and set me free

and gave me the power to be You