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Help Questlove Find the Woman Who Started His Record Collection in 1976

Help Questlove Find the Woman Who Started His Record Collection in 1976

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Questlove told the story of how his collection began over the weekend.

On Saturday, Questlove shared a personal childhood story with his followers. The tale begins back in 1976 in a nightclub in Portland, Maine, with a 5-year-old Quest joining his musician parents as they played their sets.

“My era was pre-babysitters,” he wrote. “In my day you went to work or you became part of the act. I’d sit in the nightclub as a 5-year-old while my parents did their 2 sets. Being the irresistible cat that I was, I talked an older women named Ellie into buying me a stereo and a record collection.”

 

 

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The start of my record collection starts with this note. “Ahmir Do NOT talk to strangers when we are onstage!!!” My era was pre babysitters (an 80s thing) in my day you went to work or you became part of the act. I’d sit in the nightclub as a 5 year old while my parents did their 2 sets. Being the irresistible cat that I was, I talked an older woman named Ellie into buying me a stereo and a record collection. I truly didn’t think she was coming back the next day with my request. She asked me what did I like and I said “records” she asked “what type of records?” I just named songs of the day I liked: “Bad Blood” by Sedaka (hey, you adapted to what was on the radio—-but really? Sedaka’s MCA subsidiary label Rocket Records had the coolest looking logo when it rotated on the turntable so—-back then I liked cool labels FIRST, then the artist and song next). “Dance With Me” by Rufus was a jam. And being a Jackson Five fan was as common as oxygen. I knew talking to strangers was a no no but my instincts paid off. She started writing it down. I was 5 so I didn’t think anything was coming of this. Sure enough the next night: she brings in a turntable (those kind that you now see at Urban Outfitters) and 3 records. My parents were HEATED but she pleaded on my behalf “please don’t have him get in trouble on my behalf!! He’s so cute of course I wanted to start his record collection!!!” Whatever she pleaded saved my behind that night cause black parents don’t play w talking to strangers (wasn’t so lucky a year later when I asked a stranger to play “Brick House” on the jukebox at the local corner store) But on the off chance someone in Portland Maine knows of a kind woman who in 1976 randomly purchased a turntable & 3 records for this lil black kid w an afro the size of Texas named Ellie…. I’d like to know. #WhereIsEllie?

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Quest named three records: “Bad Blood” by Sedaka, “Dance With Me” by Rufus, and the Jackson Five. “I truly didn’t think she was coming back the next day,” he continued. “I knew talking to strangers was a no no but my instincts paid off…I was five so I didn’t think anything was coming of this.”

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His parents, however, were less than enthused about the purchase.

“My parents were heated,” he said. “But she pleaded on my behalf “please don’t have him get in trouble on my behalf! He’s so cute of course I wanted to start his record collection!” Whatever she pleaded saved my behind that night cause Black parents don’t play [with] talking to strangers.”

Now, Questlove is looking to return the favor. He’s asking if anyone knows his benefactor, named Ellie. Contact Quest on Instagram or Facebook if you have any leads on the case.

 

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