The Cosmic Aeroplane sold records for most of its existence.
Curious buyers sought out both new and used records of various genres. Smokey Koelsch started managing this department at the West Temple location and continued in this role when the shop moved to First South. The Record Department was located in the basement of the East Bay during the late Seventies, but moved upstairs to the West Bay during the Eighties, after Smokey started a store bearing his own name on Fifteenth East.
The hand-written charts below document sales of new albums during late 1980 and early 1981, but Cosmic customers were also buying used records throughout the history of the store. We have included images of the covers to help visualize this major commercial art form at the end of an era when music actually made more money than the movie industry, in terms of consumer sales.
October 23, 1980
November 8, 1980
November 26, 1980
January 14, 1981
January 22, 1981
January 28, 1981
February 4, 1981
Valentine’s Day Edition 1981
February 20, 1981
Undated Chart — Circa 1981
Undated Chart — Circa 1981
A Big Leap Into Summer
Barb Guy recently found some more Cosmic Aeroplane Top Ten Charts from 1981, and photographed them for the Cosmic Archival Site.* One of them was drawn several months after most of the others, which meant a few pictorial adjustments here. (Scroll up to see Exposed and Kraftwerk with J. Buffett.) These album covers are half the fun — ENJOY!
June 3, 1981
Coda: Pop Stars and Popular Albums on the Cosmic Charts
(L to R) Country crossover artist Juice Newton achieved the height of her career with three smash singles from Juice — released in February 1981; John Lennon’s best songs from Double Fantasy were played on radio stations for well over a year after its release; Steely Dan’s Gaucho contained a pensive hit single called Hey Nineteen, but the once-productive band disappeared from the music scene for twenty years following the release of this album; James Taylor charted one more radio hit after a decade in the spotlight, doing a high-cost hootenanny in a Hollywood studio with fellow singer/songwriter J.D. Souther.
Dinosaurs at the Cafe, by James Scott showed up on several Cosmic charts during this era.
Barb Guy says: “James Scott was a local guy that you could see playing around town.”
She also contributed the link below —
Deseret News Article
Announcing James Scott’s Farewell Concert at the Ladies Literary Club Sept. 18, 1982
Barb also writes: “The record shop was in the basement the whole time I worked there, which was through probably late summer of ’81. Smokey left before I did and when I left the Cosmic, I went to work for Smokey, eventually becoming the manager of the shop.
I worked at Smokey’s until – and a little bit during – my time on the air at KCGL, so maybe 3 years.”
All photos of the Cosmic Aeroplane best-seller lists are courtesy of Barb Guy and were originally posted on the Cosmic Aeroplane and Blue Mouse Facebook page. The images from contemporary record jackets are used for scholastic purposes only, in the context of this article — purposes which are protected by international law.
We actively request your contributions of pictures, memorabilia, and oral histories about the Cosmic Aeroplane and related enterprises — please contact our blogmeister:
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