Rosen is an expert on the industrial history of Raleigh and the British bike trade of the 50s and 60s. He’s also a music buff and was already familiar with the work of US songwriter Darryl Purpose but had never heard the ‘Mr Schwinn’ song, released in 1999.
"A friend recently gave me a CD by an American songwriter called Darryl Purpose who I’d heard before, but not this song – it’s about a bike shop owner. It’s a great story, with some lovely touches. It deserves publicity on your site!"
No sooner said than done, Dr. Rosen!
The song can be heard at http://www.darrylpurpose.com/…/schwinn.ram
It’s from the album ‘Travelers’ Code’ (Tangible Music, 1999) and starts "Mr Schwinn was as thin as a pelican’s grin and I took him my bike when the wheel wouldn’t spin or the gears wouldn’t shift/ For fixing a bike the man had a gift."
But be warned, it’s a weepy, Mr Schwinn (the US equivalent of a Raleigh 5-Star dealer type IBD) doesn’t live through the whole song…