Johnny Angel gets Ginchy with new Brighton Heights shop
Jack Hunt has apparently never lacked for energy.
Better known as musician Johnny Angel, he made his first record at 15 with the Cordells on Steel Town Sound Records. He still performs with the Halos and other bands. He's also been a successful businessman and is part-owner of eight Atria restaurants, among others. And when he was younger, he was a boxer.
Now, he's opened a new business in Brighton Heights called Ginchy Stuff, which sells memorabilia he acquired during his performing career, that included countless tours.
“Ginchy is '50s slang and means cool or hip,” Hunt says. “The first time I ever heard it was on ‘77 Sunset Strip' when Kookie said, ‘She's ginchy.' Sandra Dee said it, too, in some of the beach movies.”
A serious collector, his memorabilia fills the attics of two private homes, storage units and the backroom at a friend's store, as well as the basement under his new store.
“Whenever I picked something up for my kids, such as the M.C. Hammer doll, I bought two, one for them and o ne for my collection,” Hunt says. He left the ones he bought for himself unopened in their original packaging.
Music is the most extensive part of the collection. Items for sale include recordings, of course, on 45s and 78s, as well as LPs. Concert and other promotional posters are strong on old rhythm-and-blues artists.
He's made his own framed collages, for which Hunt does his own matting and framing by hand. One of the most impressive is of the Beatles. Below an original “Meet The Beatles” poster, he's mounted three early and rare 45s by the Fab Four.
“The Beatles changed the whole way young people thought about music. I wasn't a big Beatles fan at first, but bought a lot because they were popular. I got into them more later,” he says. “I had all these great pressings on Tollie, an English label, VJ Records, a rhythm-and-blues-dominated label, and Swan Records, which bought VJ. When they went on to record for Capitol, they became megastars.”
Ginchy always meant more than music. Hunt's store is filled with Steelers and Pirates materials, too, including an original 1960 “Beat 'em Bucs” poster. It's in mint condition, except for being signed by one of the players.
There's even a Star Trek board game, still factory-sealed.
Hunt grew up in Manchester, but Brighton Heights has been his home for more than 40 years, although he's rented apartments in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit when he needed to for his career. He's long been an active member of the local chamber of commerce and leadership council. On a recent visit to his shop, friends and neighbors stopped in, while others honked their car horns while driving by.
“I started buying collectibles right from the start because I thought it would be fun,” he says. “Someday, I thought, I'll be able to open a museum or store.”
Mark Kanny is staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 312-320-7877 or mkanny @tribweb.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tennessee quarterback Peterman considers transfer to Pitt
- Brownsville hopes grant can help launch project
- Real estate notes: Leasing agent expects ‘strong demand’ for South Side office development
- City crews getting ready for winter storm expected Sunday, Monday
- Alle-Kiski Valley deemed medically underserved
- Westmoreland museum spotlights artist John Kane’s late-in-life fame
- Germany may walk on rescue
- Jerome Bettis to be enshrined in hall of fame
- Friend reaches out to help Burrell Township family
- New Kensington woman struck by vehicle, injured
- Road Trip! Destination: Louisville, Ky.