While the Spanish may have first discovered the jewel that would become America’s First Settlement in 1559, nearly 500 years later, it was one lucky man plundering through a Pensacola thrift store that really discovered a true treasure.

When you go antiquing, sometimes you find treasure and sometimes you find trash — and one local Pensacolian’s not sure which he’s found with a record called, “I Believe in Pensacola.” Wes Shoemaker discovered the record while shopping at a local thrift store and later uploaded it to YouTube to share with the world. Listen to nearly five minutes of goodness in all its 1980s synthesized glory below:

The record and single, narrated by Luke McCoy and produced by the now defunct WOWW-107 FM Radio, included a note on the album from former Pensacola mayor Vince Whibbs, who notes the “magic” of Pensacola and giving his trademark motto of the Western Gate to the Sunshine State: “Where thousands live the way millions wish they could.”


“I Believe in Pensacola”

Look at Pensacola, the city for you
Look at Pensacola, spread the news
Look at Pensacola, the one to choose!

SPEAKING: It’s a bright town; a true town; the right town for tomorrow. A handsome city, with a style all her own.

Look at Pensacola, we’re the best
Look at Pensacola

We’re proud of the spirit, the heart of our town
When you’re good the news gets around!

Look at Pensacola
Look at Pensacola
The spirit of Pensacola is goin’ strong!

SPEAKING: It’s Pensacola: mother-in-law of the Navy, Cradle of Naval Aviation, the City of Five Flags, Florida’s First Place City, the Gold Coast of Opportunity.

It took a long time, we’re making it right
Pensacola believes in the vision
We’ve come a long way, the future’s in sight
Pensacola believes in the magic

Look at Pensacola
Look at Pensacola
Look at Pensacola, the one to choose!

When you’re good the news gets around
Pensacola’s spirit, the heart of our town
Look at Pensacola — Pensacola — Look at us!

SPEAKING: A dream for the city that drew the first Spanish explorers here more than 400 years ago.

I believe in Pensacola — WOWW 107!

SPEAKING: A dream that continued until Andrew Jackson arrived from Tennessee and laid the boundaries for the modern city that we now call home.

Look at Pensacola — Pensacola — Look at us — 107!

We followed up with Shoemaker and asked him how he found the record and why he thought it was special enough to share:

How did you find the album and where?

I found the album about a year ago while plundering through one of the Navy Boulevard antique shops. I promptly forgot about it and it sat on a shelf for the past year. We recently purchased a turntable that converts vinyl albums into MP3’s, and this was the album that christened it.

Were you looking for it or were you just doing your normal thrift shopping?

I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. We go through the local antique stores every few months, and I always make a point to look through the sheet music and old albums. This one immediately caught my eye. I’m a sucker for old advertising jingles as well as old vinyl, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong for $1.00.

What did you think it was when you first found it?

I had a pretty good idea of what to expect just seeing the cover art and the production date of 1987. But the moment the needle scratched out those first synthesized drum beats, I knew I had struck gold. I was a music major in college, so I love most every genre of music. But I particular like the cheesy, close-harmony vocals of old advertising jingles and radio station call-signs. Let’s just call it a guilty pleasure — and this was right up my alley. It’s the perfect combination of Disney theme park music and 1980’s sitcom theme song. I recorded the first couple of songs, took some quick photos of the album art and uploaded the resulting video to YouTube to share. I actually have tried to reach out to the composer using the old contact information in the liner notes, to no avail. Mostly out of respect for his copyright, but also to let him know that somebody out there is still enjoying his work almost thirty years later.


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