The evolution of Lynn's Fleetwood Records

March 10, 2012
By Sarah Mupo/The Daily Item

The former Fleetwood Records of Lynn and Revere has changed course dramatically since capturing the sounds of the 1967 Red Sox ‘Impossible Dream’ season on vinyl, as well as Boston Celtics announcer Johnny Most’s famous call, “Havlicek stole the ball!”

Wayne Terminello started the company by recording drum and bugle corps, along with sports highlights and auto racing more than 25 years ago. And the 61-year-old Nahant resident said he’s happy with what the company has become today, Fleetwood Media Productions.

Terminello travels the country with his staff around three times a month to record professional conferences, which can range anywhere from a gathering of dental workers to romance writers. The company captures audio and video from a particular conference and then integrates any

Wayne Terminello, president of Fleetwood Media Productions (formerly Fleetwood Records), displays some of his company’s popular old records at his office in Lynn.
Wayne Terminello, president of Fleetwood Media Productions (formerly Fleetwood Records), displays some of his company’s popular old records at his office in Lynn. (Item Photo / Angela Owens)

PowerPoint presentations from the event to create a multimedia retrospective of the conference for its client.

Fleetwood Records got its start in 1958 on founder Raymond Samora’s front porch on Fayette Street in Lynn, Terminello said. Samora’s relative, recording engineer Dick Blake, came to Samora and his business partner Vin Giarrusso, with the idea to record performances by drum and bugle corps. The pair fronted Blake money for recording equipment, and Terminello said that the initial success of the business led to the Fleetwood Records team traveling around the country recording drum and bugle corps competitions.

The success also prompted Fleetwood Records to move to Revere in 1960, where the company converted a supermarket at 321 Revere St. into a studio space, Terminello said. The building, although no longer used by Fleetwood for its current business, still has the original signage on the front.

The niche market Fleetwood Records had created hit a roadblock in around 1972, Terminello said, when the Drum Corps International union was formed. The union established regulations that prevented outside companies, like Fleetwood Records, from recording the drum and bugle corps, he said.

“They didn’t want outside companies. They wanted to do their own thing. They wanted to record themselves and keep all the money,” Terminello said.

But Fleetwood Records had other projects that kept it afloat. In the early days of the company, which coincided with the advent of stereo audio, Fleetwood Records released vinyl of the sounds of auto racing. Terminello said Blake was a car lover, and suggested that Fleetwood capitalize on the new ability to make it sound like cars were passing by a listener as the sound traveled across the two channels.

After five or six years, Terminello said, the company stopped producing the sounds of audio racing records, which were captured from races like the Indianapolis 500.

“First of all, the sounds of racing, how long can you listen to the roar of the engines going around the track? [And] [s]tereo was not new anymore. It wasn’t cool. It was like 3-D, I guess, today. We weren’t telling a story with the racing. We were just playing the sounds of racing,” he said.

Fleetwood Records’ most lucrative project during its run was sports highlights records that recounted different championship teams or important sports moments. “Havlicek Stole the Ball” was the first album the company released in 1966, which told the story of the Boston Celtics’ championship seasons from 1956-1966. With each sports highlights record, Terminello said, Fleetwood Records would bring the announcer who called the games during the successful season into the Revere studio and edit together the announcer’s commentary with radio footage from actual games.

The sports records stayed popular until the mid-1980s, Terminello said, until they met a similar fate to the drum and bugle corps albums.

“Same thing happened: ESPN, all the networks, the leagues, they started to say, ‘Hey, if anyone’s going to make money on releasing highlights of sports, then it’s going to be us. So we were no longer allowed to make highlight albums,” he said. “They took over the rights to it.”

When Samora retired in 1980, he sold the company to Terminello, who had been working with the company since 1965 when he was a teenager in the IC Reveries drum and bugle corps, which formed out of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in his native Revere.

“For me it was like heaven on earth. I’m working for the company and I love drum corps, and they produce drum corps. And I’m a sports fan. ... I always felt like I had the greatest job on earth,” Terminello said.

Once the sports recordings were phased out, Terminello said he shifted the business into cassette duplication, making copies of corporate training tapes and radio advertisement jingles recorded at the studio. Terminello said he would also get calls all the time about the old albums and whether or not they would be re-released. A big fire at the Revere studio in 1975 destroyed the reel-to-reel masters of the drum and bugle corps and sports recordings, Terminello said, and he had to disappoint the nostalgic callers.

When CDs became popular in the ‘90s, Terminello said he became committed to tracking down Fleetwood Records’ back collection and putting the recordings on CD.

For the sports records he did not have, Terminello said he went on eBay to find the rest. For the drum and bugle corps albums, Terminello said he teamed up with Long Island resident Glenn Kubacki, who was a part of the Hawthorne Caballeros drum and bugle corps of Hawthorne, N.J. Terminello said Kubacki is an audiophile and was remastering Fleetwood’s drum and bugle corps recordings for his own use when he was contacted in 1998.

“[Kubacki] went through every album, took out the nicks and the scratches, and he would send me the completed master. I would take the album covers and photograph them and get them down to CD,” Terminello said.

Terminello said he started the process of converting Fleetwood Records’ catalog to CD in the mid-1990s, and finally finished the task last year. All of the CDs are now available online, and Terminello said he sells about 100 per month.

“It’s a good amount, considering the age of the product and we’re still reaching new people who didn’t realize the product was out there,” he said.

In the early ‘90s, when his projects no longer necessitated a recording space, Terminello said he moved the business to a smaller location in Lynn. He first settled on Munroe Street, but then moved to 20 Wheeler St. in 2000.

Terminello said he loves his new business of conference recording because he gets to continue the type of work he began many years ago, but now with a new subject.

“I’m happy that happened,” he said. “I know there was no hope in continuing in the drum and bugle corps and sports.”

Sarah Mupo can be reached at

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