Vinyl What? (part two)

IMG_20150403_142356046If you read my post from this past Wednesday, you already know that I’m talking about record albums, which I recently discovered are being made again and found some of for sale at my local Barnes & Noble store.

As an adult, I especially enjoyed my parents’ college graduation present, a subscription to the Columbia Record Club. Are you old enough to remember that? By signing up to buy a certain number of albums over a certain period of time, the subscriber could select a huge number of free albums starting out. That really got my album collection going strong.

My musical interests became more eclectic over the years. I fell in love with the music from Windham Hill’s multitude of talented artists, although I’ve always regretted–no, actually, I’ve always resented–the fact that the music industry labeled that kind of music as “New Age.” I preferred the designation of “Yuppy elevator music.”

My record collection outgrew the available indoor storage space, so I moved a number of albums to the shed. A shed that wasn’t leak-proof. Many of my favorites were ruined when the covers got soaked and stuck to the records themselves, but some were salvageable.

When my first wife and I divorced, I helped her move some things to a storage facility–a water-proof one! Since most of my albums were in the way at the time, I put them in storage along with the things my ex- was taking to Illinois.

Only too late did I realize I’d failed to rescue them before the move. Almost all of my albums went to Illinois, where she gave them to her uncle, who sold them at yard sales. Gone forever were my seventy or eighty Windham Hill albums.

Although I missed my records, I was joining the CD craze, so it wasn’t that much of an issue. Not until I found out how many of the old albums weren’t available on CD–oh, do I miss the Charlie Bird album, Delicately!–did I realize the extent of my losses.

Fortunately, I still had some of my albums, and one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten was a record player that connects to the computer and allows mp3 files to be created from records. It does a fantastic job.

Tell me. Will I return to Barnes & Noble to spend two to three times what albums used to cost? And would you? How about leaving a comment?

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Family Christian Stores. Go HERE for links to those places.
Tentative-Front-Cover
Best regards,
Roger

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Vinyl What? (part one)

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When I was in a Barnes & Noble store recently, I saw a sign that made me do a double-take and head for the small table it was sitting on. Amazing! Were they making those things again?

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. A friend in Australia had once told me that records have much better sound quality than CDs. Although skeptical, I tucked that fact–or perhaps it was just his opinion–away in a seldom-accessed part of my memory.

I’d certainly had a long love affair with vinyl recordings.

While I was still a pre-teen, the church my father pastored gave us a nice stereo. Our first one. I’ll never forget heading to a record store with just enough money to buy four or five 45 rpm records. Since I’d started listening to popular music on the radio sometime previously, I knew just what I wanted.

I bought the Everly Brothers’ “Bird Dog,” Sheb Woolley’s “Purple People Eater,” and Elvis’s “Hardheaded Woman.” I can’t recall what else I got, but I left the store feeling pretty embarrassed. A friend had told me to ask for records recorded only on one side. He said they were cheaper. And I believed him. Oh, did the store clerk laugh at me.

Over the years I continued building my collection of 45 rpm records and added the first two albums by popular guitarist Duane Eddie to my collection. I’ll never forget taking a car trip with my parents with one of those albums on the floor of the back seat. Turned out something in the exhaust system was faulty and its heat came through the floorboard and melted my precious album. As devastated as I was, I have to credit my parents for making things right again by buying a replacement album.

I was starting to get tired of pop rock during the early sixties, and when the Beatles came to the United States the first time and I saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show, I was not only not impressed; I was depressed. Was this what rock had come to?

I traded my entire collection of 45s for an album a friend had. Not one of my better trades. As much as I love movie music, the music from “Lawrence of Arabia” did nothing for me. Oh, well.

My parents had a good collection of classical albums, and I enjoyed listening to those.

But then folk music started becoming popular, and I started buying records again. Mostly albums. Pete Seeger. The Chad Mitchell Trio. The Kingston Trio. The Brothers Four. Leadbelly. Ian and Sylvia.

At a concert in college I was introduced to the Pozo Seco Singers. (I wouldn’t learn until years later that one of the guys would become well-known as a soloist, Don Williams. I’ve recently begun corresponding on Facebook with Susan Taylor, the group’s only woman.) I almost wore their records out.

I hope I’m not boring you with this trip down memory lane. When I decided to write about finding vinyl albums at Barnes and Noble, I had no idea I was going to share my personal history with records. And I think I’ve already said enough for one day. I’ll finish this topic on Sunday.

Are you old enough to remember records? What were your favorites? Do you have any special memories you associate with them? Please share with a comment.

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If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Family Christian Stores. Go HERE for links to those places.
Tentative-Front-Cover
Best regards,
Roger