Monday, October 22, 2007

His Master's Voice...
As far back as I can remember I've loved records. Especially records that went really fast. When I was a toddler I used to take 45s and put them on the knobs of the cabinets in the kitchen and spin them around pretending that they were playing music.

My love of 78's began just as early. I had a small number of them that my mother had sitting around the house. Andrew Sisters, Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, etc. I used to listen to them for hours. By the I was about twelve, it well known what a record nut I was in my family. I remember really clearly, as if it were yesterday going to my Uncle Bruno's house, and him telling me he had a present for me. A nieghbor had died and the family threw out boxes of 78's, mostly of 1920's dance music. Really old and heavy with fabulous labels and the feel that any second they were going to crumble in to dust. For the first time I had something that was completely mine.

There was a radio show on FM in the afternoons hosted by Dick Lawrence a local DJ. He used to play 78's, and I started to call (bug/annoy) him. Soon I was taking the bus downtown with bags filled with old records that he would look over and then play the best ones on the air. I would get a credit at the end of the show; Ironically, years later when I worked for This American Life I got the same credit at the end of that show, "Music Supplied by..."


Going to the Mammoth Music Mart, estate and garage sales, I accumulated quite a number of 78's (1000+); And I learned three things: they are heavy to move, break easily and are impossible to store. So I started to transfer them to MP3's. It took almost three years to finish the transferring. Recently I had a disaster; The folder I had them stored in was deleted. I have no idea how this happened, but they are gone. I had made a back-up but I gave it to someone who is out of state and I can't get it back right now. Years of work may be gone, unless somehow I get it back. Which seems doubtful. Egads...

The reason this all came to mind is I came across this guy on youtube who not only transferring his 78's but videotaping them and posting them on YouTube. This was a long rant just to say: Check these out... there is nothing like the sound of a heavy needle digging it's way through shellac to produce catch tunes.


4 comments:

Aaron said...

Vinyl's making something of a comeback now...I don't think we'll ever see 78s again, but I remember the smell of my parents' record albums after they were locked in the cabinet. And the pictures. It was like opening another world...books and records, it's all I ever needed!

Where was I going with this? Oh right, CD jackets are nice, but the pictures are too small...

Mike Lynch said...

Man oh man, I am so sorry that your MP3 file is gone and that the back up may be gone as well. I hope that you can recover all those files.

Anonymous said...

Youtube videos of records playing? hmmm..not the most visually enticing thing to show.

Airedale

mikaela.gauer@gmail.com said...

Hi there! Love this image of the kid with the records. Is it yours? If so, would love to discuss using it in a magazine we are publishing. Please contact me at your earliest convenience - mikaela@smalltalkpublishing.com. Thanks!