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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why I collect records, vinyl, that is

Left is the original jacket cover;  Right is the cover after the plane crash

       This weekend, we reconnected our old turntable to the amp and speakers.  Between my husband and me and garage sales, we have quite a large collection of 331/2 vinyl records. I've read there's a revival of interest in vinyl.  Yes, there's some scratchy sounds and a loss of tone that we get on the same CD recordings, but there's something else that makes it impossible to dispose of them.  I  enjoy looking at the album art and notes, holding the records, placing them on the turntable, and mostly remembering my youth when those records were so important.
        CD's and other recorded forms just don't have the same history as vinyl.  Here I'm looking at two Lynyrd Skynard albums of "Street Survivors."  One shows the group enveloped in flames and the other shows them in the very same clothes posing in a line, sans flames.  The flames photo was in the record shops only a few days before their plane crashed and killed and injured many of the group.  Seeing the flames was too hard to take and the album with the second photo replaced it.  I have both albums.  I was lucky to find the first one at a garage sale. It has classic Skynard hits, "What's Your Name," "That Smell,"  "One More Time."
        Since the group formed in Jacksonville and played at local venues before fame got them, we claim the group as our own and our main contribution to Southern Rock.
        Then there's "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," with a jacket showing Dylan and his girl friend walking arm in arm on a snowy city street.  A VW van is parked in the background.  Bob looks skinny and young and perhaps innocent, but maybe not.  The record is monaural, "guaranteed high fidelity."  Many of Dylan's best are on this recording:  "Blowin' in the wind," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," "Don't Think Twice."
Who could not love it!!
         "The Age of Aquarius" recorded by The 5th Dimension has a photo spread that covers both sides of the jacket on the inside.  The photo is a study in clothes and customs of the 1970's.  The skirts are short and the pants flared.  Members of the group are pictured with what else, a horoscope sign under their names.  So 1970's!

          One of the oldest of our records pictures a very young Nancy Sinatra in a sexy pose, but completely covered in stripped leggings, stripped tee, very short skirt and high boots on the jacket cover of "Boots."  I have to confess this 1960's recording, especially"These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" greatly influenced my youthful impression of what a woman could do.  She certainly wouldn't let any man walk over her and as a matter of fact, "these boots are gonna walk" all over him  if he's "been messin' where he ought not to have been messin".  The album also includes "Day Tripper," "So Long Babe," "It Ain't Me Babe."  The songs were empowering to women in the '60's.  We didn't know we could have such power.

          I could go through all the albums in my collection with a story for each one, but you wouldn't want to read all that.  Just let it be said, collecting albums is good.  Try it for lots of trips down Memory Lane, some history lessons, or if you're really young, a new experience, but you'd better hurry.  I haven't seen any good albums at garage sales in a long time.


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