Wait! There’s another side?
One day not too long ago, a mother was feeling nostalgic and pulled out her grandfather’s record player and began flipping through the records until one stood out amongst the others. The teenage daughter that was also in the room asked to see the album cover and sleeve insert. The mother removed the record from the sleeve and put the record onto the record player. As she lifted the needle and then gently set the needle onto the record, a series of crackles and a buzzing sound emanated from the speaker commanding attention. The mother and daughter made small talk until the last song played and the familiar crackle sound returned followed by static. The mother asked the daughter to turn the record over to play the songs on the other side. The daughter replied in shock, “Wait! There’s another side? With more songs?” Yes, records have songs on both sides! Since record sales began declining in the 1970’s, most kids born after 1990 has most likely never seen or heard music from a record.
The first recorded sound was way back in 1877. Thomas Edison recorded Mary had a little lamb onto an invention he made called a phonograph. A decade later, the gramophone was invented that could record and play back sounds, and by the turn of the century, the victrola aka the talking machine, was a piece of furniture in many homes. The 1900’s brought many inventions to how people could listen to music including, records, vinyl, 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, CD’s, and MP3 players. The turn of the following century, the year 2000, brought us music on cellphones, virtually eliminating the need for any of music’s predecessors.
It is easy to take music for granted these days, as music is everywhere we go. Music plays softly in the background while grocery shopping, walking in the mall, working out in the gym, and even while we are driving. Music has become background noise in our fast-paced life. These days, access to music is easier than ever, just pull up a song on a cellphone or ask Alexa to play some music. There was a time when people had to make their own music if they wanted to hear a song. Families would gather around a campfire and sing songs, and maybe someone had brought a guitar to add harmony to the songs. Most often, people would sing songs for entertainment at weddings, parties, and holiday events. Music always had a way of bringing smiles, warming hearts, and making everything better.
These days, many stores are once again selling records, and the stores are reporting that records outsell CD’s. This begs the question, why have records become popular again? Maybe, playing a record provides a connection to the past, prompting memories of loved ones that have long since passed away. Playing a record is purposeful, flipping through each album to find the perfect one, forcing the listener to slow down and enjoy the moment. The act of choosing a record and then putting the record onto the turntable, makes music an activity and no longer just background noise. The record sleeve provided a place for the musician to tell a story or share information about the songs, giving the listener a connection to the musician. The best place to find records/albums is an antique store, as the records are the ones that were originally released and not a remake. Simply Vintage Marketplace in Mason, Michigan has a wide variety of albums to choose from.