As I write about music and my life, I thought I better include images and descriptions of the devices I used to listen to it. A number of my followers don’t know about these “historic” methods! Above is a child’s phonograph just like the one my brother and I shared in the early 1950’s. It had one speed only–78 rpm, you had to place the needle by hand on the record and remove it at the end of the song, and you had to turn the record over to play the other side.
We had a number of favorites including “Little White Duck” by Burl Ives.
We listened to these songs over and over and treated the records very casually. This often resulted in “skips” which made the needle get stuck and play the same phrase over and over. I realize that in much contemporary music a phrase is endlessly repeated and seen as appealing. I always think I want to reach over and move the needle. Which of course is impossible when the music is coming from a speaker in Target!
My brother was a very late talker.(The speculation is that I never gave him a chance to get a word in edgewise.) His nursery school teacher was concerned, but my mother wasn’t. She said he could always shuffle through the records, pick out the one he wanted and sing along contentedly. The joke in our family was that he didn’t speak until he wanted the butter passed to him. At any rate, once he started, he never slowed down.
Last year I wanted to listen to some of those old records, but realized I didn’t have any way to play them. It took a while, but I did find a turntable that plays all three speeds of my old records:78,45 and 33 1/3. My grandson is very impressed with the device, though he didn’t know the words record, phonograph or record player until I taught them to him. Wait until I try to explain 8 tracks. But that has to wait a while in this series of posts.