Friday, February 3, 2012

In which I discuss records.

I've spent some time over the past couple of evenings listening through some new (to me) records.

When one of our neighbors found out that I listen to and collect records, she said for me to come by and look through a stack of hers and see if there were any I wanted. I came home with about ten, though I'm not sure yet if I'll keep all of them.

I did get a few that I'm really excited about: a Doris Day one, a Bing Crosby's greatest hits, and a Bing and Rosemary Clooney one (which is lovely! They sound great together and have a Crosby/Hope style banter going on in a couple of the songs).

Sometimes good things come from being a twenty year old with unusual interests. :) I've been given quite a few records (though I ended up donating some to Goodwill). And several months ago, a lady who works at the farmer's market gave me a whole bag full of Aida cloth and other cross stitching supplies. That was so nice, because those supplies can be expensive.

Of course I listen to CDs and my iPod, but there's something magical about records. I might sound like a complete nerd by saying this, but pulling a shiny record out of its sleeve and playing it on a record player is so much better than pushing a button and instantly hearing sound. I love hearing the crackling and the character behind the music.

I also want to talk about album covers. I know that you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I do. I love beautiful books and I'm drawn to them. Same thing with records.

Honestly, there are some ugly album covers out there. If you've ever browsed at the Goodwill, you know what I mean.

This is a good album cover.

It's yellow. It has Audrey Hepburn. The whole square with the title is gorgeous. The album cover (and soundtrack itself) ties in with the awesome movie it comes from. Though I've always thought that the film title is a little misleading.

This is a bad album cover.

This is quite possibly the best (or at least my favorite) Glenn Miller record I own. But I can't for the life of me figure out the cover. The colorful fringe reminds me of Mexico, and the blue cloudy center with the red-white-and-blue font reminds me of some 70s Lynyrd Skynyrd record. It does not make me think of classy 40s big band music.

There's also the fact that, in my experience with records, it's hard to know exactly what you're getting. They're not always clearly labeled with years, whether they're reissues or not, whether they're original recordings or altered. I always look for original big band recordings, but I have unintentionally come home with some strange stuff.

Once I bought a Glenn Miller album that supposedly contained the original recordings, but there was percussion and things added in the background to make it sound more "modern." It was not good. Or the Benny Goodman record where something like a xylophone is so prominent in every song that I can hardly tell what the tune is (maybe it's supposed to be like that, I don't know). Or the time I bought a "That's Entertainment" two record set that, instead of including the original songs, has them recorded by some choral group that makes every song sound almost exactly the same.

All I'm saying is that I never spend more than a couple of dollars on records, because there's a chance that I'll be redonating them to Goodwill in a couple of weeks. :) It's about time for me to weed through my collection again and get rid of the ones I never listen to.

Don't you wish you could still get about 10 songs for 49 cents? :)

If you like records, too, be sure to check out this video of how they're made. I love how the vinyl squishes out between the two presses- I never imagined it that way. :)

And finally, here are a couple of songs that have made me smile this week. If you're not a fan of or familiar with Bing Crosby, they probably won't mean very much to you, but I like them.

Put It There, Pal- Bing Crosby and Bob Hope

I love these guys together- they're hilarious. :) This song is great because of how they poke fun at each other, just like in the Road to... films. I prefer this one, the recorded version, because the lyrics are funnier. But the original film version is here.

Moonlight Bay- Bing and Gary Crosby

I know the stories, but I don't know what their real life relationship was like. All I know is that their songs together are great.

Do you listen to records?

Until next time,


  1. That Clooney/Crosby album is AWESOME, you will love it! I have it on CD. :)

  2. What a great collection! I adore the Aubrey cover. I had a collection but it was lost in a flood last year. Perhaps I need to start again. :)


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