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Big Chuck

February 10, 2014

And the music goes round and round

The day has finally arrived.

I read recently that vinyl records are making a comeback. Hallelujah! For the first time in years, several major artists are releasing music on vinyl as well as on the usual delivery platforms. I gave up trying to keep current with the music options at compact discs. Never owned an iPod. Never downloaded a song on the Internet. I’ve never put my favorite songs in a cloud. Whatever that is.

But the return of vinyl makes my heart skip a 33-and-a-third beat.

Unfortunately, now that the vinyl revolution is about to be waged again, I find my musical quiver to be woefully lacking. After moving my old record player around for years, I finally got rid of it. So I have to buy a new one if I am about to rejoin the music front lines.

I do have my record albums, however. I could never get rid of them. They followed me from high school to today. I just love them, and they are the touchstones to my past as much as any old photograph is.

What I miss most from when vinyl surrendered to 20th century innovations is their size. We do live in a smaller-is-better world today. But as far as a big, old vinyl album, there was nothing quite like it.

I enjoyed putting my brand-new Beach Boys album on that little silvery needle that stood in the middle of my record player and then switching it on. I would take my place on the floor and begin to read the album cover while listening to “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “I Get Around.” The entire back of an old record album was filled with a wealth of trivia and information. It was great.

And the album covers themselves. Works of art! The iconic Andy Warhol yellow banana painting on the 1967 Velvet Underground album. Cool. How about the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band?” My friends and I tried to pick out as many celebrities featured in that famous cover as we could. I gave up after Lenny Bruce, Marilyn Monroe, W.C. Fields and cowboy actor Tom Mix.

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Big Chuck

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