Saturday, 7 April 2012

Nostalgia...4. My first record player

It looked pretty much like this one.  It was my Christmas present when I was around 12 years old.

I also remember the first record that I played on it.  An older cousin who knew I was getting the record player for Christmas, bought me an EP.  This was an extended play vinyl 45rpm record, which had 4 tracks on it.

It was Fats Domino.  I can only remember two of the tracks...Blueberry Hill and Walking to New Orleans.

It was the only record I had for months, so it was played over and over again..much to the annoyance of my parents.

I had a newspaper round at the time, so I started to save my money and buy more records.  The Beach Boys, The Animals, Georgie Fame, and a few years on, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

I also remember a boy who had moved in with the family next door.  It was a very sad story.  His name was Bobby and I think he was around 14 years old.  He and his younger sister Janet were from Canada.  Their parents had died in a car accident and the only relatives they had were the family next door to us in England.  So they took them in.  I felt so sorry for them.  It must have been such an awful time for them, being removed from their life in Canada and shipped over to England to live with people they hadn't even met.

I befriended Bobby, and he developed a crush on me.  He bought me a record....Bobby's Girl by Susan Maughan.   I was too young to be interested in boys and was somewhat embarrassed by the gesture, and I'm afraid I detached myself from Bobby from then on.  However, he did eventually start dating girls his own age, and he and his sister adapted to their new life quite happily.

I hadn't even thought about Bobby and his sister until I started typing this post about my record player.  Isn't it odd how something triggers a memory from the past?  I wonder where they are now?

I kept that record player until I left home.  It had a great deal of use and I have wonderful memories of sitting up in my bedroom with the window wide open to let the sun in, playing my records at full blast.  I bet the neighbours just loved me!

10 comments:

  1. I had a Dansette. I wired an extra speaker into it so that I could pretend I had a stereo. I remember a friend who was really grown up and had a job (in a record store). He bought round a copy of Led Zep 1 and my life was totally transformed!

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    1. Great memory omentide. Your mention of a record store reminds me of what they were like back in the day. They had small (almost) soundproofed cubicles where you listened to the records.

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  2. I did not have one...though I coveted them!
    The family was strong on gramophones...in huge walnut cabinets playing Count John McCormack....

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    1. Fly, those old gramaphones in wooden cabinets were beautiful. I have a vague recollection of there being one in our house for a short time. As I recall my father removed the insides from it and used the cabinet for storing something else..no doubt it was eventually chopped up for firewood...as were so many lovely pieces of furniture in those days.

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  3. Like Fly I didn't have a record player, though my parents had an old gramophone cabinet with a few 78s. I would have loved to have one as a teenager, but had to make do with Radio Luxemburg. :-)

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    1. Oh yes Perpetua...Radio Luxemburg. That brings back another memory. I had a friend with a transister radio which we used to listen to the station, although it took ages to tune it in and there was a lot of interference.

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  4. I remember those record players.....this sure is a "Blast from the Past". I went through several of them record players. We played them to the end. On our way to school there was a record store who sold these little 45rpm's....they were $1.00, used my allowance money on them. Over the years I must have collected a couple of hundred.......when we sold my parents home 5 years ago they were all boxed after all these years. I was so tired packing and sorting in that house for weeks that I just chucked them out. I told my brother what am I going to do with them, I was so tired.
    Love the Fats Domino Blueberry Hill song....lots of good songs in the old days. Now when I drive by the old record shop they have an Animal Shelter there....
    I can just imagine you blasting the music real loud....yes you probably were remembered by the neigbours. I have one next door she blasts Justin Bieber songs.

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    1. Erica I'm sure your 45rpm record collection would be quite valuable today.

      Hmm...Justin Bieber. Well I guess it's all part of being a teenager..playing music at full blast. We all did it!

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    2. Funny Justin Bieber's hometown is only a town away from where I was born, but left when I was 2 years old. Who would think he would become so popular..... we also threw out a ton of albums. I think being overly tired with that house and two ill parents that we just trashed lots of stuff......that house was really big and accumulated stuff over 35 years. Lots of Beatles albums, I think we had them all, oh well too late now.

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    3. We just don't think about what's likely to be valuable in the future Erica. I have thrown out loads of stuff over the years which would have been worth something now.

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