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boxes The View from My Cup

cupThe view from my cup…record albums. While eating at our favorite bookstore/coffee house my significant other was perusing their old record albums and found this gem. I’m pretty sure I used to own this particular one back in the day. And look who produced it – K-Tel! Remember them? K-Tel was quite likely the original ‘as seen on TV’ company. Seeing that old album made me think of music things from days gone by.

My first purchase of a record was a 45. I amassed quite a collection of those before venturing into the album world. I had several plastic cases that held the single song gems. Sometimes I found the song on the reverse a better tune than the featured cut. My little record player had an insert that accommodated the larger center hole, but for the family stereo there were little adapters that fit in the center of the record.

My mother had a sizeable collection of 78’s. Between the size of the 45 (7”) and 33 1/3 (12”), they were ten inches in diameter and weighed somewhere south of ten pounds each. I might exaggerate a tad, but they were quite weighty!

Things my son’s generation typically don’t have personal knowledge of include: listening to a transistor radio, a car radio with only five or six push buttons for station selection, flipping through bins of albums in a record store, tightening the reels of a cassette with a pencil, shoving an eight track tape into a slot the size of a grilled cheese sandwich, or quite likely even knowing what AM radio is about.

I remember seeing my first compact disc in the mid 80’s. A friend was over-the-top excited about the awesome sound quality of CDs over vinyl albums. Then a CD cost around thirty dollars each! I wasn’t so impressed. The cover was tiny. I was used to a large format with great artwork. Pink Floyd, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer and the like. Not only did you get great music, you had artwork that stretched the imagination. A CD seemed too small to deliver the total package.

A more recent music thing that has basically gone away is MTV and other music video stations. I enjoyed seeing artist’s videos, how they presented their music, what they looked like. Reality television crept in, and music fans of my generation slipped out.

What is a favorite music memory of your past?