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The Magic of Vinyl.

dc411d05-5332-4a62-9d8c-6218072e2bdd_1.06c9e58cd986363f52bc9ed61400410fLast week I spent the best $49 of my life. I bought a turntable. My old rack system has been retired for many years, and my significant vinyl collection of 45s and LPs have sat idle. I shifted to cassettes in the 80s, CDs in the 90s, and then like most people to digital music this century. (PS My sophomore college roommate, Curt Mildner, remembers I had a quad system back at Rutgers in 1971).

DancingNow I am going back, way back, to listening to vinyl and I am loving it. My spiffy new “Jensen Stereo Turntable with Built-In Speakers and Speed Adjustment” has allowed me to do so. That’s a long name for a $49 product. It’s already given me hundreds of dollars of pleasure. I’ve already listened to many of my personal favorite 45s on my turntable–Dancing in the Moonlight, More Today than Yesterday, Brandy, 98.6 and many others.

What the process of using a turntable has reminded me of is the joy of interaction/engagement with music that vinyl provided. The “needle drop” (and alas the subsequent vinyl scratches) were all part of the process of listening to music. The selection of the song, the cut of the album took time and consideration, not a millisecond fast forward that digital allows. I rediscovered the snap, crackle and pop from excessive play in past years. In fact, I instantly recall the places in songs of my 45s and LPs where the crackle, or pop existed, as if it were a key part of the song.

Hum with StrumThe process also reminded me of the power of radio in yesteryear to introduce new songs and albums. It’s why I rushed over to WRSU in my first week as a freshman to become a DJ and why I enjoyed doing overnights/weekends later at WDHA in the 80s. The idea of being paid for playing rock & roll records was mind blowing to me. OK I wasn’t paid much $6/hour at that time—but I was a “professional”. And I made overtime on Christmas, when a Jewish disc jockey was in high demand. Radio was my first media love.

Music was a big part of my life in the 60s and 70s, and I suspect most people who grew up in that era felt the same. I associated people, places and events to the music of the era. The “new album” by hot bands was a big deal and the rock stations would hype the new tunes and put the albums/songs into heavy rotation. And jocks had some creativity to the selection of their music, making listening to a particular jock an individual experience. Alas, those days are gone in today’s digitized, homogenized radio world. But vinyl lives on.

Thank you Jensen for providing me the opportunity to reconnect with my vinyl.




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3 Comments

  1. [...] their vinyl collections stored away. Marketing consultant Lonny Strum recently wrote in his blog Strumings about re-experiencing the joy of a turntable needle drop, saying “What the process of using a [...]

  2. Kevin Kane says:

    Hello Lonny,
    I linked to this blog post of yours from an online article that Chuck McLeester wrote. And I’m glad that I did. This was a great post — it brought back all kinds of music and music-listening memories. Thanks for sharing this “throwback” to a time when listening to the latest song/album was a social event, shared with others with similar tastes in artists/genres or who just wanted to experience something new.

    Happy holidays,
    Kevin

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