It was the late sixties before I had regular access to a record player. My parents, for reasons I never fully understood, did not own one. For years I put this down to an extreme form of Evangelical Faith which thought that anything that your body might enjoy should, by default, be bad for your soul. I later discovered that it was more to dowith the fact that they’d never got round to buying one. When this happened finally my sister’s friend gave us a great gift – most of the Beatles 45’s up to that point. (they’d moved on)
Every single and LP we could find was played on that record player. Christmas compilations – step forward Gene Autrey and Jim Reeves – Christian singers and pianists – that’s you George Beverley Shea and all the pop music we could afford. But there was also the random element of records brought over by cousins and forgotten about. (I want to apologise to my cousin Brian now for failing to return the Thunderclap Newman album.) There were also comedy records and children’s EP’s – I had a Scalextrics sound affects single which made the noise of a Grand Prix while you raced your cars. There was an oft-spun JoHnny Morris reading Thomas The Tank Engine……..oh I could go on.
The key to it all was the record player. The fun bit was making a playlist: you stacked as many singles as you could on top and they played one after the other then you flipped the whole pile over and played the B sides. Albums could be stacked too but with mixed effects…after about twenty they started to slide a bit.
It’s with this in mind that we celebrate Vinyl Night again this Friday on Another Country. Old records – Dottie West, Glen Campbell, Tammy Wynette – new records – Doug Paisley, Howler and some rather brilliant re issues of recent AC faves…Patty Griffin. You’ll hear some static, the odd wow and indeed flutter and certainly a scratch or two – but that’s the sound of the needle going down and you’ll know it’s vinyl because it sounds so damned great.
Did I mention this one?
You see…so many great things coming your way.
We start Side One at Five past Eight on Friday. BBC Radio Scotland. Join us if you can.