I heard on the radio news this morning that this is Vinyl Record Day. That got me looking around my apartment at two very different kinds of record albums: the skinny 33 1/3 RPM ones I collected as I was growing up, but also the record albums I inherited from my dad.
Those record albums taught me the origin of the word. They’re as thick as scrapbooks. (Maybe a photo of them will work for a follow-up post or comment; not today, so on with verbal descriptions.)
Inside the covers of the albums, like an index to a scrapbook, there are places for Titles and Artists. I keep them in order of the way they’re written in my dad’s precise handwriting, a different record in each pocket. Some are 45 RPMs, with the huge holes in the middle that people my age (never mind) will remember filling with plastic gadgets. The larger album holds heavier records I barely recognized when I first got them out after many years — very heavy, one song per side, and probably glass as often as vinyl. They’re 78 RPMs.
Luckily, my phonograph (that’s record player, kids) is only a few years old. That’s how I wound up with these treasures alongside my CDs.
So next time you think of someone’s new album, spare a thought for how they started — as great, thick books that have saved a great deal of music.
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