Monday, April 25, 2016

An Old Timer's Music Collection

In 1958, I bought some Jerry Lee Lewis 45 singles, Whole Lot of Shakin' and Crazy Arms, and two Harry Belafonte albums, Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean and Belafonte. This was the start of a collection that at one time numbered in the thousands of albums and dozens of eps and singles. I never did know the exact number. When I loved an artist, such as Buddy Holly or Chuck Willis, I watched for new songs from them and tried to buy as many as I could. Living on the road, as I did, much of the time, I lost some along the way. In the 1970s, my first wife loaned half of them to somebody she barely knew and he vanished with them.

One day, in 1965, I saw The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, in a record store. The credits showed him to have written most of his stuff, including Blowing in the Wind and Don't Think Twice. I figured, "Anybody that can write those songs has to be good," and bought it, unheard. After catching his show in Long Beach, CA, I vowed to follow him as an artist the rest of my life. The same thing happened to make me a fan of Judy Collins, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Leonard Cohen, except I never got to see them.

I bought all of Harry Belafonte, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buffy Sainte-Marie's albums through their most fertile times. And, still have most of them.

Some that I loved then have me wondering, now, What was I thinking? Frank Zappa's records hold no interest whatsoever, but I was collecting and listening to him for a long time.

Country music? Lots of it. Hank Williams was my first ever favorite artist, when I was ten. Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakum doing Streets of Bakersfield. George Jones. Don Gibson is my favorite country singer.

Ray Charles. Georgia and I Can't Stop Loving You, in particular.

Nat King Cole.

I miss being able to listen to vinyl records. The sound is so much more rewarding. I bought a couple of rubber band driven turntables, but they are garbage. One day I hope to get a nice direct drive model, something that really works.

I no longer go through old records at resale shops, but there are still some nice ones to be had. One of my last and best such acquisitions was a wonderful collection of all of Fats Domino's hits.

I am editing to say, I culled many albums over the past ten years, due to space limitations and the thought I will never listen to certain ones again, anyway.

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