1st In A Series: Joe's Dad's Records

:: I Couldn't Take It ::

:: Changing Life ::

A friend at work came in the other day with a big paper grocery sack
full of 78s. The records weren't in sleeves or anything, just tossed
into a double bag with nothing but the good Lord to protect them. Joe
came into my cubicle with a sly look on his face. "I have to show you
something", he said and then produced the bag. He asked, "Can you play
33s?". I was already in a state of shock after one look at the
contents of the bag, but his question forced a hasty 2nd look. "These
are 78s", I said. "Oh yeah, that's what I meant". "Where'd you get
these?", I asked somehow already knowing the answer. "They were my
Dad's", Joe said. "They were in the shed like that for years, so I
thought you might want to take a look at them". "Hell yes!", I said.

I gingerly pulled out a couple of records. They were in bad shape. An
Ellington record. A Louis Armstrong record. Then a Wynonie Harris, and
a Mabel Scott. "Hmmm...", I thought.

Joe said I could have them if I'd digitize the good ones for him.
Well, that's a no brainer of a deal. The responsibilty of it all is a
bit overwhelming, but that's ok. I still have no idea what to do with
them other than slowly making my way through, cleaning them as well as
I can and finding the best way to get the audio out of the well worn
(and quite frankly abused) grooves.

I went through about 10 of them the other night (I think there are
between 50 and 75 records in the bag), and this one really caught my
ear. I can't find hardly anything about the singer, Lee Wynn, so this
is one of those posts where I'm looking at you, dear reader to help
fill in the blanks. Sorry the b-side is scratched, but the a-side
sounds great. For all I know, this thing's worth bucks to somebody.
I'm just happy to liberate it from the sack and give it it's own 10"
sleeve and a nice shelf to sit on.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:13:00 PM

Sorry I don't have any info handy about Lee Wynn, but I enjoyed the music, and especially enjoyed your story. I'll look forward to more of the Joe's Dad's collection.

There's something very definitely magical about 78s, in particular 'random' records like the ones in your sack . As we get further removed from a tactile experience in listening to recorded music, what emanates from the worn grooves of a dusty old 78 is full of history, mystery, and enchantment.

Part of the glory of 78s is that when people get the word that you collect them, the discs begin to come to you. Some people are only too happy to pass that box in the basement your way, especially if you can give some of their relative's collection a good home.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007 7:38:00 AM

Thanks! The good home part is the part I'm worried about, but I'll take care of them somehow.    

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:35:00 AM

When my mom-in-law dumped a bunch of 78s on me before uprooting and moving to Texas, I went out and got me this cheap little player that does CDs, Cassettes, radio, and vinyl at 33, 45 and 78 rpms.

I still have no interest to digitize the songs (I applaud you Mike!), because (like a reader above says) there's something very nostalgic/magical about pulling out old 78 records and dancing around the living room.

Color me Old.    

Monday, August 27, 2007 4:46:00 PM

Crosley also makes a model just like your link, but it is a little higher priced because the CD is a player AND recorder. It lets you burn your old LPs to cassette OR CD.

No luck here on lee wynn either, or the Chromatics. I did find a little bit about the Monroe Tucker Orch. on Crest Records, but that was about it. Sorry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 2:53:00 AM

Thanks - any chance for a re-up?    

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:07:00 AM

krobigraubart - what's your email? I've got the digitized tracks.

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