The Phonograph

Vinyl is making a comeback.

The first recorded sound was Thomas Edison’s voice, captured on phonograph in 1877 reciting part of the nursery rhyme song “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Then, ten years later Emile Berliner created the first device that recorded and played back sound using a flat disc, which became the forerunner of the modern vinyl record.

Over the next six decades records and record players were improved and standardized and by the 1970s, record player technology had evolved to the point where it has changed little in the last 50 years.

During that time cassette and eight-track tapes came and went. Then CDs came along followed by MP3 players, which were replaced by cell phones that now control the audio and video media we now consume.

Now, vinyl is making a comeback and Tami got me one of those vintage-looking phonograph/record players and a couple of vinyl albums for Father’s Day this year. I had not paid much attention to the vinyl revival because I really enjoy the high-quality audio of digital music downloaded to my iPhone.

But, from the moment I removed that vintage phonograph (although it has CD, FM radio and Bluetooth features) from the box and set it up, I was back in touch with my younger self! Music was a big part of my family when I was growing up. As a young child I I listened to music from my dad’s old 78 rpm records and my older brother’s 45 rpm records.

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The Old Men’s Club

As I’ve grown older I’ve noticed that when I see gatherings of other old men I feel a certain sense of solidarity with them.

And, now I’m beginning to understand why. There’s an Old Men’s Club….

And I’m eligible for membership!

I’m not talking about some underground, subversive group contriving a conspiracy to take over the world. You know who they are and are familiar with their mission.

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