Friday, July 1, 2016


Rain made us cut short our bike ride this morning, but truth be told, I didn't mind all that much. After several hours on the road yesterday and a lengthy road trip scheduled for tomorrow, a day of relaxing at home seemed like a good idea. Oh, we played some cards and even a few rounds of bocce when the weather cleared up a bit, but it was around noon that I found the focus of my day.

Knowing I would be away from home for a couple of weeks, I packed up my newest toy, the turn table, and all of my records to bring along with me. We hadn't been in Heidi's parents' house more than half an hour when I pulled it out and set it up. It was a big hit. "We have tons of records upstairs," her mom told me, and she was not exaggerating.

Over the next day, we hauled at least 300 45 rpm discs down to the kitchen. I cannot tell you how much fun it was for me to sort through them and listen to the ones I knew or wanted to hear. Somewhere along the way I got it into my head that they should be sorted, and that is what I ended up doing today.

On my first go round, I simply separated them into 24 alphabetical stacks by artist. As I worked, I tried to match the sleeves with the 45s, too. After that, I put all the records by the same artist in any particular letter group together.

While that might seem like a lot of work, for me it was an awesome afternoon. I put my hands on every single record, read the title and artist, and played the ones I wanted to hear. The collection spanned four decades from the 40s to the 80s, and included a few on the Sun label by Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison. There were copies of 45s I owned myself, including Tracy by the Cufflinks. There was also an early recording by Carol King, several from the Shirelles, lots of Sinatra, the Everly Brothers, Paul Anka, Brenda Lee, and Elvis.

There was a perfect little gem I was happy to blast called Birthday Party, some awesome big band, a couple of jazz combos, and a Crystal Gayle tune I hadn't heard in ages.

When I was finished, we stowed them all in new bins, ready to be explored again soon, but also organized for anyone who might be looking for something in particular, like maybe anything Jackie Wilson ever recorded. (Bottom bin, in the back.)

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