Saturday, 26 November 2016

Gifts of the Magi

Mom and Dad loved music when I was young.  They had a huge stack of 78's of music from well back into the early 40's through to the current day.  They used to have an old suitcase style record player, just a box really with a top that clipped on and a leather handle.  It was quite large.   It only played 78's.  I remember them changing the needles on the player arm.  Is this freaking out those from the CD generation?  Well, this is how our music was delivered back in the day.
I think I was around eleven or twelve when I became aware of Elvis Presley.  My cousin was a very few years older than I and really into the music of the day.  When we went to visit Uncle Jack and Aunt Kay I was sometimes invited to the basement to listen to my cousins records.  I have to admit, at that stage in my life, I really wasn't impressed with modern music.  I could hum you "String of Pearls" with no problem though.
At any rate, I guess Mom and Dad started to think about how close I was to being a teenager and how my ideas and tastes would be changing very very soon.  That Christmas as the big day approached I noticed that the pile of gifts under the tree was small indeed.  It was never huge, you understand, but this year it was really small.  It went unmentioned of course, because I knew that part of our Christmas tradition was that Dad got laid off every year without fail.  It could be that this year things were tighter than usual.
Come Christmas morning you can imagine my surprise to see a  brand new record player and stand beside the tree with a big red ribbon on it and a gift tag addressed to me.  The player was a smaller version of Mom and Dads old suitcase player.  It was more modern looking.  More manageable.  It played 78's, 45's and 33's.   I was given a brief instructional tour of the workings.  There was a new Elvis 45 to play and all their old 78's were on the stand.  We had music all Christmas day and at night the new player and stand was moved to my bedroom.  The 78's went in my room too.  Mom and Dad had traded in their old player to help pay for the new one for me.  And the other gift from the Magi?   While I eventually did learn to like modern music and built a collection of my own, I still loved the old records and the music of the day that Mom and Dad liked so they still got to hear their favourites as well.


  1. Such a lovely gift.
    Music plays such an important part in our lives.
    I think music can help make some very special memories.

    Hope the weekend is going well for you.

    All the best Jan

  2. I remember changing the needles on our record player, then came the day when needles were no longer available, our player was obsolete :( From then on, when needles wore out it became cheaper and cheaper to just buy a new player (my friend Judy) or spend hours in junk shops finding old players that still had needles and buying just the needles.
    There are record players available again now, I wonder if they have replaceable needles?

  3. The gift of music. The greatest of all! :)


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