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The Beauty of Old Records & Vintage Music by Molly Markey

I was probably nine years old when I heard my first record. It was Nat King Cole’s ‘Just one of those things’ and my grandmother had it playing while she was sewing. I remember thinking that it sounded so different from other music I heard.

At that time, I thought it sounded horrible. I asked my grandmother why she listened to music that sounded scratchy and crackly when she had a cd player that played great music. She told me then that just because the newer music was clearer did not mean that it was better.

Then she told me about Nat King Cole, his type of music, and what life was like when he was popular. The little bit of history that she gave me made me appreciate that record so much more.

A few years later I found an old record player in our basement and decided to plug it in and try it out. My mom had a bunch of records in a box downstairs, but few interested me. I grabbed Cat Stevens Greatest Hits and headed up to my room.

Once I got the record cleaned up (it had gotten a little moldy in the basement!), I set the needle down and started listening to an original version of Matthew and Son. I had that album on cd, and thought that it was great-until I heard it on record.

I was so amazed by how deep and exciting the song sounded! The trumpets seemed to jump right out at you and every note that Stevens played sounded more and more beautiful.

For the first time, I was able to close my eyes and imagine what it would be like to watch the artist in person. It was at that moment that I developed a love for Cat Stevens, but also for the experience of listening to records.

Since that time, I have acquired three record players and close to a hundred records. Some were one dollar at the local Goodwill, others were collector’s editions I had to search to find-but each one has meaning to me.

Each one takes me away to a particular time or place, whether it be in my grandmothers sewing room when I was nine years old, or a dance when I was in middle school.

Now that I am older, I am so grateful to my grandmother for introducing me to records and for sharing with me the experiences that come along with hearing a priceless one.

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