Politics, Moderate



Digging the return to vinyl

Tom Purcell on

Sundays after supper, the sweet smell of coffee and pot roast and pineapple upside-down cake still in the air, my father loved to play his favorite albums on it.

He liked Barbara Streisand in those days. He also loved Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. And he'd go nuts when he played “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.

He'd crank the volume up and begin marching through our small house, lifting his legs and arms high and making exaggerated faces the way comedian Red Skelton did with his Clem Kadiddlehopper character. We'd jump from the table and follow behind him, marching and laughing until tears filled our eyes.

That old console played nonstop during the Christmas season.

Our stack of records usually began with the “Holiday Sing-Along with Mitch Miller,” followed by the “Christmas with the Chipmunks,” then “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron,” then Bing Crosby. As soon as Bing finished “White Christmas,” we restacked the albums and spun them again.

My mother used the stereo more than anyone. She loved to listen to it while working around the house.

Sometimes she tuned into an AM station that played Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Other times she'd play her Doris Day album. I still can hear her whistling — in perfect harmony — along to "Que Sera, Sera."

That younger generations are embracing vinyl is an encouraging trend.


Younger people have grown up in a world in which they have immediate access to whatever they want: streaming video or music, goods delivered the same day by Amazon and endless noise and chatter on social media.

Yet by returning to vinyl they are choosing to slow their lives down, relax and more fully experience the wonders of music, which — with the exception of a John Phillips Sousa march at full blast — is a fine way to calm one’s soul.

Goodness knows that our cranky, overstimulated world could use more of that.


Copyright 2022 Tom Purcell, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Purcell, creator of the infotainment site ThurbersTail.com, which features pet advice he’s learning from his beloved Labrador, Thurber, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Email him at Tom@TomPurcell.com.

Copyright 2022 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com




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