Archive for December 10th, 2014

GIFT WE WANT

 

A trip to Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp.

 

HOLIDAY FIND

 

The collected “best” Christmas Cookie Recipes from Good Housekeeping magazine.

 

WAY TO GIVE BACK

 

Help find a cure for spinal cord injuries – support the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

DONTI have mentioned many times that I come from a family of collectors. Everyone in my family collected at least one thing – many of us had multiple collections. But I was thinking the other day that the only type of collection we all had in common were records. My mother had all sorts of records but favored Broadway and Movie musical recordings, I had over 1,000 45 rpm records, and my brother landed on collecting big band era records, mostly 78 rpm’s that ruled the day back in the 1940s.

Anyway, I mention this interesting fact as the reason why I was drawn to this week’s book, Do Not Sell At Any Price The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records by Amanda Petrusich. This is the story of a subculture of collectors that are obsessed with not only collecting rare recordings but saving the very music (or other sound) they contain.

About Do Not Sell At Any Price The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records by Amanda Petrusich: “The untold story of a quirky and important subculture: The world of 78rpm records and the insular community that celebrates them—by acclaimed music critic and author Amanda Petrusich, who contributes regularly to Pitchfork, The Oxford American, and The New York Times. Before MP3s, CDs, and cassette tapes, even before LPs or 45s, the world listened to music on 78rpm records—those fragile, 10-inch shellac discs. While vinyl records have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, good 78s are exponentially harder to come by and play. A recent eBay auction for the only known copy of a particular record topped out at $37,100. Do Not Sell at Any Price explores the rarified world of the 78rpm record—from the format’s heyday to its near extinction—and how collectors and archivists are working frantically to preserve the music before it’s lost forever. Through fascinating historical research and beguiling visits with the most prominent 78 preservers, Amanda Petrusich offers both a singular glimpse of the world of 78 collecting and the lost backwoods blues artists whose 78s from the 1920s and 1930s have yet to be found or heard by modern ears.”

In this day and age when everything is recorded digitally and stored magically in the cloud, we take it all for granted. When you consider that most recordings – audio, film and early television, don’t exist anymore – lost to degeneration or landfills – you will think twice about how well you care for your own personal recordings. Imagine 100 years from now people mining the lost servers that make up the cloud and discovering lost recordings of the 2010’s. Now you have an idea what drives these 78 hunters and how they are trying to recapture our collective past.

Do Not Sell At Any Price The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records by Amanda Petrusich is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.