Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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…I sometimes spent holidays with some cousins. Jack was a  few years older and Pat* a year or so younger than me. Our size meant that Pat and I spent more time together when the older boys went off to play football.

But we were “admitted to the fold” when Jack acquired a record player. A bit like this one

old and somewhat battered, but like this.  

Well, they needed a winder-upper, didn’t they. And we were seconded.

I seem to recall songs like this , with occasional piano “additions” form one of the boys. And Col P. was an absolute wiz at doing a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” Again, someone (sometimes me) would thump the bejeesus out of the poor piano. I don’t think anyone had a recording of that hit; there was a waiting list as long as your arm at Charlie Fergusson’s shop. Most of their records (all 78 rpm) came from their parents’ collections so there was  quite a bit of big band swing. It took only a bit of nifty footwork to get from quickstep to jitterbug to rock n roll. And, of course, after a few spins from this the needle had to be changed. Charlie did a roaring trade!

In 1957 the family moved to another house and bought the latest in home music players – a cabinet model, with a hinged lid, that housed a radio and a 3 speed turntable with record-changer. Wow!

something like this

But I missed those nights, cranking the old music box, being part of the crowd. Growing up.

*The same lad from our bookmaking days with greyhounds.

pictures from Google Images


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

25 thoughts on “WHEN I WAS YOUNG…

  1. A huge RCA radio from the 30’s sat in my maternal grandparents living room even after they had TV. It was so loved by my brother, that it was the only thing he asked for (and got) after they died. He carted that thing from Ohio to Florida to Minnesota to California only giving it up when it had part of his apartment fall on it during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. I think that hurt more than having his apartment declared uninhabitable by the city due to structural damage.


  2. I wish more things had a crank these days instead of just a plug. It would make for great camping
    ; )


  3. Oh dear. Does complete familiarity with these date me? or at least my brothers. A reworded (not much) Great Pretender was a magnificant part of Menopause the Musical.


  4. My new life as a vintage collectible dealer lets me re-live all my old record players, cameras and other gadgets.
    I always imagined you were a little meanly ;-/


  5. That should have read “imagined you were a little kranky ” !!!


  6. My grandparents had a cabinet player like that, my Grandpa (b1884) played endless 78s of Glen Miller which must have been modern for him thinking about it…
    As a child of the sixties my father also had a cabinet player but his had a reel to reel tape machine one end, record player the other (only 45 and 33.3 tho), a radio in the middle and… Two speakers! Stereo had arrived! Well at least in our house 🙂 xx


    • You must have lived at “our”house! My Dad bought a fancy-dancy thing that had a portable tape and my brother and I used to quietly turn on the tape recorder and leave the mic pick-up under a chair when they had friends round for drinkies.


  7. My father wasn’t a child of the sixties, I was, that read wrong dinnit? X


  8. I wonder if one day I’ll be waxing poetic about my old Sony Walkman?


  9. i remember my parents buying one of those nifty 3-speed “Entertainment Center” systems! Had a TV in it, too! Black and white, but it was pretty spiffy. We could put on records, turn the sound down on the television, and make our own silent movies…

    yeah. small town. not much to do…


  10. i still have some of my parents’ old records. includes a couple 78rpms. i remember playing them on the ‘regular speed’ record player we owned and laughing at how it sounded. now i have a few boxes of records, but no player at all. [sigh]


    • Buy a new one! For not much money, you could get a spiffy new machine that will play vinyl(even Bakelite!) discs, laser discs, audio tapes and AM/FM radio. Most of these come disguised as 50s era wood cabinets. Go on…you know you want to listen to the Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller! 🙂


  11. The vast cabinet record player and radio took pride of place in the sitting room of one of my aunts – none of us kids were allowed to touch it, and the only music played was Count John McCormack.
    I’m not knocking the man, he had a wonderful voice, but as kids we longed for something – well – more modern.


    • Oh, yes, I can empathise! We had reasonable music at home, but some friends and relatives had the most atrocious old rubbish. Bought the latest players, but never got out of the Victorian parlour era, musically speaking.Being subjected to scratchy laments about lost loves made dinners a nightmare. 😦


  12. oh man, I’m old enough to really appreciate every one of these memories. I was there 🙂
    What a beautiful blast from the past!


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