Wednesday, December 23, 2015

record player

Walking past a shop window today, I saw a record player. It looked both new, and old-fashioned, say 1962. There was a round black vinyl record, perched on the turntable, and the long arm with the little needle at the end. The case was pearly white and sunny ocean blue. It looked sturdy, as though it could survive many years of use. School classrooms had access to similar models back in the 1960s, used in language classes, or for dance music, or singing songs, or listening to stories. People bought them because they were portable. You could bring the record player and a stack of popular 45s to a friend's house. Then equipment grew more refined and complicated, and people wanted multiple, bigger, clearer and more powerful speakers to get stereo sound, and there arrived the 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, and compact discs (CDs). But frankly, if all the various stereos and equipment from past decades were available today, I might pick that little record player in its brand new case.

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