That LP Collection
I decided the other day to start listening to my LP collection, which is pretty vast and, I’m happy to say, well organized, at least in my own way. I’ve got them, maybe 500-600 of ‘em, arranged by category. For instance: Bluegrass, subdivided its own self into Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and so many others such as Reno & Smiley, The Osborne Brothers, The Kentucky Colonels and lots more; C&W (men) including of course George Jones, Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Faron Young, Waylon, Willie, Charlie Pride, BUCK OWENS (!), more; C&W (women) with Patsy, Kitty, Tammy, Loretta, Emmy Lou, Dolly, more. These are all artists who recorded up through the 1980s, when LPs pretty much made an exit. More categories in country, with many albums in each: fiddlers; Hawaiian steel guitar; old-timey (NLCR, Charlie Poole etc.); banjo players (Bill Keith, Bela Fleck); pedal steel (BUDDY EMMONS!); all well represented along with their brethren. And where do you put the Holy Modal Rounders? Moving on from country we get into the folk stuff: Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, Dylan. And where do you put Carole King, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Van Morrison? Cream and The Blues Breakers, yep, I know. It goes on. And The Beatles, all by themselves. And a very important category, Music From Hot And Wet Places like the Caribbean, Mexico, Africa, Louisiana: Dr John, Allen Toussaint, Flaco Jimenez, Joseph Spence, Olatunji. And the blues people, so many of whose original recordings are re-issued in albums on the Yazoo label: Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Bukka White, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Skip James, and surely do not miss Robert Johnson. And then there are Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt and Little Walter, in classes all their own. And on to the jazz albums. Django, Charlie Christian, Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Jeremy Steig, Charlie Byrd, Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, seems like it never ends. Lessee now…….classical. Heck of a lot of Bach there with an emphasis on Glenn Gould, Wanda Landowska, and The Brandenburgs!. Van Cliburn, Dinu Lipatti, Horowitz; Shubert, Schumann and Chopin (OMG!). Then there’s the more modern classical with Copeland, Stravinsky, Ravel, and where do you put Gershwin? But wait, there’s more! The comedy album section; remember those? Jerry Clower, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Homer and Jethro, Ham & Scram, more. Oh, and the show tunes: South Pacific, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!, and on and on. And the stuff you can’t categorize like the background music from the 1950s TV documentary series Victory At Sea. Where did all this stuff come from?!!?? A lot of them are albums I bought new between the 1960s and 80s. Some of them were from my parents’ collection (classical only), which was small but mighty. And a whole lot of them came from the years when we carried LPs in my guitar store, just for the heck of it. We had only stuff that the staff or I really liked, were very particular and I did, um, take a few home. That was between the late 70s and mid 80s when LPs, you know, went the way that CDs are going now. The real bottom line to all this is: MUSIC!!! WHERE WOULD WE EVER BE WITHOUT IT?