A Present of the Past
For Father’s Day this year, my children (underwritten by their mother) gave me a USB-compatable turntable, a Numark TTUSB. It was clearly too expensive for the occasion, but the item was back-ordered at Christmastime and my birthday (six days later), so it was a make-up gift. And what a gift!
I’m one of those people who still owns lots of music on vinyl. 3,000+ LPs, in fact.
Despite owning all of those big, black CDs (as my four year-old son has called them), I’m NOT one of those people who avoid new technology. There are six i-pods in and around my house, and the iTunes on this MacBook Pro alone currently holds 8500+ songs to the tune of about 29GB. I love music new and old. I do have an affinity for vinyl, but it’s what’s IN the grooves that I really enjoy. And I can get the new stuff anywhere.
Problem is…a lot of the old stuff remains unavailable on CD or download. And although the major labels and re-issue companies have been good about opening the vaults on Jazz and Blues recordings, the doors are only beginning to creak open on the lesser lights (not less talented, merely less financially successful) of the popular folk era (though Bear Family, Folk Era and Collector’s Choice continue to make a dent) and some obscure soundtrack recordings.
The turntable has been fantastic. After a couple of tests with the software that came bundled with it, I was able to record and edit entire albums, and import the digital versions into iTunes and burn a few CDs. My goal is to convert one a week over the next year, maybe more. Of course, it helps that many of my LPs are in pretty good shape, because the less digital noise reduction needed the better. But any digital copy of an old favorite is better than nothing.
What a treat to once again enjoy some early Bob Gibson, multiple configurations of The Tarriers, and a few carefully selected tunes from John Stewart’s “label a year” era alongside the CD catalogs of PP&M, The Kingston Trio, The MFQ, The Journeymen, The Chad Mitchell Trio, Bud & Travis and The Limeliters.
Always a blessing to bring the best of the past to the present.