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 REMEMBER THIS?

Days of the good old 78

FOR many it is a day to be remembered for years, looked back upon fondly, a moment to treasure.
Ask just about anyone over a certain age what was the first record they bought and the chances are they will tell you straight off.Records and pop singers, it seems, are a part of all our lives.
Buying those first discs in the Fifties was quite an exciting business.
You went to the record shop, asked to hear the song you were considering buying and were handed the 78rpm disc by the assistant.
Then you took it to a booth, placed it on a turntable and played it before making up your mind.
Imaging that happening today?
It was rock and roll which started the record buying boom and it was not long before fans were flocking to telephone boxes to dial up and hear a record of the week.
This particular service was actually started in Hull which ran its own telephone system and was given the name Tele-disc.
Those 1950s records were fragile to say the least, easily cracked or broken.
Many, though, were put to use when no longer required. They could be plunged into a bowl of extremely hot water when they would become pliable and could be turned into fruit bowls.
To play the record most had a Dansette, a portable record player which was a must on every teenager's Christmas list.
Before this electronic wizardry took over the record fan played his or her discs on wind-up gramophones with a thorn needle (later metal). Such players were not only heavy to lug around but the heavy pick-ups soon made short work of the records.
Those old discs, though, brought new music to a generation which soon saw the arrival of the smaller 45s which initially brought us extended play recordings.
But those awkward, scratchy old 78 rpms are still fondly remembered by those of us who invested a few bob (about five shillings usually) on a Saturday on the latest hit which we'd heard on Radio Luxembourg the previous evening or - at best - on the BBC's only real acknowledgement that popular music existed, Saturday Club which usually played the current No 1 at a couple of minutes before noon.

Written by The Editor - 11/08/2008 09:51:34

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