My husband and I recently started antiquing. Our friends got us into it when we were out and about one day, stopping all over Litchfield County. We browsed separately through a large store. Out of the hundreds of items for sale, I admired only one piece. After my husband found me he said, “You have to come look at this!” He walked me over to the same piece I was eyeing. It was a 1926 Victrola in beautiful condition. It just needed a little cleaning and a new needle. We took it home and began a new hobby.
We learned about Victor records and how they are different from vinyl records. With the Victrola came a treasure trove of orthophonic records including gems of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, and John Coltrane. We decided to house it in our “Hard Rock” themed dining room. It added a classic element to our room. The sound carries beautifully and we wind it up to play songs while we eat dinner.
Then I was able to find an original advertisement for our Victrola! With the help of Price It : Antiques and Collectibles, an online tool accessible with your OWL card, I learned how to locate the treasured piece. I framed the ad and added it to our collection.
Of course, the records we’ve kept from our youth consist of vinyl records. So my husband had to find a vinyl record player. He found a Magnavox Record Player from the ’60s in nice shape. Now, every weekend we’re on a mission to shop at antique shops and record stores to find the perfect record.
I found plenty of inspiration in the stacks of OWL to support my new hobby:
To get some ideas for future record trips, I turned to Vinyl Lives: The Rise and Fall and Resurgence of the American Independent Record Store. The author chronicles still-successful vinyl stores across the country. Record stores remind me of OWL: a comfortable atmosphere where you feel at home. You can get great recommendations and never get judged for your tastes.
Part history and part documentary, Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again delves into different audio formats and features interviews with musicians who spent their youth in record stores, developing love for music. Quotes from members of R.E.M. and Motley Crue are included.
Nick Hornby’s debut novel, High Fidelity, put him on the map as a fiction writer. He’s been lucky enough to have several of his books turned into films. John Cusack plays the role of Rob Gordon, a thirty-something year old record store owner who just can’t seem to work a relationship out. He spends his days discussing “Top 5” lists with two buddies he hired years ago and can’t get rid of, and his nights figuring out what went wrong with his current girlfriend. Maybe someday my husband and I will have a collection that rivals Rob’s.
Watching Liv Tyler and Renee Zellweger at the beginning of their careers in Empire Records is a fun time. This coming of age story makes you root for the underdog as they battle against turning corporate. I love watching how comfortable the characters are in their record store. I just want to go visit, listen to the music and get some recommendations.
When I viewed I Need that Record! The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store, I didn’t realize it was a locally filmed documentary. Spending my teen years in the Danbury area, I was a frequent customer of independent record store Trash American Style. I was sad to learn while watching this film that Trash was pushed out of business in 2007. This film was filled with interesting facts, such as only fifty percent of music exists on CD: the rest is in vinyl format.