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Get Out Those Old Records
Various Artists
Katalog-Nr. : TARGET 205
  • Get out Those Old Records
    Mary Martin & Larry Hagman
  • The Record
    Billy Walker
  • Old Records
    Margie Singleton
  • Gonna Get Some Records
    Sandy Selsie
  • Gonna Buy Me a Record That Cries
    Jimmy Strickland
  • Phonograph Record
    Betty Cody
  • I'm Sending You This Record
    Bob Denton
  • It's Only a Phonograph Record
    Charlie Monroe
  • Send Me a Phonograph Record
    Jack Hunt
  • 45S and 8X10
    Mac Wiseman
  • Stack-A-Records
    Tom Tall
  • Ernest Tubb 78S
    Tommy Collins
  • Dig Me a Crazy Record
    Charles Senns
  • Square Record
    Bruce Culver
  • If You Were a Rock 'N' Roll Record
    Freddy Cannon
  • One More Record Please
    Kenny Loran
  • Mr. Record Man
    Willie Nelson
  • Please Mr. DJ
    Merle Haggard
  • Dee Jay with a Broken Heart
    Carol Jarvis
  • The Record Goes Round and Round
    Floyd Tillman
  • Lonesome Record
    George Morgan
  • Don't Play Number Ten (On the Juke-Box Tonight)
    Joyce Moore
  • Don't Play That Song (On the Juke Box Tonight)
    Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper
  • Turn the Record Over
    Vernon Oxford
  • Making a Record, Pt. 1 & 2
    Carson Robison
  • They All Recorded to Beat the Ban
    Jon & Sondra Steele
  • No More Records
    Art Gibson
  • Play That Old Song Again
    Skeets Yaney
  • Get Out Those Old Records

    It’s hard to imagine, but before another generation goes by, the subject matter of this collection may pass into history. Songs about phonograph records: making them, buying them, playing them and measuring the stages of our lives by them, these are the topics of all the songs on this collection. The records made perfect sense when they were released in the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s and ‘60s. Even as late as the 1970s people were still writing songs about phonograph records. Sadly, they don’t any more. Records were part of our lives. Everyone bought them. Some of us brought them to parties or listened to them with our friends. Others listened to records alone, drawing the power of the music into our personal lives. Many of us played the jukebox or listened nightly as disc jockeys played the hits of the day. We even wrote to or phoned the radio station to request our favorite songs. A few of those disc jockeys made their own feelings known in the 1950s when they tried to save the world from rock ‘n’ roll; they made news by breaking records over the air rather than playing them. It wasn’t just disc jockeys who influenced what was played on the radio. In 1942 and again in 1948, James Caesar Petrillo, head of the American Federation of Musicians, called strikes forbidding all members of the Union from making records. Some labels were smart enough to plan ahead, but other labels and artists got caught short. A number of the recording artists featured on this collection were inspired to write and sing songs about the labor dispute that temporarily silenced them. For some of us, records were more than disposable pieces of popular culture. We sought out records and collected them. A thin piece of shellac or vinyl became a source of pleasure or excitement. The mere act of finding or owning a record became a matter of pride. Gradually, phonograph records became more than the music that was stamped onto them. The look of the labels, themselves, became an additional source of pleasure. Even today, collectors dream about a Sun 78 with that wonderful rooster (who didn’t make it onto Sun 45s). Or an early buff-colored Bluebird label. Or those garishly colored Excello and Nasco singles. There seemed an infinite supply of unknown independent labels from rural addresses in Texas or Tennessee, and we just had to have them. They remain collectable today. The quest for records meant more than a trip to our neighborhood record store. For many of us it meant visits to yard sales and flea markets. It meant finding abandoned stashes at radio stations, jukebox operators, or out-of-business distributorships. We never knew what was out there. Vacations were planned around record hunting trips. A rare find meant bragging rights. Elvis on Sun. Ray Price on Bullet. George ‘Corky’ Jones on Pep. Merle Haggard on Tally. Bob Wills on Conqueror. Loretta Lynn on Zero. The Light Crust Doughboys on Vocalion. Carl Perkins on Flip. The world was a more exciting place because these records were hidden away in it. Not just the music – but the records. The songs on this collection celebrate the world of phonograph records across five decades. Mostly it’s country and rockabilly music, but not all! Just when you least expect it, a different style will take you by surprise. Records were part of a world we took for granted, and one that is disappearing before our eyes. The changes have happened very quickly. Technology doesn’t stand still, and it has no patience with nostalgia. From cylinders to 78s to 45s to LPs. From records to tapes – 8 tracks and cassettes – to compact discs. From wind-up Victrolas to 3-speed turntables to Walkmen to iPods and phones. People still need music in their lives; that much will never change. But the way they go about getting it continues to change. And now we have arrived at a generation of people, many of whom barely know what a record is. Music is no longer something you buy. It is something you stream or download. It’s a lot more efficient in terms of storage but it’s also become a lot less romantic in the process. That’s what is being lost with the cold march of technology. Many of us remember the first 78 we bought. The first 45. The first LP. Will today’s teenagers talk as fondly about the first MP3 they ever downloaded or streamed? It is not hard to see that something very precious was being lost. In late 2003, a quarter of the nation’s 3600 independent record stores had closed their doors. In 2004, Tower Records - one of America’s most visible and successful chains – filed for bankruptcy. Those were real indicators, not the vague concerns of alarmists. The tracks on this collection celebrate a central part of what was disappearing. Perhaps in 50 years someone will collect songs about their iPods or Walkmen or the lost romance of Deezer or Napster. And perhaps someone will write liner notes like these, waxing nostalgic about those simple times when your favorite songs were available on Spotify or Apple Music or iTunes for a monthly fee. But will they measure up to the Pavlovian joy and excitement of holding a Chess 45 or a Champion 78? We are the transitional generation. We remember how it was to hold records in our hands and savor their cover art or liner notes or label designs. Most of us miss those things and lament where it seemed to be heading. The July 16, 2006 New York Times featured an article called ‘The Greying of the Record Store.’ It’s true. For a while, record store shoppers were getting noticeably older. But then something started to change. Independent record stores started to make a comeback, as has vinyl. Fewer than a million vinyl albums were sold in 2005, but that number has been on the increase ever since. It had grown to over 13 million in 2017 and continues to climb. A recent headline in Billboard magazine reported “Record Store Day 2023 gives Indie stores their Biggest Boost in 15 Years.” Indeed, 1.4 million vinyl albums were sold during the week of April 27th alone, eclipsing the entire year’s market for 2005. This is good news for an industry that was pronounced dead less than 20 years ago. It’s true that this resurgence is driven by a handful of artists (including both Taylor Swift and the Beatles), but since when was success equally distributed in the record business? The important thing is despite the emergence of CDs, MP3 players, and streaming services, vinyl is holding its own. And it no longer seems to depend upon a dedicated base of aging collectors to keep it afloat.

    Hank Davis 
    (Author of Ducktails, Drive-Ins & Broken Hearts: An Unsweetened Look at ‘50s Music, SUNY Press, 2023)