Voices from the past

My son received a record player with all the bells and whistles for his 15th birthday this past weekend. It was a gift from us (his parents) and his grandparents (my parents).

It is a record player that also plays CDs, utilizes Bluetooth (so you can send music off your phone to it), and has an AM/FM radio. The record we ordered him hadn’t arrived yet but he wanted to try the sound out, so he plugged it in and sent a few songs to it from his phone.

In the meantime, my dad drug out a few old records he’d had stored away, and we decided we’d try those.

In the next couple of hours, me and my parents had more fun with that record player than my son did, although later he did say he was actually enjoying our delight. My dad found a couple of records that a cousin of his grandfather’s had recorded in the 60s in Nashville. He and my mom hadn’t heard these songs probably since the 70s or 80s, they weren’t sure when. They had record players over the years but don’t have one now and haven’t since I was a kid probably.

They also had records from a family friend who recorded some gospel songs and enjoyed listening to those too. And then I found an LP of With or Without You by U2, which my brother owned and we put that on for a listen too.

I ended up using my phone to record the songs by my dad’s cousin for my dad to share on Facebook. The player does have the capability of transferring from vinyl to mp3 but we have to install the software to a computer first so we decided to record a video on my phone instead.

The image isn’t steady because I’m dealing with vertigo again and it was really bad while I was trying to record it, but the music was recorded and that was what mattered.

The interesting thing was that my aunt called to wish my son a happy birthday and when I told her about listening to the music, she said she had actually found one of the records in a pile of papers earlier that day. We thought she might like to hear it as well, so we put the phone on speaker and she was able to listen in as well, hearing the music for the first time in probably 30 or 40 years. She turned 89 the next day so it was an early birthday present for her.

It was really a joy for me to see the joy the record player gave to my parents and aunt but also to those on Facebook who are related to the man who was singing and was also delighted to hear the songs.

The singer’s name was Bub Robinson. I wish I knew more about him and the songs. What I do know is that he did not hit the big time, though I wish he had because his voice was better than many of the artists out there today, but he did continue to perform locally, including with his son and I think occasionally with my grandfather, who was also a singer.

Now if we could find the records that feature my grandfather singing, I would be over the moon. He died when I was two and I’m sure I’ve heard recordings of him before because I can hear his voice in my mind somehow. He was sick with cancer when I was a baby and my mom said I was afraid of him because of his deep voice but that right before he died (in a bed at the home my parents now live in), I leaned over and kissed his cheek. She said he was delighted.

My dad has the records somewhere of Grandpa singing, he thinks, and he also has reel-to-reel home movies from the 60s of my grandparents which I really hope to see before the year is out.

If anyone knows where an old projector can be purchased, let me know in the comments. It would her nice to have another afternoon of delving into the past but this time we won’t steal my kid’s birthday gift to do it.

14 thoughts on “Voices from the past

  1. Lisa, this post also takes me back to yesteryear. I can remember hooking up all of my music paraphernalia to a stereo receiver . . . turntable, speakers, and perhaps later an eight-track tape deck (whoQ remembers that?). Just a note on your old home movies: there are services available to convert these to a digital format, which might be easier than searching for a projector.

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    • My grandma had an eight-track tape deck and we listened to Jim Nabors one time in her dining room. I think she also had Andy Williams. I think there is a guy near us who transfers those old reels to a digital format. I will have to look him up. The only issue is that he wants you to put your stuff in a box outside his door and then come pick it up and put the check back in the box and we didn’t know this so my husband picked up our stuff and the man called and screamed at him for not paying. It was so strange. We thought he was sending us the bill. Anyhow…I will look for someone but perhaps not him 😉

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  2. We have boxes of record albums! I have all my grandparents’ and parents’ records, as well as all of both mine and my husband’s. He really wants one of these. Send me a note about specifics. What store did you find it?
    It sounds like it was a wonderful evening. I k ow your son will love it! Birthday blessings! 🎉


  3. Aw, this post surely made me smile. What a fun find those records turned out to be. Since my hubby and I are dinosaurs, we still have some vinyl record albums and our old stereo turntable in the basement. Haven’t listened to it in many, many years and not even sure the player still works.


  4. I love everything about this post. Happy birthday to your son first of all! And second what a great night. I love how you all gathered around the record player, sharing in the music, everyone contributing. I hope you find the recording of your grandfather!

    A legit record store opened on the corner near my house. Let me know if you need me to look for anything there!


    • It looks like the video part didn’t work through the reader, but I finally got it to work through my site so people could hear the songs. Anyhow, he is looking for Guns and Roses Appetite for Destruction. We can’t find it anywhere online. I’d love to find The Beatles White Album too.

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