Chipmunk records as a kid circa 1963.
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Music was a major part of childhood. My father played guitar, my brother and mother played the piano. In fact, later in life my dad built a little recording studio on the garage so he would make music with my mom. My love affair started when my parent bought me a little RadioShack AM/FM radio when I was about 6 years old. I would spend hours listening to music in my bedroom. I remember spending countless Sundays listening to Casey Kasem's America's Top 40. Then my dad bought his first hifi system when I was in 6th grade. It was a Kenwood system with a turntable. Oh man, every chance I got I would play music on it, spinning a lot of my Dad's Beatles, Billy Joel, Santana records. In my teenage years I got more and more into car audio. No I wasnt one of those punks that played music from my car annoyingly loud with too much bass. I sought to build an audiohphile car audio system. This eventually consisted of Boston Acoustics separates, Pioneer head unit, Pioneer cd changer, JL Audio subwoofer, and a couple of Sony amps. Very nice sound. Fast forward through college, grad school, kids, house, divorce, etc...music remains a constant in my life. I have been fortunate enough to have the means to spend somewhat frivolously on this hobby/passion of mine. For that I am grateful. I hope my kids have the same love of music I have and find the same kind of joy, comfort, and respite in music that I have.
No one at home was "into" audio, except for the radio (2-in-1) that used to play for couple of hours each day. Started as a fascination for mini-audio systems from Kenwood, Pioneer, Sony, Technics etc when I was in school (7th grade maybe). This was mid-80s. We could not afford those systems at that point. I would occasionally hear such system at some "rich kid's" place. Then one day, I heard a Bose system at a dad's friend's place and that was the "best" music I ever heard. This was the tipping point - from "gadget" to "music". The "loudness" factor from the mini-system seems so crude compared to the actual music flowing through the Bose system(yeah bash me). Music was melodious on this system than anywhere else I had heard before. That started my audio journey. It took me years to get the first system. But till then I had a Sony Walkman with a good headphone set and made sure that I records my favorite music in the best possible resolution (Metal/Chrome Tapes).
In my case it wasn't live music that stimulated my interest, it was recorded music right from the get go. My father, who was born in 1910 may he rest in peace, was actually a bit of an audiophile before the term was probably even coined. I remember he was the first in our very middle class neighborhood to buy a console Zenith stereo, which was the cat's meow at the time in the mid-50s. I grew up listening to Nat King Cole and others of that era playing on vinyl. Then, in the late 50s, my father went a step further and bought an Ampex reel-to-reel tape recorder with portable speakers (this thing looked like a set of luggage) and started making his own mix tapes of what he had on vinyl. This was so that he could play DJ whenever my parents got together to party with their circle of friends, which was just about every Saturday night. Whoever hosted provided the booze (believe me they all drank like fish but only on Saturday nights), and my DJ dad always provided the music. As a kid, I remember hanging out with him, watching and kibitzing whenever he made his tapes. Within a few years, like any good audiophile, he got the upgrade fever again. Out went the Ampex and in came a higher end Sony reel-to-reel that I recall cost around a thousand bucks, not exactly chump change for the early 60s. That Sony got a lot of use. Ive often wondered whatever became of it. To this day, I still enjoy listening to Nat King Cole.
Growing up hearing the many gospel choirs and singings groups and soloist in church. From the Hammond B3 organ to the brothers playing a wash board and spoons and mothers tambourines. Having school assemblies where the school orchestra would play.
Over the many years I have grown to have a great appreciation for many types and styles of music. It truly is a joyous journey for the ears.
I had three music boxes when I was a toddler. One played "Hail to the Redskins" one plaid "The Marine Corp Hymn" and the other plaid "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" My mother still has the Fisher Price Raindrops one! I would play them constantly.
When I was a little older I would play 45s on my Dad's hi fi, a Fisher 400, KLH Model 6s and a BSR turntable. He would bring buss trays full of 45s home from his bar. I spent many a day listening to the best of the early '70s bar music.
I had a phonograph, a german trophy. I spinned records and one day the spring failed and I spinned records with my index finger to the normal sound and voice I got used to hear and developed a great music hearing. I also had a harmonica that I just started playing choosing the right keys to pick up the songs I spinned.
When I tried to fix broken phonograph, the spring jumped off and tangled unmanagable!! It was the worst day of my life that put me onto child depression. My dad than went to the city and purchased my first tube radiola that was able to spin 16,33,45 and certainly 78rpm along with bunch of new records. I was listening and than picking them up on harmonica. At age of 8 I knew how to troubleshoot my tube radiola and replace tubes if spotted failing.
I did not become a musician. As my dad I'm more of the craftsman individual that would troubleshoot electronics, automobiles. Later at the age of 9 I went to music teacher, but had no courage practicing over the sheet music and quit. I guess musicians have to be sons or daughters of such to practice under the constant supervision from early childhood(please count out singers tho) otherwise it's hard to impossible. Having being exposed to the world of music, I clearly understand the difference between garage grown and professional musicians. Hence prefer to listen to the real ones unless the talent is so BIG like Paco De Lucia.
I've been collecting records since I was 8 and know about lots of bands, orchestras, composers, venues. Often attend the live music events. I don't really care about style of music as long as music is there. I believe that music should be supported by talent and skill to be listenable and pleasant.
My first artists I was devoted to Edith Piaf, Bill Haley, Glen Miller, Django Rainhardt, Buddy Rich, Mirelle Mathiew.
I moved to Minnesota in 1983 from San Jose and 1 day I walked into a stereo store in St.Paul (the house of high fidelity) and from that day on I have not been the same.
I listened to a pair of tube amps; atmasphere's ma1 first revision driving a floor standing speaker.Using a rpm turntable with a moving coil as source and quicksilver preamp; the sound was fantastic.I think the sales person was playing Sinatra live at the Sands with Count Basie and it was like I was there at a table drinking single malt with the room filled with cigar smoke.I can now say I wished I had been interested more in music during my school years as I can now understand and appreciate the value and meaning of music and artists who work within it.
When I was a tot my parents had one of those Zenith consoles where the speakers folded outwards and the turntable folded down. This was after the console with the TV, AM FM radio, and turntable with the Cobra arm. I don't remember using the earlier one, but do remember using the later one, playing Bo Diddly, Bent Fabric, etc. lps, and countless 7 inch 45's my mother had. Poison Ivy, Running Bear, what memories!
Then the transistor radios came out and those were just the greatest!
I've always joked that the little northwest Texas town where I grew up was halfway between Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, but it's true. Buddy Holly in Lubbock and Roy Orbison in Wink.
When I was maybe ten years old I got a Sylvania portable transistor radio for Christmas, turquoise and white plastic and about the size of a thick paperback book.. My bedroom was in a coverted porch that wasn't connected to the rest of the house so I could stay up as long as I wanted listening to that radio.
The later it got the more AM stations I could pull in from the empty West Texas sky. I became hooked on the border radio stations with DJ's like Wolfman Jack. I could pick up Chicago, New Orleans, Nashville and the gold standard, KOMA in Oklahoma City. It was a crazy mix of rockabilly and blues, conjunto and country - and old gospel music mixed in by those whacko, "Put your hands on the radio and be saved" preachers. There was no classical music, no time, no way.
I suppose that's why my musical tastes now are as diverse - some would say eccentric - as they are. And I'm grateful.
1960s, my parents bought a "HIFI;" one of those large pieces of furniture with a desktop that opens to reveal a record player and storage area for LPs. On the front were the Lf and Rt speakers covered with some fabric.
Anyway, I grew to hate music listening to the Ray Coniff Singers and "Sing Along with Mitch"(Miller) every night. Finally I was given "Meet the Beatles" as a gift and that's where it started for me. Then I added some "Stones" and that big headshell with it's stylus tore the crap out of all my records.
Come to think of it, in '65 my dad bought one of those. When it arrived, it had a Herman's Hermits 45 they threw in with it. Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter and Henry the VIII were the cuts. My sister and I literally wore it out. The older sister started bringing in Elvis' 'Spinout' (studio version) which is an excellent album. I've repeatedly tried to track it down but all that seems to ever have existed at any source is the sound track. Wierd. Then came 'Cream', 'Vanilla Fudge','Donovan','Melanie','Dylan', and 'The Beatles'.
5th grade, man! I won an am/fm boombox with a tape player at the spelling bee!!! yeah, you read that right! I slept with that thing listening to new wave (kroq radio) in LA. It sounded fantastic listening to all those synthesizers. I was hooked. I begged my parents to buy "for the house" the all in one piece pilot system with the separate speakers!!!! wowwww!!!! a console system!!!! and it was all practically mine!! I had a great childhood. that was only the beginning. what memories of old....so much has happened since then. I love the stories here.
I'm a blizzard baby (accident). Blizzard of '66 to be exact. My siblings are quite a bit older than me. My brothers and sisters have seen Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix live as well as early The Who and others. Every one of my siblings had a hifi or at least a good receiver, turntable and speakers. There was music coming from every room when I was a child. Everything from Janis Joplin, early Genesis, The Bee Gee's and Perry Como (grandmother born 1902). It was a right of way to have a stereo in your bedroom in my family. I started with headphones listening to Dr Dimento in the early 70's and by '75, I was all over Aerosmith and the Bay City Rollers. I joined the chorus and Orchestra where I obviously sang and also played trumpet and piano. I did very well until I started smoking pots, at which point I stopped playing all instruments.
Fast forward 35 years and I own three cuica's and a few tambourims ( like a tambourine but a Brazilian take on it) and I play around with them. There was a point in my life where I really got into 1960's Brazilian pop which would be the equivalent of rock in the U.S. at that time. Musicians such as Milton Nasciemento and Gilberto Gil collaborated with The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix way back when.
Lots of fun. I always had the ability to play music through a decent rig. It will get better next week.
By the way. I listen to a huge variety of music. I rarely ever play classic rock although that's what I grew up on. Too boring to me. When I hear the old classics like Hendrix, The Who, The Doors etc I turn that garbage off. I wore it out and I'm not a nostalgic person. I seek out newer music. There's a lot out there.
Hey Phd Im always happy to be grandfathered in so Im certainly not complaining. But truth be told, I did already contribute my story earlier. I guess it didnt make much of an impression, but whaddya want? The competition here is fierce, LOL!
First prize so far definitely goes to Sfar. When I read My bedroom was in a coverted porch that wasn't connected to the rest of the house I just about lost it. Then came the empty West Texas sky, and I did lose it! The whacko preachers and the absence of classical music were just icing on the cake.
For better or worse, reading the other real life confessions in this thread have reminded me of some of what I had either lost to failing memory (like those little red plastic transistor radios that all the kids coveted) or repressed on purpose (who wouldnt want to forget Mitch Miller and his bouncing balls?). And no thanks to Lowrider bringing up Mitch and Ray, I am now being haunted by other long forgotten sights and sounds that have crept back into my consciousness (Lawrence Welk waving his baton to a one, and a two, and a not to mention that auditory sedative and elevator music pioneer, Mantovani).
In 50 years I wonder what theyll be writing about whats produced today? Look out Miley Cyrus!
I think I was about ten when My grandmother let me put some of her old 78's on her turntable. I wore out a copy of "Aba-Daba Honeymoon".
My mom and dad loved "Swing" and even though I grew up in the Fifties with the real Rock and Roll, I still today like to listen to some of the old Big Bands.
I think we love music because it brings back some great memories.
1961 Grundig Console for me. Spent summers with my Godparents who owned this amazing piece of audio equipment for this time. Had a front door that opened to expose the turntable. Since I was 4 or 5 I could stand in front of this wonderful console and spin records for hours and hours. Everything from Elvis to Herb Alpert kept me mesmerized.
When my Godparents passed I was able to keep this piece of my musical history. I'm so thankful that they didn't "shoo" me away from such an expensive item but rather encouraged my to explore my love for music. The Grundig still works to this day!
I honestly can't remember a beginning, I just always did as far back as I can remember. It may have and probably did start with my father, quite a good amateur singer, an Irish tenor who modeled himself after John McCormack when he was a boy. His parents came from Ireland so there was that influence as well. He always sang acapella at our big family get together's which were frequent when I was growing up. Man, I sure remember how fun it was during that time with all the cousins, aunts and uncles! I would generally serve the beers along with my cousin Peter as the men talked politics, getting into frequent arguments as the beers went down, it was the McCarthy era so plenty of differing opinions. We all lived close together then. After things settled down his siblings would encourage my Dad to sing. He would always settle things down with his singing and the enviroment grew quieter. I was amazed at the effect it had on everyone, bringing tears to the siblings in particular. He was the oldest of nine, his father died when he was a young man of 21 so he was almost a surrogate father to the younger ones. When we were very young, some of my very earliest memories, he would sing Irish Lullabys and melencholy Irish songs, Mechusla, Danny Boy, Little Town in the Auld County Down and it was just so nice. Most importantly my father loved music, ALL types of music and could always appreciate good music and good musianship regardless of the genre so if not for him I don't know if I would have the same passion for it as I do. There were also plenty of musicians on my mother's side. She too sang around the house growing up, loved music and was influential as well but not quite like my Dad.
When I was 9 or 10 the cheap mono record player was replaced with a genuine solid Maple Zenith Console stereo and things really took off from there.
I am lucky to come from a music loving family.Hoagy Carmichael is a cousin on my mother's side and she loved and played big band music often.My Dad sang and played guitar and one of my cousins from his side of the family is a professional gospel musician.We always had a hifi and turntable of some sort in the house.I had my own kiddie plastic turntable w/speaker and loved those Chipmunks too!I also remember playing the 45"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" over and over.
Next was my own tiny transistor radio.My favorite band was The Lovin Spoonful.Then came the Beatles,Herman's Hermits,going to concerts,and becoming determined to capture that live sound to enjoy at home.