Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I met him at the record store…

Lately, I've been feeling especially nostalgic for my youth, those bygone days when life was easier and I was younger…much younger! I know this has a lot to do with today's economy and the struggles many of us are facing as a result, but right now it probably has more to do with the fact that I am facing one of those milestone birthdays in a few months. Yep folks, the BIG 6-0 is right around the corner.

Sixty, it just rolls off the tongue so easily. Crap! I remember well that when I was young, 60 sounded ancient. Oh wait, it still does! Ha! Time just crept up and I'm not that svelte, young beach girl any more. Oh well, at least the beach is still a HUGE part of my life and for that I am grateful.

Anyway, like I said, I've been reminiscing lately and one of the things that has come to mind is how the way we listen to music has changed over the years (along with my waistline).

I LOVE music and when I was just getting ready to enter my teen years we moved just a block away from a record store. Yeah, that's what we called them then…record stores. Guess what they sold there?

I don't remember the name of the place, we just referred to it as the record store, but it was located at the corner of Balboa and Devonshire Blvds. in Granada Hills, California. The front of the store was full of racks and racks of records from every genre and in the back room they taught guitar, bass and drums. The year was 1964, the summer I turned thirteen and except for spending my weekends in Malibu, there was no place I'd rather be than at the record store. My allowance had gone from being spent on candy and comic books to 45s. For you younguns' out there, a 45 was how we bought the music of our favorite bands in the good ol' days.

There was more to the record store than just being the place to go for your latest tunes though — it was a hangout for teens. My girlfriends and I would be there for hours and hours, looking through the selections of the latest hits and flirting with boys. The malt shop was for the 50s, for me and my friends, the place to "be" in the 60s was the record store or the beach. In those early days I was buying the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Dick Dale, the Chantays, the Safaris and anyone else who was recording surf music.

Much more so than in school, I learned how to talk and interact boys while we hung out listening to great music. The conversation was easy, we talked about music and surfing. In our world, nothing else really existed at that point in our lives. Of course, then we went our separate ways and my girlfriends and I giggled over who we thought was CUTE! Where did we do this? Why at pajama parties! Now they call them sleepovers, but back in the day, we all gathered at someone's house to discuss our latest crushes and to, you guessed it, play our records! What did we play them on you ask? Well, who remembers these…

Besides your pajamas and your records, when you went to a pajama party, you also brought your own record player. This was easy to do because they came in a little suitcase all their own…

Once there the first thing you did was look for an outlet to plug in and then the fun would begin. We took turns playing our 45s and much to the chagrin of the host parents, there were moments when several records would be playing at the same time. We didn't care; we laughed, sang along, and shared stories of who liked who. Ah, life was so easy then.

I found the images of this RCA Portable Record Player at the All Unique Etsy Shop. Sadly, it has been sold, but from what I read the owner of this shop finds, repairs and sells them when they're available. I'd love to have one, but except for a few, my 45s have all disappeared over the years. Do any of you still have your collections? My friend Marice, in California told me recently that she still has all of hers.

There was only one thing wrong with a portable record player, while you could take it with you to lots of places, you couldn't take it to the beach. So how did we dance around the sand you ask? Why we had these…

Mine looked something like this 1957 Sony TR-63 Transistor Radio

"A transistor radio is a small portable radio receiver using transistor-based circuitry. Following their development in 1954 they became the most popular electronic communication device in history, with billions manufactured during the 1960s and 1970s. Their pocket size sparked a change in popular music listening habits, for the first time allowing people to listen to music anywhere they went." –Wikipedia

Yeah, I'm feeling nostalgic for the 60s. Since then we've gone through the boom box, 8-track tapes, cassettes, the Walkman, CDs and now we have these…

Images via Apple, Mosaic by Shellbelle

I think iPods are very cool, and being able to download tunes is very easy and convenient, but I feel sorry for the youth of today, who can't hang out at the local record store with their friends and friends-to-be. Most often, I see folks with iPods in their ears, talking or texting on their cell phones and the world around them is just a blur. That interaction with others is slowly disappearing and I just think that's plain sad. Now one good thing has come out of all this, I don't have to ask someone to turn down their music when I'm at the beach! Does that make me a hypocrite? Darn tootin', but hey, when you're old you get a license to be cranky!

Today's Ocean Fact: The Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on the planet, is bigger than all of Earth’s continents put together.  –Discovery Education Planet Ocean

29 Thoughtful Comments:

Kaybe said...

People over 60 should be banned from the bluetooth. I thought this old guy was having a moment talking to himself. As I was distancing myself from him I saw his bluetooth lite up in his ear.

gpc said...

Welcome to my world. Sigh.

Blondie's Journal said...

You brought back a lot of memories. Rhonda. I loved going to records stores and I had to beg my sisters to let me use their record player until I got one of my own. I don't have any 45's anymore, but my hubby and I still have our old albums! Nothing to play them on though and they are probably scratched. Those were the days {gosh, I sound old!!}.


Jane said...

WOW! I remember some of these things...mostly from the old beach movies. We lived so far out from town that hanging out at a store was impossible. But my girlfriends and I did have record players and albums...a few 45s.

Technology is wonderful...but, as you said, it's removing actual contact between people. That's terribly sad. And the secrets we used to share at PJ parties are now on display for all of FB to see... YUK!

Desert Dreaming said...

Rhonda...you're not alone AT ALL!!! I've been doing the same thing, looking at old vintage pictures online, and stuck on the TCM chanel for those old classic movies, and I didn't even live during the 30's, 40's and most of the 50's. I wish I had the time on here to tell you about a wonderful 91 year old woman my husband and I met on Pass-A-Grille Beach Saturday evening. She lived there most of her life, during the depression, they lost everything, and her family was very rich. Moved away and they regained some of their wealth, then her husband became ill, and once he passed, she lost a lot. Gained back pretty much with hard work, and in these times we are in now, lost it all again! She and one of her daughters moved back and they were just enjoying the sunset as she was telling us about how it was all so many wonderful years ago there on the beach...there is so much more to this story, but her parting words to us were "ENJOY EVERY SUNSET"...and wished us a Blessed Easter...I feel as though she was sent right there at that exact time to be there for me at a little bit of a trying time. And, I've smiled ever since I met her.

So, my friend, "enjoy every sunset"...


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I can sure remember the records and having a 'portable' record player! Taking it out on the front lawn and dancing on a blanket in the FRONT yard! heehee! Great memories! And no wonder we are such good friends...we're very close to the same age! I'm a bit older so I can boss you around! heehee! HUGS! ♥♥♥

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Oh wow this really brought back memories! Guess what? I turned 60 last June and it was a big milestone for me. I'm happy to be alive and in good health! I guess if we live long enough most everything changes!

beachcomber said...

one thing i like about ipods is that i hardly ever hear my kids music - much quieter : )
cheryl x

Sue said...

This made me smile. I still have all my 45's and albums. I wasn't as much into surf music as the Beatles, Dave Clark 5, Herman's Hermits:) In my area...we had slumber parties in the 60's and we didn't take our own record players...just the records. Instead of the beach to hang out...we went to the ballpark to see the boys! Our record store had the RCA Victor dog sitting out front.

The Quintessential Magpie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Quintessential Magpie said...

That is a classic line... when you're old, you get a license to be cranky! LOL! Oh, Rhonda, I love it!

And I remember ALL of those things. When your birthday rolls around, maybe I should have a slumber party. I will round up all the air mattresses I can find (sleeping bags are too hard!), and we can dance all night and go to the movies and roast marshmallows on an hibachi and pretend we are sweet sixteen! Pretend??? Why, I most certainly AM sixteen!

Can't wait for Saturday. Can you say, "Chocolate Coma???"


Sheila :-)

P.S. Sorry, I goofed up that last post! I deleted it. I got so excited I made a big boo-boo!

Loui♥ said...

Hi Shelle..
so far.. I'm the oldest of the bunch of beach bunnies..
still have some 45's..
but most of my huge collection of albums..
and operable equipment on which to play them..
which I often do!
I've also been nostalgic the past few days..
but am perking up..
posted new pics of flowers on Facebook as well as at Weather Underground again..(ksmom)
hopefully the weather will clear and lift my spirits..
enjoyed this post very much!!
happy birthday..
warmest sandy hugs..

Blue Creek Home said...

Memories galore are surfacing after reading this!

I vividly remember my older sister's record player in her bedroom. She wouldn't let us cross the threshhold, so we stood in the hall and hoped to be invited inside!!!

Your Boyfriends Back, It's My Party, Blue Velvet, Love Potion #9!! These were some good songs!

Thanks, I feel younger just thinking back to those carefree days!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

What a great post! I loved my old albums and wish I still had them. The ease and portability of Ipods is wonderful, but there is nothing like that old vinyl spinning round and round. Remember putting a penny on top of the needle arm if your album skipped? I still think the sound that came out of those old record players was a deeper, fuller tone than what we get today.
But my pride and joy was that transistor radio. I carried it everywhere. The Doors "Come on Baby Light my Fire" and Carole Kings "I Feel the Earth Move" are the anthems of my teenage years. Thanks for such a fun post!

Completely Coastal said...

I don't even remember anymore when I got rid of all my albums and record player. Now it's a simple square box of a CD player, nothing fancy. I guess I'm a bit behind when it comes to modern technology. I'm trying hard to think and feel timeless, hahaha.

Della said...

I remember going to Belk Lindsey with my aunt and listening to 45's before buying them. They had booths set up in the store just for this purpose!

Rhonda, don't worry about getting older, mermaids don't age honey!

Leo said...

So strange to read your post tonight. All of a sudden, I jsut remembered a dream I had last night where I found an old stereo console cabinet where it was a record player, cabinet and tv - all in one. And I dreamt about it last night but didn't remember till I saw your post!! That is so strange. WOW - loved the trip back in time.

Simple Daisy said...

Oh my gosh...how things change! I always say...i think I was born in the wrong era.

Thank you so much for your "singing" on my last blog post!! I really appreciated it!!!
And...I am going a little give-away on my blog! If you get a minute stop on over:):)

iLoveShelling said...

My first job was working at a record store. I loved it! But ya know, like the ipod, ipad, itunes and all this technology, we would have never gotten to meet each other. And I loved meeting you! The world for me got a little closer it seems with technology- not further apart.

PS- I linked you today. Love your drift shells!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Girl, I have all my albums from my college days and a few of my parents albums from the fifties. Sadly I gave away my 45's to a young BIL when I got married.

I will be 60 in a little less than a year and a half. I can remember the little transistor radio my Grandma Dow bought me and I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. That was the same radio I heard of Marylin Monroe's death.

Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane sweetie!

God bless ya and have a glorious day!!! :o)

michelle said...

This is a wonderful post!! I have often told my kids that I wish that they could have lived when I did, to be able to "see" their world beyond a computer and phones and texts. It irritates me when I see kids texting while over at friends homes and talking on their phones while with their families. All though I do agree, without these things we never would have met so there is a place for them. I was born in 73 and I had records, cassettes, tapes growing up and I loved them! I always said that I would have been happy living in the 50's and 60's, what an amazing time!

Arabella said...

Great post, Rhonda - now, I'll be 46 in July and I remember all this stuff too. I still have a bunch of "albums" and a few 45's. My girlfriends & I use to go to Woolworth's (all the way across town, on our bikes, by ourselves) to buy the latest 45's and share a plate of fries & shake at the diner inside the store. Good times! Hope you have a lovely weekend.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Hey Lady! I don't really have many 45's, only a few. I was a 70's child, but born in 65. We were the album generation. I still have all of those and enjoyed watching my oldest come home from Charleston recently with his gal and they wanted to sit and go through our old albums. What a kick that was to hear them say how awesome our albums were! Finally some approval from our kids of who we are and were! Oh, and yep I also remember those transistor radios though ours were a bit newer then those and were from Radio Shack! Hope you are going to do something fantastic for your special day! You certainly deserve it!

Desire Empire said...

That was such a great post and so many memories came back. I still have all my records, or at least my mum does. I wonder if she still has my portable record player. Those were great days. I did not appreciate they wouldn't last. That's why I try to do so now as in twenty years I think I'll be nosalgic for today. Havve a great weekend
Best Carolyn

jmac said...

Man, oh man....do I ever remember stashing one of those lil transistor radios under my sheets in the bed to listen to after I was supposed to be asleep!!! Seems like yesterday!!
Got a post put up on my blob about the new driftshell heart that is now in my possession...heheheh!!
Next week will be crazy with wedding bliss...had to get it up before that!! Love you!!

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, visiting your blog make my troubles melt like lemon drops. Thank you for sharing your happy memories.

I don't know where this need comes from, but I want to own a phonograph. That scratchy quality that it emits. I have this image of me opening my window, letting the breeze in, and putting a record in the phonograph, the sound of Billie Holiday or a French tune wafting across the yard while I bake cookies for my two little nieces.

rjerdee said...

Oh, I remember those good ole days!!!

Pretty Ragged Threads said...

I remember those days well. I will be 65 this year. I loved being able to take a record in the booth and listening to it before you bought it. I do love the technology of today but feel the kids today are really missing out.


Magdalena said...

You will make being 60 the new 40!! You will have the best of both worlds, my friend..the wisdom of age and the energy of youth...
I too use to love record stores and pajama parties with my girlfriends who are still my best friends and they all meet at my house every summer and we giggle and stay up all night just like we did when we were little girls.. Maybe I can meet you somewhere for a birthday party???!! let me know what you and Sheila do and I will try????!!!!!
You are the best my friend and I love you to bits
PS..I love all apple products etc.. too but there is something about talking on my phone in old bedroom for hours and hours to my girlfriends and laughing so hard...now I text so much..its just not the same

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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