Monday, August 12, 2013

A Bit of History…

Today is National Vinyl Record Day – a day to celebrate those wonderful discs that we’ve all enjoyed for so long. Today they appear to be having a resurgence of interest, and some actual record stores are popping up here and there. Although I’m sure they aren’t as inexpensive as they were back when I was collecting them, it’s good to know that vinyl records are still available for those of us who love them.

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, and was the first to record and play back sound. The first recording was a recital of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, but it’s uncertain whose voice is on the recording. It was made on a strip of tinfoil wrapped around a revolving cylinder.

The first flat disc record was made of rubber by Emile Berliner in 1888. The first commercial vinyl records - by RCA Victor - came in 1930. But they were slow to take hold because during the Great Depression few could afford the expensive machines on which to play them. 45RPM records came in 1949, and stereo was introduced in 1957.

Of course, a lot has changed over the years, and CDs replaced those good old 8-track and cassette tapes that came after vinyl records; however, my husband has read that downloadable music has pretty much cornered the musical market and that CDs could be on their way out.

Back in the 1930s and 1940s, there were little recording studios around where you could go and, for a small fee, record your own music. Most of the time the recordings were for personal enjoyment alone. Years before I came along, my mother and aunt went to one of those studios and recorded a 78RPM recording of “Where The Old Red River Flows”. I can hear it now! And I recall listening to 33 1/3RPM albums of show tunes and lovely instrumentals at home. A couple come to mind: The South Pacific sound track and a song called “Lisbon Antigua”. The latter was probably on an album by the Nelson Riddle orchestra.

In his early teens my husband walked to a music store in town called The Band Box and purchased his very first 45RPM record. It was called “Seven Little Girls Sitting in The Back Seat” by Paul Evans and the Curls on the Guaranteed record label. Since that time he’s collected hundreds of records – some day we’ll need to transfer all that music to CD just so it won’t deteriorate with age.

In my teens I listened to the rock and roll radio station in the closest “big” town. While listening one day I called to enter a contest and….I won! I was so excited! I had won a collection of 100 45RPM records, and was just sure I’d be listening to all the greatest popular hits from then on. My father, though not at all fond of the music of the day, agreed to drive me to the station downtown to pick up my prize. When I came out with a big box full of b-sides and record label demos – and probably some old, unplayed ones from jukeboxes – he was not thrilled! Needless to say, they didn’t get a lot of play time on my little portable record player.

Last Christmas we enjoyed listening to the Christmas 33 1/3 albums that we collected years ago, many of them either free or for $1.00 or so at gas stations and dime stores. You know, I do miss the good old days!
Last night’s dinner was a pot roast. The recipe for this roast has been going around the internet for quite a while, and I’ve made it several times. It’s a flavorful, simple recipe. I’m not sure where it originated, and cannot provide attribution for the recipe.


1 boneless roast, 2-3 pounds
1 packet ranch salad dressing mix
1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 cup water

Place the roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle with contents of all 3 packets. Pour water around meat in bottom of cooker. Cover and cook on Low 7-8 hours or until tender.

That’s all there is to it! Delicious and juicy, with plenty of sauce to pour over mashed potatoes or noodles.
Today is also IBM PC Day and Sewing Machine Day. Tomorrow is International Lefthanders Day - I'm one of those! The 14th is VJ Day - an important historical event to commemorate. Please see the "Holidays" page for a full listing.
NOTE: This is the last post for this week as my husband and I are taking a well-deserved short vacation to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Please come back next week to see what’s going on in Grammie’s Kitchen!
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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