In 1877, Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor and businessman, recited and recorded a stanza of the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” In so doing, Edison was the first to record sound on a phonograph, a device of his innovation.
A decade later, Emile Berliner, a German-American inventor intent on advancing audio technology, developed the gramophone. His method of recording sound utilized a lateral-cut flat disc to produce multiple copies and a sound precisely like the original.
During the next six decades, record players and records were standardized with 33 and 45 rpm records, becoming the favored formats after World War II. Vinyl sales peaked in 1970, accounting for 66 percent of the industry revenues.
Memories of individual vinyl collections and the leisure hours spent listening to the albums are fondly shared, but notably, album collections are diverse.
One Mountain View resident, the youngest son in a family of 11 children, recalls growing up listening to his parent’s jazz albums.
“I don’t remember the album titles or the names of any artists, but I do remember I loved the rhythm and repetitive sound of jazz,” he said.
“My parents had a collection of musical show tunes which we listened to and enjoyed as a family,” expressed another community member. He added, “I bought my first vinyl album when I was 13. It was a collection of Tchaikovsky compositions which began my love of classical music.”
Although local music enthusiasts passionately reminisce about their early attachment to vinyl albums, the vinyl market steadily began to dwindle as newer musical formats emerged, like the cassette tape and compact disc. By the ‘90s, vinyl sales were reported as only 0.1 percent of the industry market share. RIP vinyl.
But hold on, vinyl paramours. Sound a chorus of Cool and the Gang’s “Celebration.” By 2021, vinyl records charted as the music industry’s most popular and highest-growing format. Vinyl is back!
Mindful of the vinyl resurgence, a Mountain View neighbor shared a story about a visiting family member, a millennial, who discovered a dusty, wooden crate packed with old vinyl albums.
The story continues with the millennial studying and sorting each album. Ultimately, he claimed a stack of vinyl that included the music of the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Carol King, Carly Simon and Jim Croce.
This February, the month famous for romance and love, retrieve that dusty album collection. Join the revival. Rekindle your love of vinyl.
Visit the town of Mountain View’s website at: www.townofmountainviewcolorado.org