Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The dawn of hi-fi . . . at 78 rpm
In many cases, high fidelity spun into 1950s homes, and into popular culture, at 78 rpm.
And so did the king of rock 'n' roll.
I've been putting some more of the records of my youth onto the computer hard drive -- bringing my analog musical formation into the digital present, I guess. This is another of those, Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" (above), on a glorious 10-inch shellac platter.
I couldn't tell you how many times I played this record -- this very 78 that's four years older than I am -- as a kid. The rough estimate: lots.
IN 1957, "All Shook Up" was magic. As it was when I first got a hold of it around 1964 or 1965. As it is today.
That goes as well for another of my little stash of Elvis on 78 . . . "Too Much." That's it at left, sitting on a 1955 Webcor record changer here at Anachronism "R" Us.
And you know what? After half a century and change, these records still sound pretty much like new. And I have many compact discs that sound a lot worse. A lot worse, because these old 78s sound great.
RCA Victor's "'New Orthophonic' High Fidelity" was, indeed, all that. All that and a pair of blue suede shoes.
I'm itchin' like a bear on a fuzzy tree to play this stuff on the Big Show, I ga-ron-tee.