the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

12
August

Vinyl Record Day

Posted by Brittany

Vinyl Record DayThe first Vinyl Record Day was celebrated in San Luis, California in 2002. The local festival featured music for all generations, trivia contests, dancing, and other family activities, and it’s success set the foundation for a National Vinyl Record Day. The following year Vinyl Record Day became a non-profit organization with the mission to “preserve the cultural influence, recordings, and cover art of the vinyl record,” and to encourage people everywhere to celebrate their favorite music with their friends and family. Vinyl Record Day has been celebrated across the U.S., as well as internationally each year on August 12th, the anniversary of the invention of Edison’s phonograph. During a recent Vinyl Record Day celebration, the organization launched its petition to the U.S. Postal Service for a series of first class stamps depicting social history through vinyl record cover art.

By the time I was born 8-track players had gone out of fashion and music-lovers were already carting around small totes of cassette tapes, but the vinyl record was still a contender in the music trade. Before CDs ushered us into the digital age, our household still listened to a lot of vinyl records. I remember a few in particular, that I loved as a kid: one that was full of children’s songs like “On Top of Spaghetti”; another that featured not music, but poems that gave me goosebumps (especially “The Highwayman”); and of course our favorite Nat King Cole Christmas album. My parents had a good variety in their collection — everything from show tunes, to classical, to 80′s rock music. As the years passed and our old record players faltered, our record collection slowly started to disappear, falling prey to multiple neighborhood yard sales. But even as I entered my teens, surrounded by CDs and eventually MP3 players, there was something I missed about the grainy, haunting sound of our old record player.

And it seems that records and record players are making a comeback of sorts. Not just for people who like to spin, like Chris, but also those of us who wax nostalgic. A few years ago, when I discovered part of my late grandparents’ old record collection in my parents’ shed I quickly commandeered the vinyls for my own seldom-used record player. And even though I don’t play them as often as I’d like, I love combing through the old Hawaiian records and classical music they acquired. Likewise, I love seeing current artists releasing records alongside their CDs and MP3 tracks; my favorite band, Rasputina, often sells their music in a digital/vinyl bundle and I’m proud to say that I have two of their more recent albums on vinyl.

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