I spent yesterday morning listening to Pandora Radio on the Internet. I have several different stations programmed. Yesterday, I used two of them. One was Buddy Holly and the other was Connie Francis. Pandora is neat because when you program a station, Pandora chooses other music that has the same general flavor to it.
Sometimes I click on the song that is playing and read the lyrics along with the song. Yesterday one of the graphics that was with a song was of a 45 record changer. That got me to thinking.
In my life time I have witnessed an enormous amount of change in the music media. My mom introduced me to records with her old hand crank record player. You cranked up the spring driven motor and then put the needle down on the record. The speaker was on the head that held the needle. She had several records from the thirties.
I had an aunt that had a similar contraption, except it used cylindrical records. Both easily scratched the records and they snapped and popped as they played, but I loved listening to them and would do it for hours on end.
When my mom and I moved to Odessa, she bought me a portable record player. It only played one record at a time and could play 78s, 45s and 33 1/3 records. Today, I doubt if many know what those designations stand for. The numbers represent the revolutions per minute of the media. Of course the lower numbers created the ability to get more music on a smaller recording area.
My mom bought me three or four records with the record player and the artist I chose was Burl Ives. I had at most about 8 songs – all on 78s. I still remember Hard Rock Candy Mountain, Polly Wolly Doodle, and others.
When I was a teenager the 45s were the rage. Each record had two songs, one on each side. The 45s were easy to recognize because they were smaller in size and the center hold was over an inch in diameter. Kids would get together and bring their records and sock hops were the rage. Buddy Holly, Connie Francis, Elvis Presley, and others were always played.
The 33 1/3 records allowed you to get a lot of music at one time. I was big on the folk music at this time. I had the Chad Mitchel Trio, the Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, Joan Baez and others. I never really got into the Beatles.
To get music into cars the eight-track tape cartridge came out. It was huge and used a wide tape. The media was too large and soon was replaced with cassettes. These were great and the Sony Walkman made carrying music easy.
Cassette tapes and records gave way to CDs and everyone thought this was the ultimate. Small, thin, high quality sound that had no snaps, crackles or pops. I had close to 300 when I moved to Panama.
Now, CDs are almost a thing of the past. The medium now is digital and solid state storage can hold hundreds to thousands of your favorite music in the space of a wrist watch. Streaming digital music and videos are becoming the norm.
It is hard to imagine what the next advancement may be. Thinking about all the music technology changes, I have seen in my life time, almost makes my head hurt. I wonder how many of the Chiriquí Chatter readers remember the same changes I remember.