Note: this was originally supposed to be a one-shot post, but while I was writing this I discovered in my memory world of information about my grandfather's record collection that I previously forgotten about.
Also note: this entire post was first written on my laptop using my DNS software, and as such I was able to unplug my computer and set it up on a tray in front of my collection, so as to get better prompts for writing this post, before writing it as a blog post.
It's been quite a while since I last talked about music. As a matter of fact, it's been about two months since I talked about something music related, and about five months since I talk about my record collection, so I think it's about high time that I actually talk about my record collection.
My grandfather listened to what would be called today "classic country". For those of you who don't know what classic country is, it's basically any music that came out during the heyday of the Grand Old Opry (of which I have a double disc set best of in my collection). I mean he really was what we would call in today's parlance "old-school".
By the time he passed away in 1989, he had a rather large collection of albums. I would say about 75% was classic country with the remaining 25% were split among other types of genres. Today's post will not only cover the classic country part of this collection, but will dabble in the remaining 25%, because the remaining 25% is as interesting as all get out.
Like I said my grandfather was very much old-school with his country music. Among the many artists that I found his collection were some that I had the unfortunate experience of listening to while growing up. And of course there were others that I listen to rule growing up that I still listen to to this very day, and there are others that I wouldn't even touch with a ten foot pole... or rather a ten foot toner.
For example, he used to listen to artists like: Lynn Anderson, Sonny James, the Statler Brothers, Patsy Cline, and even Slim Whitman, of which I found quite a few examples of. I also found, in addition to the original releases for some of these and many other artists, were a slew of re-issues done on a label called Pickwick Records.
Now being the inquisitive sort I am, when I started going through his record collection some six years later and after finding a slew of records throughout by the same artist on two different labels, one being Pickwick and the other being RCA Victor, I decided to do a little search and destroy on the Internet.
What I found at the time was some very interesting information on this label. It seems that this particular label specialized in doing decent quality re-issues and interesting compilations featuring well-known songs being re-recorded by studio musicians. What I also found out much later was that this particular label specialized in doing out of print titles for RCA Victor including all kinds of Elvis Presley compilations. More can be read about this label on Wikipedia.
Now, my grandfather didn't just only acquire a hodgepodge of country music but also acquired other types of music as well. The main reason he required some strange music was that my grandfather like to spend money on frivolous things.
For example, he picked up a bunch of mid to late 80's rock music. From what I was able to figure out long after he passed away was that most of these albums are what you would call "promos". That is, a record label would send out new releases to various radio stations in order to try to get them to play the music. The odd thing about these record albums was that they were all from one record label: MCA.
In addition to these various types of rock music, I also found boxed set compilations put out by Reader's Digest. Some of it was pop, some of it was big band music, and some of it would be considered old-school country. You name it, my grandfather bought it.
One of the more unusual albums that I found while doing an inventory of this collection was one that was put out by young girl (about the age of ten) by the name of Lena Zavaroni, that was released on the Stax record label back in 1974. Intrigued, I used my favorite search engine (hint, hint) and discovered a rather tragic story about this girl. Click here for that story.
This concludes part one of my Grandfather's Record Collection. Part two will cover the more interesting tidbits about the types of music my grandfather listened to.