Music – Music – Music

Pearl Harris

I love music – good music – all kinds. But your kind of music may not be my kind. I’m so glad there are different kinds since we are all different. When I grew up we were not exposed to music. Sometimes we would beat on an old syrup bucket and sing. We lived too far the first six years of my life to walk to church so I didn’t get to listen to music much. My Dad played the Harmonica and “Juice Harp”. My Mother had played the organ when she was young and had tried to teach me the notes so I could read music. I learned to identify FACE and (E)VERY (G)OOD (B)OY (D)OES (F)INE. But I never found where I could use that. Some of our neighbors had a player piano and when we visited them we heard that. I don’t remember exactly what year a peddler, or a salesman brought a Victrola to our home and let us keep it for a week to see if my Dad wanted to buy it. I don’t recall all the records he left, but there was one that I do remember. It was the singing Engineer Jimmie Rodgers singing “Casey Jones”! We all loved the Victrola, but when the week was up my Dad decided we couldn’t afford it, so the man took it away. We all cried – it was like a funeral. My Dad missed it also, so later he bought a Victrola that sat on a table – a portable – I suppose. In those days you had to lift the needle down on the record and had to wind it up by hand. When it ran down – it sounded awful. I don’t know if RCA made the first Victrola or not, but I remember the day and the dog and horn. I guess it was their trademark and it may still be. Afterwards we got a radio and we would listen to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights. Wasn’t it fun to all gather round and listen to country music? Then there were these big record players – beautiful pieces of furniture – and electric. If I remember correctly, I believe you could put on more than one record. There were 78 rpm, 33 rpm, and 45 rpm records. Then when we got television we had wonderful music – The Hit Parade, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Mitch Miller, Lawrence Welk, etc. It just about blows my mind that we can sit in our living room and see an orchestra play Strauss Waltz in Vienna, Austria.

It’s a shame that we can’t get programs like that now instead of so much violence and sex. People were not satisfied not to have music on the go, so they put radios in cars and “Walkman Radios” you could take with you. Everything begins to get smaller – cassette tapes were all the rage. I have a player that plays cassettes and 45’s. I guess it might be called an antique by now. I didn’t have a CD player until Christmas and I told someone I need to buy me some CD’s. They said I had better hurry because they would probably quit making them soon. So I asked one of my sons what all the CD’s and I-Pads were about. He began to explain about lasers and chips and I just told him it was just as clear as mud. I guess things are just going too fast for me, but I’m told that by the time people get all this stuff they come out with something better. I think I’ll be satisfied with what I have and when it wear out, I may just have to sing to myself. Won’t that be a calamity as “I cant’ carry a tune in a water bucket”? Thank goodness for all the new technology we have and hope we put it to good use. Gold bless all of us who love good music and may it always be provided for us.

Good Listening!


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