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My Parents’ Old Vinyl Record Collection

Last trip back home to my parents home was a event-filled weekend, good food, and running about a lot.

On the last night, i decided to fire up the old turntable, or record player as we called it back home. It’s been awhile since i last played it, prolly something like 5 years ago. Growing up, the record player was a fixture in our household, my parents would once in awhile play their old records from the 60’s and 70’s, and their tastes was a huge part of my musical education as kid.

pioneer turntable

Actually this isn’t the turntable we had all along, ours was a large impressive one with tape and 8-track player, but it finally bit the dust and is now sitting outside my dad’s house in some old boxes. This particular one was actually salvaged by my mom from her friend who wanted to trash it. It’s a simple set, all we needed to do was change the needle.

needle

If you’ve ever owned a turntable set, you’d know that the needles are very expensive. We’ve changed quite a few before, this one cost RM150. The sound was excellent, it was hooked up to my brother’s marantz amplifier and Cambridge Audio speakers. We finally threw out the two huge box speakers, it was about 4′ high. My cat used to scratch the foam covers…

recs

My mom and dad (and bro) collectively have over 100 records, i couldn’t get it all on one shot, so these are a few that my mom and dad likes. From the top left going right, that’s Barbra Streisand, a German Christmas album, Teresa Carpio, The Sound of Music, Hot Chocolate, another Christmas album (by a rural English church choir), some 70’s dance compilation album, John Denver, Slim Whitman, 2 of my mom’s Teresa Teng albums and Skeeter Davis.

I kinda like these two from Abba. I remember vividly that we went to watch the ABBA: The Movie at Rex Theater some time in the early 80’s, and my dad immediately brought to buy the two albums after the show. It was probably the last vinyl albums he bought. The one on the right is the soundtrack to the movie, and the one on the right was their then latest album with ‘Fernando’ on it.

I bought the Abba greatest hits on CD some years back.

abba sleeve

These two are my mom’s favourite english albums. Tracy Huang and Frances Yip. Both are albums where they sing cover versions of popular English hits. I love these 2 records, evergreen hits from 2 great singers.

tracy and frances

tracyhuang

theres a kind of hush

Here’s a short movie of Tracy singing Karen Carpenter’s ‘There’s a Kind of Hush’. I believe this was her first ever English album, released from Singapore.

my uncle bought this from England for my mom.

soundofmusic

John Denver. I remember he used to host the American Music Awards…

johndenver

This is obviously my mom’s. Very talented singer, taken before her time. My wife can sing along to all her hits…

teresateng

These are 45rpms, or singles as they’re usually called. Mostly are my mom’s chinese records.

45rpm

This particular 5 were brought back by my bro from Australia when we was studying there in the late 80’s. They’re Lionel Ritchie’s ‘Say You, Say Me’ (Soundtrack from the movie White Knights), Elton John’s Nikita/The Man Who Never Died, Pat Benatar’s ‘We Belong’ and Bryan Adams’ Summer of ’69 and Heaven. Singles came with a throwaway track on the B-sides.

singles

This one came with a tin of Dumex milk back in the 70’s. I bet they’ll have hoot if I sent it back to them today…

dumex

Here’s another movie of the late great Teresa Teng, on the scratchy vinyl…

I don’t know how long this record player will last, and how long my mom will keep the records. But vinyls will always hold its place in music history. The scratchy, crackling sound and the clarity is unsurpassable even in the age of hi-tech DVDs… Next trip i’ll record more movies… hopefully.

[tags]LP, vinyl, records, teresa teng, abba[/tags]

20 Comments

  • Boone

    I think them “needles” are called stylus. Yup, they sure are expensive, especially a good brand like Shure.

    Perhaps some of the records can be classified as collector’s items.

  • simon

    boone – really? i dodn’t know that. i think this one was bought from malacca.

    wuching – someone offered my mom RM10 per piece, but she declined, obviously.

    cc – it’ll prolly cost a lot of money these days, i should record some of the songs in its entirety and load it up to youtube.

  • daniel

    hahaha… nostalgic. Wang Jiu’s uncle got a whole loads of those stuff. I remember my home used to have some (my auntie’s).

  • simon

    dr.tan – actually the marantz was my brother’s punya. i only have a yamaha…

    daniel – i bet vinyl records were quite common here in PJ back then.

  • Ponytail

    Waaa…I grew up listening to my Mom sang me songs from Teresa Teng and Francis Yip also…in Cantonese and Mandarin. My Mom England tak pass…hahaha!

    Sound of music…I still know how to sing some songs from there…very nostalgic and I am trying to get Zoe to learn the songs…hahaha….fat hopes!

  • lucia

    ahh such nostalgia.

    i remember most of these singers. i do remember frances yip but not tracy huang until i read this post of yours, then suddenly ah yes i remember her then singing all those remake old hits.

    it’s a good thing you still have these vinyl record collection, simon, as wuching pointed out, they are collectors item and worth a lot. i remember having some old records from my neighbour when i was a kid, but pity i did not keep them.

    sign the memo

  • giddy tigress

    I remember playing my grandma’s and uncle’s old records when I was a kid. I think that was the time when they were slowly phasing into the cassette tape era. It’s a wonder how your parents still keep this bit of nostalgia alive 🙂

  • simon

    ponytails – so you should buy some teresa teng karaoke for her la!

    lucia – i’ve actually been looking for some of these old hits on youtube. i’ll try to upload some if i have the time.

    giddy tigress – vinyl is still the best. i don’t think any cassette can last more than 5 years!

  • Josette

    My father had a collection of old records too. He had Elvis Presley, The Bee Gees, Abba, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Janis Joplin and lots more! However, the record player was spoilt so those records weren’t being played. We’re still keeping the records…in memory of my dad. Can’t bear to throw them away. 🙂 I wonder where I can buy a new record player?

  • alcyon

    you can buy a record player in klang or in amcorp mall, at Joe’s MAC, or call me at 017-3696085, i will point you to the shop in klang that sells the players.

  • PYT

    These are treasure from the past and l am happy you treasured them. Why not buy yourself a player and play yr memories…if free u can go to you tube and see “my collection of vinyl records”.I from Johor where little place you can find related collectible items like in KL,PJ..keep it up and “不要走宝”…

  • simon

    haha strange coz my mom asked me to take the record player home with me, but i can find any place for it here… maybe if i can find a compact set next time.

  • Naveed A. Jami

    For over 18 years I have been searcing for the music of Francis Yip, I am so envious to see that you have the album, soemthign old something new. Is there a way that you can share her music with me. I do not find it anywahere on internet.

    Naveed

  • simon

    Naveed, my last trip home i had planned to record the songs onto youtube, but unfortunately something was wrong with my amps, so i couldnt get the sound out. Got to find a new amp.

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