Is there a next generation of 78 collectors?

As I see a resurgence of interest in records (or “vinyl” as many seem to currently refer to them) I wonder if there will be a next generation of collectors for 78 R.P.M.s.

Admittedly, I was a strange kid who began collecting 78s when I was around nine years old (1972).

My parents had a stack of these in their linen closet, that would sometimes be brought out late at night when their old friends were over for drinking and dancing. Some of those records had actually belonged to my great grandmother (I found out years later).

Over the years, speaking with other people my age who also collect 78s, it seems that we showed an initial interest in the format because our parents had a stack of them left over from their youth. It seemed that our parents were also born in the 1930’s or before, whereas our other friends’ parents were younger and had 45s or LPs.

As a child, there was something mysterious and otherworldly about how fast the records spun on the turntable; almost haunting.

There was also a time travel aspect to listening to them. With most old records, and especially with 78s, I wonder about the people who owned them before they came into my hands, or how many times they might’ve changed hands before they came into my possession. Especially with a genre that was cutting edge in its day, like Bebop for example.

Sometimes I try to picture the person returning home from the record shop in 1947 with that brand new Dial label Charlie Parker 78, when it was brand new to the ear (and a somewhat controversial genre) and spinning it for the first time.

I wondered about their lifestyle. What sort of tragedies and triumphs did they end up facing over the course of their lifetime? How did they die? Or, are they still alive somewhere?

Before the advent of CDs, there really wasn’t a lot of music from 78’s being reissued (in the scope of how much music existed on the format).

By the late 80’s and through the 90’s, quite a bit of rare items surfaced as reissues that hadn’t yet been available otherwise, but there is still a vast amount of music that will probably never see it’s way onto a reissue or even the internet.

The format lasted around 60 years, from the late 1890’s into the late 1950’s in the U.S., while other countries stuck with the format as late as the early 70’s. While I am not a world authority on 78s, I do have some knowledge, and

I wonder what might happen to these records as time moves forward if there aren’t any younger people to continue collecting them.

Especially certain records that are now extremely rare and/or expensive, and the wondrous music they contain.

We don’t yet have any true gauge as to the lifespan of a digital transfer stored in a “cloud”,

but what’s clear to me is that I’m still capable of playing my great grandmother’s records with a good sonority, and their condition hasn’t seemed to decay since I first heard them as a child. I wonder if my great grandchildren will someday be able to access my “cloud” to listen to my MP3s, view my pictures, watch my videos etc., or will it all be wiped out through the course of time due to sunspots or something. Only time will tell.

Kassin – Not Your Typical Brazilian Music


What is it about Alexandre Kassin aka “Kassin” (in gringo-ese, Kah-Seen) that brings the listener into a place of wonderment? It’s not easy to musically describe him in one sentence, one paragraph, one blog posting. Maybe a book should be written at this point.

This man is a musical anomaly, steeped in the love and knowledge of traditional musical styles, but also possesses a wide open palette of experimental music and sonic exploration. As a producer, he is one of Brazil’s best and highest in demand. The roster of icons that he has worked with is staggering for a man of only 42 years ~ Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Jorge Ben, Lincoln Olivetti, Erasmo Carlos, Elza Soares, and Wilson Das Neves come to mind straight off the bat. And those are just a handful of the “Old School” classic artists. Then there are more current popular artists such as Bebel Gilberto, Marisa Monte , Los Hermanos, Vanessa Da Mata plus a whole slew of others that seem to be well kept secrets from North America thus far.

As a musician, band member and leader, Kassin has been involved in numerous projects of note – as an integral member of band “+2 “ with Moreno Veloso and Domenico Lancelotti, and Orquestra Imperial (just to name a couple). If you are willing to spend time sifting through the internet, you will discover many more musical treasures connected to the name Kassin, although strangely enough, I haven’t yet found a thorough and definitive discography for him.

His first solo album Sonhando Devagar (Dreaming Slowly, 2011) is a concept album, entirely based upon his dreams. Even if you don’t understand the Portuguese language, it’s still a very enjoyable listen front to back, for it’s sonic quality, musical imagination and overall groovy impressions. Currently , he has completed his second solo work, due for upcoming release, and has recently returned from Japan as a member of Gilles Peterson’s Sonzeira project, featuring a literal Who’s Who of Brazilian artists.

Joey Altruda’s Shanghai Noir DJ Mix (Free!)

Joey_SH Noir_Flyer_Square


FREE!! Every Wednesday night I am hosting the Shanghai Noir Record Party at General Lee’s in Chinatown, Los Angeles. A great mid-week social gathering in an opulent 40’s Chinese Deco environment. Come out and groove to an array of collectible vinyl, ranging from Exotica, Jamaican, Brazilian and Cuban to Funk, Soul, Weird Novelty and beyond.

Festivities begin at 9 pm. Free Entry! FREE PARKING in the lot at the corner of College and Hill Street (behind the gas station). The bar is situated in the far end of the Main Square, directly across from the kiddie rides (look for Winnie the Pooh!).


Rhino Records Releases Entire Oz Score For First Time


We’ve all seen The Wizard Of Oz more times than we can keep track of since childhood, but have you ever paid close attention to the musical score playing under the dialogue between the musical numbers? If not, you will find a whole magical world unto itself, containing themes and motifs from the songs, subtly weaving in and out of a masterwork of musical impressionism.
Songwriter Harold Arlen provided all the musical numbers we know and love, but the score was written by Herbert Stothart, who won and Academy Award that year (1939) for his genius work.
Rhino Records has recently released a deluxe CD set of ALL the music of The Wizard Of Oz-Thank You! Five Stars