By: Glen B. Porter
When I was a kid growing up, vinyl records were the primary source used by music lovers to listen to their favorite songs. Eight tracks had been going out of style fairly rapidly and the latest trend was the cassette tape. Even with the passing of the eight tracks and the emergence of the cassette tape, many music lovers still kept with traditional vinyl records for their listening pleasure.
We have certainly come a long way since those heady days of vinyl records. Compact discs (CDs) are all the rage today, and with good reason. The sound quality is truly pure and clear, and you almost feel as if you are in a sound-proof room when you focus your listening solely on the CD player. The clean, crisp sound that comes out is a huge improvement from the vinyl records that crackled as they played.
However, it is that crackling sound that is only offered by the vinyl records that I find so appealing. There is something about that sound that is so neat & even soothing to listen to especially when I’m in a nostalgic mood. Perhaps it is due to the crackling sound which is tied so closely to the songs I loved when I was a child. I simply cannot separate the two.
I actually took notice of my love for that unique antique sounds of the crackling vinyl records by accident. A really good friend of mine had offered to be the disc jockey for my wedding without charge. Of course I did not refuse the kind wedding gift. However there was a catch. My friend played only vinyl records, nothing else.
This was certainly not a problem for me. I had wanted to skip all of the trendy pop-chart music of today and focus on older dance music and classic songs available on vinyl records. My friend started playing dinner songs at the reception. He chose classic Irish music during the wedding meal.
The whole reception hall had kept silent during the prayer. And once the prayer had ended, the DJ slowly placed the needle on the record and the quiet room began filling up with soft crackling sounds followed by lovely Irish music. The transition was magnificent and the memory of the moment the crackling sounds overtook the reception hall still gives me chills. You simply can not replicate that with a compact disc.
Technologically, we have come a long way when it comes to music. However, we should not completely let go of the little gems from our past. The haunting sounds of the crackling vinyl records help us truly touch the past even if for just a moment.