I’d give $100 to any kid who can identify a retro turn table record player. Heck, I think there are even many 20 year old’s today who do not even know what a turn table is! I don’t mean the stuff a club DJ uses right, I mean the real thing that started it all.
I really don’t know much about a turn table but I know what it is because I’ve seen it on a documentary on TV. But yesterday, I learned so much about it to the point of amusement. We saw my uncle, Tatang, and he showed us this really cool retro turn table – I mean the ancient kind that you can probably see on music museums already and it still works!
My other uncle, Kuya, explained that the turn table first appeared in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The first discs are called 45’s and it contains one or two songs, then later the bigger, long playing ones arrived and it contains around five or six songs. You cannot fast forward or rewind them – they just go!
What I think is fascinating about the turn table is that there is a whole process to hearing 50’s or 60’s music. First, you buy your record which is a huge round thing with these really nice covers and illustrations. Then you take it out and set it up on the turn table and you watch as the turn table works its thing. I can tell you I applauded when I saw the turn table lift its hand and change records! It was ultra cool! Lastly, you can hear that buzzing sound the needle makes before the lovely waft of the music fills the room next.
It is a big contradiction to how music is delivered today, like fast food. You go online and download tracks easily. I don’t think there are very many who still buys CDs. I know this is convenient but I think there is something special about processes where you make connections and had to wait before you get what you seek. I think there is something special there.
I was born way after the turn table and the oldest I got to was the time when cassette tapes are dying but I can tell you that the turn table really appeals to me because it is old school, perhaps slightly melancholic, and filled with an extra punch of character – really sweet.