A Word In Your Ear - April 14, 2016

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ACCORDING to glossy magazines recently, vinyl records are back in fashion for those old enough to be nostalgic about them.

I remember the even earlier and more brittle 78 rpm shellac records, of a childhood neighbour’s, with 40s bands like the Ink Spots singing something called doo-wop. It was music to click your fingers and sway to.

Then there was a sensational night in the 1950s – after we’d got our first television – when they let me stay up late to watch Rock Around The Clock, sung by Bill Hayley & His Comets.

By then my neighbour had early 45rpm vinyl singles and EPs, or extended players, of Elvis Presley singing Love Me Tender or Jailhouse Rock.

But I preferred Cliff Richard.

Like many readers no doubt, I can remember the first records I bought – Living Doll by Cliff, then What Do You Want by Adam Faith. Oddly enough, I’ve also tennis memories of both stars; Cliff playing in a celebrity exhibition match at a Davis Cup event, then Adam using our indoor court at South Shore. Honestly, they were both better at singing.

Personally, I’m not nostalgic about vinyl. As She Who Knows pointed out, records take up too much space. Give me those neat CD players any time.

However, I fondly recall landmark albums, or LPs as we called them.

I must also agree with recent media conjecture that the best were in the 70s. I’m thinking not even of the Beatles or Stones, but singer-songwriters like Carol King, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell and Joan Armatrading.

The covers and songs transport us back to younger, though not necessarily better, times.

Nowadays, when in high spirits, I’m more likely to burst into a romantic ballad or classic show song than a pop or rock tune; perhaps Some Enchanted Evening, Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ or even O Sole Mio. Who needs all that vinyl, when you can sing them yourself?

* For Roy’s books, visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.