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Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2017

Count your blessings

Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at 3:31 PM

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and it goes over and over? There is a catchy little song we used to sing at church called "Count Your Blessings." One day last week that song got into my head and I didn't think it would ever go away.

The tune and words, "Count your blessings, count them one by one," was like a broken record. Young people today would not have a clue where the saying "broken record" came from.

The song in my head reminded me of the old record player days. For my 13th birthday my parents got me a white and blue record player on a stand and I thought it was the grandest thing I had ever received. Of course, at 13, I tried to act all mature about it, but it was special. It just looked like a large, square box when the lid was down, but inside that box was the turntable and I could play records. We had singles with a song on both sides and we had albums with several songs by one group or singer.

We had to be careful, because if the arm of the record player was not placed down just so, or if we bumped the stand while the song was playing, the needle would scratch the record. If the record was scratched, the next time it was played it could stick on the same part of the song and it would play over and over as the turntable went around and around, making it a "broken record."

It was 1963 when I received that record player. It could play multiple records. I don't remember exactly how it worked, but we could load several records and, as one finished, another would drop down.

I didn't have a lot to compare it with (the radio), so the sound to me was wonderful. It probably had a small speaker built in, but I could buy my favorite songs and play them over and over again.

I do remember as the records scratched easily and when it started sticking, I would have to tap the arm gently to move it on.

As technology improved, we started purchasing large cabinet type "stereo" record players with a turntable and radio. They were in cabinets as large or larger than televisions but had wonderful sounds from multiple built-in speakers.

Record player days finally left and then we had eight tracks. I belonged to a music club and had eight tracks mailed to me monthly. I had quite a collection. I think I have a suitcase full of eight tracks in the outside shed unless my husband has discarded them. I also have a few of the vinyl albums in the back closet. After the records and the eight tracks came cassettes. They were smaller, took up less room and most cars had cassette players.

Today we have CDs. They do sound good and, again, take up less space.

Technology has come a long way since the record player and hand-held transistor radio days of my youth, but it was nice to think back to the beginning of my teenage years and the blue and white record player.

I wonder if my parents knew how much I appreciated it and how much I enjoyed it for several years. To have parents who wanted to give me, and my siblings, special gifts for special occasions is one of those blessings I can count.

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Revis Blaylock has been on staff with the Manila Town Crier for over 35 years. She has enjoyed making friends in all the areas that the Town Crier covers. This blog contains her general ramblings about events throughout Buffalo Island. She welcomes your comments and ideas for future stories.
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