‘about as raggedy as that Beatles White Album’


Today’s cogitation-inducing photo is contributed by Dale Williams of Jackson, TN. It was shot at Perdido Key, Fla., July 2008. If you have a cogitatin’ photo you’d like us to use, email a copy to bill@billgreer.net.


A few moons ago – too many to count, I’m afraid – I chunked all my LP’s in favor of CD’s, the emerging technology.

Let me explain.

My family knew I was having a hard time shedding my vinyl albums. Who in their right mind would cast aside The Beatles’ White Album or Sgt. Pepper? Or the complete works of Glen Campbell?

My eclectic collection ranged from Boston Pops to Janis Joplin, from Blood Sweat & Tears to Flatt & Scruggs. Even though I didn’t listen to vinyl albums anymore, how could I banish them? Wouldn’t that be akin to burning books?

Our daughter had the answer. For Christmas one year, Amanda gave me a recording turntable. It took a few months, but eventually I converted the most beloved of my LP’s into MP3 files. What once stretched 10-12 feet standing neatly in a row was now in the palm of my hand. Almost.

My first-generation iPod didn’t have enough space for the 6,000 or so songs I had on vinyl. So, I burned compact discs, alternating between recording and burning until the most precious paeans were captured on CD.

Straight from vinyl to CD, skipping the audiotape years of eight-track and cassette. Did you really think tape was a viable next generation, or just an interlude? Tapes were cumbersome to produce. Eight-track had that bothersome clunk when changing tracks. With both eight-track and cassette, time management was of utmost importance. Who’d want a clumsy clunk or the end of Side A interrupting, say, Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence?

So, I skipped tape and went straight from vinyl to CD. And now, today’s technology eliminates the necessity of CD’s. Not only do computers and iPods hold more music, but cloud storage provides backup to an endless stream of … everything.

Pictures? On a cloud. I have pictures of our daughter when she was a baby. I even have pictures of myself going back about 65 years. Our wills and other such legal fare are on another cloud. And music? My entire library, which has grown to over 14,000 songs, is on a cloud as backup to our computer files.

In preparation for some manner of disposal, I just last week finished an inventory of the CD’s, all 600 of them in six milk crates.

Back when I cleaned house of the LP’s, I never dreamed they’d be worth much money. But methinks I got about $300 for the lot. Or maybe it was $600. My memory is about as raggedy as that Beatles White Album; the album cover was worn out and some of the grooves were, too.

So, this time, with much more product, I was hoping to cash in for a down payment on a new iPad.

Times have changed.

After contacting all three used-music stores in Nashville, I’ve about decided to just give all the CD’s to the charity Graceworks … if they’ll have ’em.

Nobody wants my music. At least, not in CD form. They especially don’t want the country music. They’re interested only in rock. Trouble is, rock represents less than 5% of my CD library. Why, I’ve got as much Cajun/zydeco music as rock. Likewise for gospel music. Country, on the other hand, accounts for 57%. Apparently, country music CD’s are as plentiful around here as wide-eyed Oklahoma kids getting off the Greyhound with a guitar strapped on their back.

Who knows what the next generation will be? Or are digital files here to stay? History would say no.

6 thoughts on “‘about as raggedy as that Beatles White Album’

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