Category: 78

Rosemary Clooney: Memories Of You

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Philips 1955.  PB428

Not listed on Discogs

My Dad asked me to make a CD from a very damaged 78rpm acetate he made as a child in the 1940s.  It was quite a labour of love getting anything audible from it but I got there in the end.  It meant of course that I had to reconfigure my vinyl rig to play 78s, which takes much longer to do properly than you might think.  Anyway, now it’s done, and it’ll take a similar amount of time to get it back to its usual state, I thought I’d explore a big box of 78s a neighbour gave me years ago.

My neighbour didn’t have great taste in music but I came across a few interesting bits and pieces.  Rosemary Clooney was George Clooney’s aunt, but what’s interesting to me about this disc is that it contains the original version (I think) of a song Robert Wyatt covered on the B side of his goosebump inducing single, Shipbuilding.  It’s a great song, as you’d expect, and predictably, Wyatt performs it much better than gorgeous George’s aunt did, but it’s an interesting listen if you’re a Robert Wyatt obsessive like me.

Get the Wyatt version on the Greatest Misses compilation.

It’s been quite a revelation to me how good 78s sound played on a decent turntable properly set up for the job.  OK there’s some surface noise, but it’s mostly not intrusive, and with most of them, there’s not much wrong with the way they sound.

This is a long way from being the best record I’ve posted on this blog, although by my reckoning, it isn’t the worst either.  At least it gets away from the endless indiepop.  In reality I’m quite the musical magpie; I listen to all manner of genres, but reading this blog you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m stuck in a late 80s Creation time warp.  Thing is, that was the time I was buying a lot of vinyl – as I moved onto other genres, I also moved to CDs.