Among my treasures, a record containing songs by Janis Joplin

1971 bio Janis
Tucked inside a 1971 bio of Janis Joplin: a 33 rpm record of the singer’s comments and songs.

Trying to cut down on clutter, I spent a weekend combing through boxes labeled “Keepsake”. Most of us probably have these “walk down Memory Lane” moments when we’re going through old stuff and land on something that stops us cold.

I found a treasure in my treasures. An old book, given to me by my husband, before we married, when we were both in college and living paycheck to paycheck, made all that tedious sorting worthwhile. 

The name of the book is Janis. It was written by David Dalton. My husband bought it for me for Christmas that year.

Inside the book is a 33 rpm record of “Janis singing and talking.”

Joplin has always been one of my favorite musicians. I don’t think anyone can match her on songs like “Cry, Baby” or “Bobby McGee”.

When I saw the vinyl insert, I reflected on how vinyl and cassettes went the way of the cord-phone. Everything is digital now, right?

Mostly. But cassettes and vinyl still claim market share, as a wire story published early this year in numerous newspapers indicated. I had no idea the biggest manufacturer of cassette tape in the world is located in Springfield, Missouri. The owner of the factory told the wire service reporter the market is growing, fueled in part by nostalgia.

Isn’t it interesting that in the West, where downloads, streams, and CDs are the standard, the cassette market and the vinyl market, seem to be making a comeback of sorts?

It’s not just nostalgia driving interest in cassettes. It has to do with the way your ear receives sound, according to National Audio’s president:

“People raised on MP3s, with digital music consumed in earbuds — it’s a very sharp, crisp sound,” Stepp said. “But if you listen, the analog sounds better.”

Digital music lacks harmonics, Stepp explained, because file compression crams frequencies together. Analog offers depth, warmth, the chance for every note and frequency to sing out.”

I’ve had many conversations with my daughters about recording, including analog. Looks like I may have a new convo—Rebecca loves the analog format.

As for my Janis book, it retailed for $4.95.

(Band Mom/Jan. 17, 2018)

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