Dark black, fragile, shiny, labels like paintings,
turning at 78 revolutions per minute, music recorded in
one take. Fragments of time stored on fragile shellac.
One thoughtless action and a piece of history is gone for
Therefore the samples that come my
way are cared for affectionately in...
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The first record
It is the first half of the fifties and my
parents have recently welcomed their first child, my only
sister. These are still the years of reconstruction after
World War II and money is still scarce. All the more of a
sensation then, when the first magnificent record player
makes its entrance into the Amsterdam apartment. An
enormous piece of furniture with a modern glass window
and at back a mirror in order to create a sense of space.
This purchase makes quite an impact on the family budget
and there is just enough cash left for one record, I'll
string along with you, sung by Doris Day and Buddy
Clark. My mother still remembers what she paid: one
guilder and sixty cents! ($ 0,90)
More and more records...
It occurs to my father that he had a
reasonable record collection during his service in the
Royal Air Force in England in the forties. When he left
the services as a bachelor, the records stayed at his
parents' home in Tilburg in the south of Holland. He now
decides to go and collect them which, however, is
regarded as an unfriendly act by his younger brothers.
And this was the beginning of the present
collection! I was born in 1958 and the record player is
still in the living room as a pontifical piece of
furniture. In my memories this magic instrument gave me a
feeling which I never again did encounter with any other
technical instrument. Around my year of birth the
production of 78rpm records ended. 45rpm's were
introduced and the 33rpm's had already been on the market
a number of years under the name "microgroove".
My parents' record collection increased in quantity
during the fifties and was in my young years quite often
on the turntable of the record player, which in the
meantime had changed into a plastic Philips model. One
sunday afternoon my father was busy sorting out his
collection, while pleasant sounds filled the house. Here
and there were small piles of records, breakable records,
and little Jan stepped by accident on a large pile of
them. My present collection could have been larger...
Starting to collect!
When I was 15 the old magic got under my
skin. I loved pop at that time (I still do) but the fact
is that, although I am a great Beatles fan, the 78rpm
records have something extra. They have a more dynamic
feel due to their speed, are more beautiful because of
their size and their labels, while there mauve coloured
covers are so much more mysterious than the LP`s of the
seventies. I decided to start collecting these old
First on my bicycle, and later on at the age
of sixteen on the moped, I could regularly be found at
"het Waterlooplein", Amsterdam's flea market.
At that time the flea market was still at the spot where
later the Music Theatre was built. The records could
often still be bought cheaply, but there was a lady with
a record stall where the records were much more expensive
but of better quality. I searched for hours in order to
come home with one record bought from my very limited
Through the years the records have come from
here, there and everywhere. Now and then I go to a flea
market, but a reasonable quantity I obtain from people
who want to get rid of them and I am always available for
any records laying useless in the loft!
The present collection
In the eyes of real collectors my collection is a disorderly hotchpotch and they are right, but every
one of my babies is dear to me not withstanding genre and
period in time, although I honestly must admit that the
enormous quantities of medleys of "the Three
Jacksons" (Dutch accordion-trio) are not my daily
If I must state my preferences, then my
favourites are the American singers from the forties and
the fifties such as Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, Dinah
Shore and Deanna
Who am I?
And finally a few words about myself. I live in Amsterdam, I play bass-guitar in various contemporary music projects and my daily work has to do with cultural heritage.
Yep, that's me
on the photo (left) together with the well-known Dutch
tv-host Willem Duys.
Well, I hope you will have a
pleasant time in my 78 RPM Record Warehouse!