I grew up in a world of music. My dad played stride piano (precursor to modern jazz) in Milwaukee clubs. When Lynn and I were just toddlers he read us stories and played the piano before putting us to bed. We both started piano lessons before our 5th birthdays. Lynn went on to sing classical music with the Cleveland Symphony and teach vocal music to college students.
I grew to love all forms of music: jazz, classical, rock, country, and the blues. Well, not all – I never got into opera. I also got hooked on buying the best stereo equipment I could afford. Since high end audio equipment is priced in the stratosphere, I bought used. Even then I had to scrimp and save to afford the amps, CD players, and speakers I craved.
Now we have our iPods, iPhones, computers, headphones, and portable amps to create a more mobile and intimate musical experience than we have with our home stereo rigs.
Many years ago I gave away all of my LP records, sold my turntable, and embraced the world of CDs. I must have several hundred. Recently, on a whim, I visited Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill. What brought me in was a sign in the window “Turntable Doctor.” I walked up to the second floor and found myself in a maze of rooms with floor to ceiling LPs. I followed the signs to the Turntable Doctor, entered and found Vince overseeing his small display area. There were vintage turntables and stereo amps and receivers, all for sale at ridiculously low prices. They couldn’t be any good, could they? Well, they were. I bought a Sanyo turntable on the spot along with a phono amp to interface with my gear at home.
Of course then I had to buy at least some records. I found used treasures: string quartets, Miles Davis, early Aretha Franklin…well you get the idea. I raced home, plugged in the turntable and spun a marvelous album of Michel Legrand jamming with a group of jazz legends. Awesome! And there wasn’t a click or pop to be heard. The same was true with every album, used records all. The sound was warmer and more natural than any CD.
Now I have a new addiction: Jerry’s Records. Jerry himself is quite the character and his floor people will help you find anything in the maze of rooms. You can buy most albums from $4.00 – $6.00. I found a four album collection of Shubert’s string quartets for $13.00!
Jerry’s Records is located at 2136 Murray Avenue on the second floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217; phone is 412-421-4533; cell: firstname.lastname@example.org. Galaxie Electronics, the home of The Turntable Doctor, is in the same building. Vince can be reached at 412-521-0431 or email@example.com .
Tell them Neal sent you!