Those Old Records

Record Player Retro Vintage Motorola Calypso Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our optional World Watercolor Month prompt of “Favorite Song,” I don’t really have a single favorite. Indeed the songs I currently enjoy tend to change with my moods. But, I do have a favorite era for music and that would be the 60’s and 70’s. I adored all of the singer songwriters from back then from the Beatles to Don McLean. I was born in the early 70’s and so I was a very small child, but I still remember my parents playing records with that wonderful music. I’d hear Lennon Imagine a new and better world and then hear McLean pay tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. And as I grew up, I’d watch as records became less popular, and 8 track tapes were replaced with cassettes, then CDs, and then music evaporated into nothing tangible at all. So, it’s fabulous to see records making a lovely comeback. That perfectly unique sound of the needle hitting the vinyl is embedded in my memory as the harbinger of beautiful sounds and indelible memories.

There’s so much I miss about those days when it comes to music. Beyond the sound of records, I truly miss the sound of people actually singing without all of the weird robotic effects. This indeed makes me seem old fashioned or just plain old, but I have to admire people who can write there own music and actually sing it without electronic assistance. Philippe and I were talking about music recently and trying to list all of the singer/songwriters that appeared in this century that we like and it wasn’t a very long list. Then I remembered a singer whom I adored more than a decade ago who only released one full album. Her name is Terra Naomi and she was an early YouTuber who would sit and sing songs she wrote while playing acoustic guitar. One of my favorite songs, which is still relevant for today’s times is called Say It’s Possible. I hadn’t actually remembered that song in years and never told Philippe, so it was fun to introduce him to something he’d not heard of yet.

Music has a way of floating deep into one’s soul. And, Philippe and I have always loved listening to music together. Yet, sometimes, it’s a wonderful thing to do all alone as well. And I have a profound respect for artists who can write and sing their own beautiful songs. I tried my hand at writing songs once upon a time, but they were never particularly exceptional. Yet, like most things I’ve done in life, I wasn’t looking to record an album or become famous, I just wanted to try something new. I’ve never been shy about trying things, even when I know I might lack the talent to do them as well as my idols. I’m my own competition. I just want to do things a little better each time I try. And those songs from my childhood are always with me, urging me forward and giving me hope for the future. Though I do have a strong adoration for the now distant past and the days spent all along in my little bedroom, listening to those old records.

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Record Player Retro Vintage Motorola Calypso Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
45 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    This sketch brings back wonderful memories! Vinyl, record players, and beautifully designed album covers! I miss those days.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Glad you enjoyed this, Sharon! 😃💕 I miss those days as well!

  2. writerleenda 2 months ago

    Charlie I can see you sitting there with your music. Records are making a comeback? First I heard of it but then I am not a music afficionado. Having said that I occasionally plug in Me and Bobby McGee or some such and dance around the apartment. Releasing energy is said to set the writer/artist hormones going….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 Yeah, records have made a comeback and even new ones are released now! And yay for releasing energy!

  3. JA Wilson 2 months ago

    Love it! Reminds me of our red phonograph and playing 45s. My son has it now…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Aww cool that you son has the red phonograph now!

  4. Karen Fortier 2 months ago

    Fantastic Charlie! I have a large stack of albums which we don’t play often enough. CDs play for longer. That matters for me as I listen to music as I paint. Watercolor you can stop and flip an album but if I am doing abstracts in acrylics I am usually covered with paint. Music is key to a good painting! 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, CDs and digital are way more convenient these days. But however it happens, music is indeed wonderful for art!

  5. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Wonderful sketch tonight, Charlie, brings back lots of wonderful memories. There was all kinds of music playing in my parent’s house and my dad had a beautiful voice and was always singing. I don’t even have a favorite kind of music let alone a favorite song…just love music and all of the wonderful memories.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Aww I love that your dad was a wonderful singer! That’s beautiful!

  6. Stephen Booth 2 months ago

    Fantastic,my first ever record player looked like that,great memories😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Stephen! 😃💕 Glad this brought back great memories!

  7. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Awesome! I love it! I do miss the ol’ record player. That’s where I would play hours of Christmas music. When I got older, I would play my older sis’s records. She is 8 years older than me, so the Beatles, etc were my entertainment. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, the music is still around, but I love the way we used to play it most!

  8. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    I love listening to music, but do not have a single scrap of musical talent in any form. It’s definitely one of the things I will ask for when I find Aladdin’s lamp and have my ten wishes. Yes, I know the traditional number of wishes is three, but I feel inflation must be taken into account.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! So true! 😃💕 I’m quite sure with rate of inflation, we’d all be up to ten wishes or more by now!

  9. Lisa 2 months ago

    I used to work as a DJ at a radio station. It was precanned music, but mainly 70s and 80s stuff since it was the 80s when I was doing it. It was fun to hear all the music, and being a radio personality. I got to walk in a lot of parades.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww that sounds like an awesome thing indeed! Love it!! 😃💕

  10. Marisela Delgado 2 months ago

    Great painting, Charlie. It sounds like I am a little older than you (Sept. ’69). I had a record player in my bedroom and I would play my Cinderella record and my Flintstones Haunted House record and tons of 45’s. Do you remember how we all thought Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical” was about aerobics? Or how about that “Ring My Bell” song? Geez, what were we singing to? haha haha I still have all of my records and I wouldn’t get rid of them for anything! 😁 I remember the day when my younger cousin asked me, with a very confused look on her face, “What’s a record?” So sad! Anyway, great painting! Music has definitely changed . Have you noticed that no one writes love songs anymore? Now THAT is sad!

    • writerleenda 2 months ago

      Marisela you mean “Let’s Get Physical” is not about aerobics? That shows you how much of a music afficionado I’m not. Never gave it a thought. But then I didn’t realize those 80s rock songs were about drugs either. I’m like that with poetry too though, don’t tell me love is a red wagon. I will see a wagon. No wonder I don’t like poetry. Maybe we shoulda left me in the dark of innocence….

      • Marisela Delgado 2 months ago

        Don’t feel bad. I think I was well into my late teens when I found out the truth about the non-aerobics side of that song. I used to wear a head band like Olivia Newton-John, leg warmers, too, and dance my little heart out. All the while it was a sex-you-up song! Boy, talk about feeling DUH! haha haha 😊 The Beatles sang about drugs, too. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds…..about tripping out on drugs. I wish we had both stayed in the dark of innocence. haha 😊😇

        • writerleenda 2 months ago

          Marisela — Cometh the dawn. Oh well I can’t get into trouble blasting Me and Bobbi McGee and dancing backwards around the living room. Or my Italian music. It was so nice of them to put a disk thing into the computer tower so I can put the disk in three instead of the ghetto blaster. Other than that I don’t pay much attention to music. Or doughnuts (Canadian spelling). I did however have a grand affair with cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 You’re just a couple years older. Glad you enjoyed this! Yeah, the love songs of today aren’t quite the same. Filled with cynicism and doubt instead of that wonderful happy ending.

  11. Eduardo Cabrera Campos 2 months ago

    Fascinante, Charlie; me haces acordar cuando escuchaba Rock en el tocadiscos que había en casa

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Muchas gracias, Eduardo! 😃💕 So happy this brought back good memories!

  12. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 months ago

    Fantabulous!!! Thanks for the memories Charlie!!!! 🙂 I used to love to sing with moms old albums!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe! Yay for singing to those old albums!

  13. Lisa M. Boyd 2 months ago

    Love this! Everything about it is spot on!

  14. Susan Feniak 2 months ago

    Excellent 💙

  15. Gary Middleton 2 months ago

    Brilliant doodle, Charlie. My first record player was a hand-me-down from my parents, including some of their records. I was over the moon.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Aww yes, I love that we get our love of music from our parents!

  16. Mugdha 2 months ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Thats such a beautiful sketch! I’ve never had the fortune of growing up with records but I showed your sketch to my parents and a flood of bittersweet memories gushed out – memories they didnt even know they’d been holding inside themselves for so long. Soon they were giggling & laughing like little kids. They’ve been anxious through this pandemic and its such a joy to see them smile and laugh like this. And we only have you to thank for this!

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Aww I adore that you showed your parents and this sketch brought back fun memories! And most of all, I’m so happy I was able to make you all smile!

  17. Fanna Turano 2 months ago

    What a lovely stroll down memory lane, Charlie. I really really loved this post today. Brought back my beloved 70s, the music that filled my soul, where we were, mostly how we felt when a particular song is what we remember from a relationship ache to weekends with fun friends. As I read your post, I sang those songs to myself, remembering where I was when Don McLean sang about Vincent, how sad it made me feel, how I wish I could also be a misunderstood artist. My very first record player was green and white pebbled board, lifting the needle after every song ended. I would listen to the same song twenty times or so in a row if I loved it. Thank you for bringing me back to a time when we could hear every word in a song, and one’s garish or scantily-clad garb wasn’t the focus. Marvelous post, Charlie!!!

    Fanna

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕 So thrilled you enjoyed this! I love that you felt that from the Vincent song…. McLean did make it so romantic to be that misunderstood artist. I wanted to be that too!

  18. Robert Coleman 2 months ago

    Super sketch, bringing back wonderful memories listening to classical music and jazz with my parents and starting a lifelong love of all kinds of music. I kept my 1970’s big stereo receiver/amp with the turntable, cassette player/recorder, cd player and iPod input! But I still love the records I have held on to and play them now and then. The record player you’ve sketched is still available at places like Barnes and Noble, who still sells vinyl records of current and earlier musical heroes.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 Yes! I love that we can still get records today and record players. It’s wonderful to know that some things were just too good to innovate past!

  19. Priscilla DeConti 2 months ago

    Love your painting..and your thoughts about music..I remember the vinyl records and the sounds from the old players..nothing like the canned stuff they put out today..sorry not a fan lol
    And I love all kinds of music as well and listen sometimes when creating as the mood hits 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful memories and that music is a balm to the soul!🧡

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Yeah, the canned stuff isn’t my fave… add the electronic processing and I’m like… is this even music? So true… real music is the balm to the soul!

  20. Bird 2 months ago

    Beautiful panting. I inherited my parents vinyl records and I still play them sometimes. I like listening to the crackling sound and all the “faults” compared to todays more sterile. But I do like modern music too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, that sound!! It’s so amazing and has memories that go beyond the music!

  21. Jerson Antao 2 months ago

    This looks great Charlie as you bring back old memories..We did have a record player in my childhood..and then those great oldies hits of the 60’s 70’s kept you rocking with da twist.Well done Charlie!! keep going!😊😍

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jerson! 😃💕 Yeah, I love those songs!! So wonderful!

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