With the revival of vinyl as a popular medium for music, I find myself surrounded by a new generation discovering vinyl records for the first time. I’m definitely dating myself here, but I had my first experience with turntables and 45 RPM’s in 1965.
I had a strong and early interest in listening to the radio and the music my dad played around the house. I fell in love with his music: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, The Lettermen, and Trini Lopez. My mother, recognizing this, took me to what was then Gemco and we picked out a very simple, easily operable turntable. On the outside it looked like a small suitcase, pink with a red handle. When you unlocked and opened it, the inside was gray and plastic, with a three-speed dial. Equipped with my neat, pink portable, my mother and I perused the records themselves. Being only six then, I wasn't all that familiar with who sang the songs I would wait by the radio for hours to hear, only how they "went". I had to sing through my favorites until I’d hit upon the title, like "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" (which to my mom's delight were on two sides of the same disc!) and "She Loves You" and "Do You Believe In Magic". I took home those three 45's that day, along with the requisite plastic adapters so they'd fit on the turntable.
As time went by, I learned more about the artists that were on the Billboard Hot 100 by listening to Casey Kasem on Sunday mornings. We eventually went back for my first LP's by The Mamas and the Papas, Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, and The Hollies.