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12" 1970s 33 rpm Classical LP World music

Admire the calligraphy

Hearing the traditional music of China is like admiring a piece of calligraphy hanging in a temple. It is beautiful, no question. Clearly, great skill is required in its execution. But it can’t be escaped that this is a minute fragment of a rich and complex culture. The daunting truth: without a lifetime’s study and […]

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1950s 7" Children's Single Soundtracks

The Inn of Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation between Dr Barnardo and John Travolta. Thomas John Barnardo was an Irish philanthropist. While training as a doctor in London in the 1860s, he became aware of the miserable plight of the many homeless children in the city’s slums. He established the first of “Dr Barnardo’s Homes” for children in that […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" EP

Beware of the pricks

There is a peculiar excitement in dropping the stylus onto a record which is a complete mystery. The label is blank, or illegible, or in a foreign language. Not Italian or German: an English speaker can puzzle those out, more or less. I’m talking seriously challenging languages: Russian, or Hebrew, or (as in this case) […]