Lens Artists Challenge – Looking Back

For this week’s challenge, we are looking back into the passing of time using photos to represent this topic. As I was going through my photos, I chose music as my subject. My father was a self taught, successful musician. His instrument was guitar and in his early 30’s (during the 1940’s) he was a member of the Sammy Kaye Orchestra in New York (“Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye”). Eventually he struck out on his own in the 1950’s. Here are a few photos that depict changes in the music industry of that time.

Advertising for a musician “back then”.

78 RPM Demo Records – Does anyone remember 78 RPM??

The advancement to to 45 RPM’s with the little thing you had to put in the middle of the record in order to play it.

Radio was a popular medium for listening to music. I’m sure the equipment in the photos below was considered quite sophisticated at the time (taken at a wax museum in Nashville, TN).

Fast forward to the 1960’s and what I consider “my music” – the British Invasion – starting with the Beatles. 33 RPM Vinyl – it’s making a comeback!! I’m glad I saved all of my old records.

What’s interesting to me is that the instruments have not changed that much. The guitars shown below are well over 75 years old (both belonged to my dad).

Today – music is at our fingertips through multiple streaming sites. Personally, I love it – but every now and then I love to hear the pop and crackle of an old vinyl record.

Thanks Sofia for the trip down memory lane!!


23 thoughts on “Lens Artists Challenge – Looking Back

  1. What a fun idea Nora! Sammy Kaye’s band was quite a big deal in its day!! Your post reminded me of David Crosby dying earlier this week. I was such a huge fan of CSNY back in the day. You’re so right, the musicians may change but the instruments not so much! My Steinway piano was 20 years old when we bought it and I’ve had it for some 30 years now. It’s as perfect as it ever was and my favorite thing in the world.

  2. Wow, that was an awesome trip down memory lane Nora. I actually remember the 45 records and putting the little thing in the middle so they could play. That is very interesting the changes we have in the way that we listen to music, but that the instruments remain the same.

  3. Wonderful Nora. As a music person I loved this post. Those guitars are ever so good and priceless. Does anyone still play them?
    I know I wouldn’t be able to contain myself and have a strum or two 🙂 🙂

    1. Thanks Brian. They are my dad’s. I never learned how to play them but took up piano as an adult. Also – my brother plays drums and has been in many local/regional bands

      1. They’re both Gibsons – the one that is a close up photo is from the 1950’s I think. The other one is at least 85 years old. I have a photo of my dad with an inscription to his mom and he dated it 1937. Somewhere in all of his memorabilia I have the original purchase info. He also played the electro-harp (kind of like a steel guitar where you sit and play it). I think it got stolen many years ago. If you’re interested, his only album was uploaded on you tube by someone a few years ago. Here’s a couple of links

      2. The lap steel in the first LP is great. Love the version of Blue Moon.
        Pity it was stolen as it is worth over $35,000
        I would love to know what the other guitar models are. I have looked but can’t seem to find the one in the photo. I think the scratch plate may have been a custom design.
        Sorry with the questions, I am a guitar nut 🎸😁

      3. I think he did customize that guitar. Every now and then I go through his memorabilia for one reason or another. If I find anything, I’ll let you know

  4. I love that you chose music, and you perpetuate your fathers legacy here. What an amazing man he must have been. A fun, interesting, and well organized post, Nora.

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