Paul Jackson Music

Paul Jackson Music

Thursday, 25 April 2013

#1: “In The Town Where I Was Born” – My first record

One of my earliest musical memories include owning a Fisher Price record player which came with different coloured plastic discs of nursery rhymes. It was really a music box where the raised bumps on each disc would pluck the metal chimes inside the box as they rotated. But as this was packaged and presented as a record player, that is how I used it.

On my third birthday I received a ‘real’ vinyl record as a present from a relative – “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles. A real 7” vinyl single. It looked magical and sounded like nothing else I’d heard before. I would listen to it over and over as a toddler and was quickly drawn into this audible world of melodies, instruments, sound effects and a singalong chorus.
I remember being aware of how different moods and feelings were created by certain songs and pieces of music. “Yellow Submarine” was a jolly song that made me happy. I pictured the submarine and the sea and I could see lots of people shouting and singing in the background.
Then the mood changed when I played the b-side “Eleanor Rigby”. This was different to “Yellow Submarine”. The words, the tune and even the string instruments sounded quite sad to me and my infant mind would be filled with pictures of a lonely woman, a church and a Father McKenzie.

I didn’t know anything about the Beatles at the time or knew where the record sat in their back catalogue. They had split up several years earlier and this particular single was a release from quite a while back. But owning and listening to this record opened a door into a world of far removed from nursery rhymes played on coloured plastic Fisher Price chimes.

Later records I received as presents include Boney M’s “Rivers Of Babylon b/w Brown Girl In The Ring” and a selection of Mr Pickwick “Top Of The Tots” records featuring various pop cover versions. But the most significant gift I received around that time was my own record player. Initially a red and blue plastic player called FriscoDisco with two dials – one for speed and one for volume. This was later followed by a more grown-up looking record player which came in a box with a lid, a built in speaker along the front and a long central spindle to stack various records on at once.
It was the late 1970’s and one of my most treasured memories is sitting on the floor in a corner of the room by my record player a little pile of my own records which I played over and over again.