Everyone’s love and taste of music is instilled by the ones they love, family and friends. My love of vinyl was passed from my Mother and Father, like most of us, the records we hear being played at home when we are children stay with us for ever.
Imagine the record turntable of all our homes could tell their story, imagine if we could hear all the records that have spun on our home record players. The wealth of music played by the people we love would be endless.
I’ve decided to dust off my Grandparents turntable, amp and speakers, take them apart and mend the wounds they’ve earned over time. Not only are basic record hi-fis of the 70s worth thousands in audio quality now, the very platter and dials of the system are those that family and friends adjusted over the years.
The Gills' grew up in Bootle, Liverpool. Exposed to one of the greatest music scenes in the world, music was a huge part of their three sons lives. I’ll be looking at the very finest records they all spun on this wise, wise old turntable.
My Grandfather, Francis Gill, was club singer throughout the 60s and 70s in Merseyside. When he recently passed, we discovered his work diary for 1965, playing in both the Labour and Conservative working men’s clubs in one week to singing in both the Everton and Liverpool supporters clubs in the weeks following. Even though it was a family of proud Toffees, he never turned down a gig.
The country and western stylings of his voice and music choice have never left me, no record reminds me more of his singing more than Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie From Muskogee’ from 1969. A absolute regular of this TRIO KD-1500.
Like a lot of Mothers, Frank’s wife, Kathleen had the final say on what record was put on. For both of my Grandparents, the artist’s voice was their defining feature. What better record to remind me of my Grandmothers love of great singers than Ella & Louis from 1956. The giants that were Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, both singing alone or together will take me back to that very living room.
With a new generation, came with it, new tastes. Mark is the eldest of Frank and Kathleen’s three sons, and was the man to change the course of music we would all follow in the family. Much like his youngest brother, Mark introduced me to the wonderful world of the late, great David Bowie. His passed down copy of ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust’ from 1972 holds pride of place in my record collection as it did in my Fathers.
An easy choice for every Merseyside home, The Beatles’s Rubber Soul sat quietly next to that hi fi for over 40 years. I’ve not been able to trace it’s original owner, but I confidently know that everyone in that home at some point placed this masterpiece on the platter and dropped the needle.
Lastly, no one’s music taste encapsulates everyone else's more so than my Father’s, Simon Gill. His, takes it own radical turn with streaks of Post Punk from up the M62. Factory record’s first 7-inch pressing of Love Will Tear Us Apart in his hand made sleeve was a constant of that faithful turntable as were all the releases of Joy Division, early Human League and the passed down Beatles & Bowie records he fell in love with.
Think of your childhood record player, think of your grandparents hi fi system and cast your mind on all of the incredible records that make up your music heritage. Go into your attic, open up your old cabinet and find the very records the people you love have played for over 50 years.
I've created a playlist of the sounds which filled this Bootle home, get a listen on Spotify.