My relationship with recorded music began visually. As a very small child, I was fascinated watching records go round and around on my Aunt Belle’s radiogram. Kids love seeing objects spin in circles. Aunt Belle had 12-inch LPs (the soundtrack of the recent film High Society), which revolved at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute, 7-inch singles (theme song from the film Tammy) at 45 rpm, and shellac 10-inch discs (excerpts from the film soundtrack Annie Get Your Gun, with a yellow MGM label) that whizzed around at 78 rpm and broke in half if you accidentally sat on them. I’m afraid I sat on The Girl That I Marry.

Later, radiograms in the Scott household had turntables you could also set to revolve at 16 rpm, though I never saw a record designed for that, so it must have been a flash in the pan. While I was still a toddler, my father was given a pile of 78s a radio station was throwing out. They had plain white labels with the names of the song and artist scrawled in ink. (It was country and western music: not really our cup of...

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