Family Bandstand Die Cut Album Cover

Here’s the album by “Family” that followed in 1972: Bandstand. Die cuts included a window (TV screen) and the beveled top corners of the cover and the inner sleeve.

Family die-cut album cover phonograph


Family Fearless Die Cut Album Cover

The 12X12 art space for LP album covers was a good format for creative die cut and multi-page creations. The 1971 album by the UK prog rock group “Family” presented (pre-digital) morphing faces of the band members on sequential step-cut pages. The music itself is unremarkable (except for a baritone-anchored a cappella ditty called “Larf and Sing”), but the cover is rather cool.

Automotive Look Voice of Music 920 Steelman BSR Tone Arm

The tone arm on this 1953 Voice of Music record player (left), as well as this 50’s Steelman BSR record player arm (right), have curvy “hood and fender” appeal. Both are standing by for those Sinatra platters, or some hot BeBop to inspire that horizontal ShBoom up in the guest bedroom.


Joni Mitchell Mingus

This evolutionary singer/songwriting artist paid homage to an ailing jazz great (bassist, bandleader) in her1979 album named after him. 6-page album cover. Jaco updates the bass in the band.

My thanks for the Voice of Music player photo from a great site for radios and phonographs: Radiophile.

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Disco-Tech Pre-Digital

April 5, 2007

Light-up Record Player Disco

Every 10-year-old girl that was growing up in the 70s, pre-digital, had to have a disco flashing-light record player…I think.

Here’s my tribute. At home, I’ve got a fragile little plastic phono pulsating away, with flashing colored lights, suspended in mid-air, mid-leap, as it were. Flanked by “Flashdance” on the left, “Fame” on the right.


Then there’s the most famous of disco records. How deep is your make-up? How high the platforms? One glance and you’ve guessed this one. And to think this innocent lad would end up in Pulp Fiction.

Saturday Night Fever

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Elegant Tone Arm 1940s

This smart three-piece tone arm ensemble, with stainless conduit bridging two brightly-finished, gem-like sections, is sheer elegance. Matching stainless record-changer supports.

Mothers of Invention - Uncle Meat


Edgard Varèse, big dada, and 50’s doo-wop were among the influences for this band’s leader. This was a double album with eclectic arrangements, and free-form jazz. And a semi-famous question asked of a saxophonist trying out for the band: “What can you do that’s fantastic?”

Record Player Zenith Cobramatic 2-135 Record Player Zenith Cobramatic

by Dave Schmidt

The record player tone arm as fashion statement? You may guffaw. But we’ll just take a look in this little series of posts. This is the infamous Cobra-matic, by Zenith (from the 50’s). This coy tone arm, a seemingly harmless little snake with a diamond-studded tongue, slithered across the record grooves with a fluid poise. It tamed the toned. But it could also put a little bite into those early rock n’ roll tunes.


Stevie Wonder Innervisions

Speaking of venom, this 70s classic injected some humbling truth when it chomped down hard on social conditions…with Living For the City. It charmed us with Golden Lady, and took us to Higher Ground…maybe Too High. C’mon, name it. Then mouse over for the answer.

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Woulda Coulda Woodie

February 15, 2007

Bendix 656A Phonograph

by Dave Schmidt (aka David Gordo)
Oak, maple, mahogany, cherry, furniture woods…sometimes combined, like within this Bendix 656A record player.

Philco 48-1253 record player

Table-top beauty…Philco 48-1253.

Many old phonographs make great refinishing projects. Take it apart…strip it good. Don’t gulp the fumes.


Led Zeppelin III

70s rock fans: this classic helped to kick off the decade (released 10/5/70). Huge hint within one the graphics; look for something floating around on the left side. What number album is it, though? Great die cut insert (that’s not the vinyl, unfortunately. ) Mouse over the photo for the answer.

My thanks for the comments from a great site: Retro Thing.

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by Dave Schmidt

Zenith Record Player Pop the Hood Zenith H664 Record Player bakelite

Pop the hood of this Zenith H664, check the high-torque tone arm, close ‘er up, and take it for a test spin.

Surfaris album cover cropped B

This group came along after the Beach Boys confirmed their A-side /B-side single format by showing surfboards on a Woodie on their first album cover (as they surveyed the ocean). Hot Rods and boards. And sometimes girls. But the group shown above was to the Beach Boys what the Dave Clark Five was to the Beatles. Name the group. Hint: borrow some syllables from the Beach Boys first big national hit Surfin’ Safari.

Thanks to BidTrenz Collectable for the inbound link.

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by Dave Schmidt

Arvin Record Player Styled Like Buick 1949 Buick Roadmaster crop

Funny how some of the record players from the late 40s and early 50s looked like the smiley end of those Bulge-Mobile autos sitting out in those first suburban driveways. In this case, they both look kind-of mean: the 1949 Buick Roadmaster, and the Arvin 302 record player. If you liked the Buick, but couldn’t afford it – you could always get the record player instead and get the same basic mood. .Eat a Peach


Speaking of those mid-century vehicles – here’s just the middle of a front cover of a great gatefold – 70s LP art inspired by the truckin’ days past. I gave you the name of this southern rock-blues-country group. But what’s the album title?



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1951 RCA 45rpm-only record player

Here’s that refurbished 1951 RCA 45-EY-3 (above) that I mentioned in the last post. 45rpm singles only. Put on a stack of 5, maybe 6, watch them drop, and listen to all that vintage hiss and crackle as the song rollicks inside the small-but-thick bakelite case.

Simple controls. Just two. The toggle switch that starts the mechanics moving (tone arm goes up, record drops, tone arm swings over, lowers, and plays the record) and a volume control knob. That’s it. One speed. No treble or bass adjustment. No wonder people from the depression-era generation couldn’t program a VCR.





This group flaunts their make-shift home recording digs in the band’s 1969 release. Who is it? (Don’t have a clue? Think how Trivial Pursuit helps with the hard questions).…post a comment with your answer and I’ll verify.

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