While I am away in New York City for a couple of weeks, a fantastic group of elderbloggers and elderblog readers agreed to fill in for me. Today it is Peter Tibbles who says of himself:
I'm an Australian from a small country town with a strange name (the town that is; oh me too, I guess) who now lives in the big smoke (Melbourne). I'm divorced with no kids (which means, of course, that I never grew up). A mathematician by training, I've worked for more than 40 years in the IT industry (which may be some sort of a record). In a nutshell:
I drink wine
I listen to music
I read books
Often at the same time.
I've been thinking about recorded music in the fifties. I do that quite a bit. We had everything back then. Okay, I hear what you saying, there were no CDs, no MP3s, no iPods. You've made your point, you young folks. We had 78s, 45s, 33s All of those things. Singles and Long Players. We also had EPs, Extended Plays, 7 inch 45s.
These were great value for money. I still have one of my sister's with its price tag on it. It cost about one-and-a-half times the price of a single. Great value, because these had four or five songs on them. Back then, whenever an artist recorded an album, it usually consisted of two or three hits, maybe another good song or two and a bunch of filler.
The EP came out with the best four or five songs from the album and no fillers. And it cost a lot less than having to buy three or four singles or the album. No wonder we liked them.
The first EP was that very one of my sister's with the price tag. This is Johnnie Ray. What a great one this is. (Pam, if you're reading this, I still have it if you want it.) It was called Mr Emotion and it has on it Cry, Walkin' My Baby Back Home, All of Me and I'm Gonna Walk and Talk with My Lord. Okay, three out of four songs ain't bad and here is Cry.
The second was also Pam's. Now, this may come as a surprise to you all, but this was Johnnie Ray as well. This had the rather prosaic title of Johnnie Ray. There was Just Walking in the Rain, Please Mr. Sun, All of Me and Tell the Lady I said Goodbye. Again, three out of four. I guess Johnnie was fond of All of Me. Instead, here is Walking in the Rain.
The third one (I think - I'm getting a bit hazy about the order of these) was Elvis. I can't remember whose this was but now we're talking. This was the Jailhouse Rock EP, and what a beauty this was. Five tracks on this one. The songs are Jailhouse Rock, Don't Leave Me Now, I Want to be Free, Baby, I Don't Care and Treat Me Nice. Five out of five. Here's the last cut.
I recall other Elvis EPs we had. Old Shep springs to mind but I don't think either of us wishes to claim that one. It's not in the box. I believe Poor Boy was on that one.
The next (or previous) was definitely mine. Little Richard. This one has gone as well, but what a fine disk it was. I played it and played it. Mum wasn't impressed but didn't say anything unless I turned it up too high. The tracks were Tutti Frutti, Rip It Up, Ready Teddy and Long Tall Sally. Four out of four. Maybe the best EP ever.
I can't do a cover so I attached a photo. And here is Ready Teddy from the 1956 movie, The Girl Can't Help It.
There were others: Bob Luman with Let's Think about Living and three other songs that have slipped my mind Not really slipped, I can read them from the back cover and I could always put on the record and play it but I don't really want to.
The Stone Poneys' EP Different Drum was probably the last I ever bought. That's where I discovered and fell in love with Linda Ronstadt. She remained the love of my life until Emmylou Harris smiled at me one day. This one had Different Drum, Some of Shelly's Blues, Hobo, Up to my Neck in High Muddy Water. Four out of four. We're into the era of groovy covers. Here is Different Drum.
By this stage I was buying albums and I think everyone else was as well, as EPs went the way of 78s. This is a far from an exhaustive survey, even of what I still have in the box in the music room, but they are notable ones I remember fondly.
EDITORIAL NOTE: While I am away, The Elder Storytelling Place is on hiatus. You can read past stories here. And if you are inclined, you could send in stories for publication when I return. All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.