Are you a person who gets nostalgic when you hear music from the Big Band Era? Do you love the music of Guy Lombardo, the Ray Coniff Singers, Nat "King" Cole and other greats from the music world? Whether you have inherited a turntable or have just decided to join the many collectors who have bought their own, you can build a pretty impressive collection of music from the past. Here are some ideas on how to shop and how to establish your at-home music library.

Decide On Your Categories - How far back do you want to go?

  • The Forties - Look for vinyl records of names like Tony Martin, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and old blue eyes, Frank Sinatra. These artists are so great that singers today are still trying to catch up with them!
  • The Fifties - This is the era that changed the world of music. Consider the names that are still listened to today. Start with Elvis Presley and add Chubby Checker, The Everly Brothers, Lou Rawls, and Bobby Darin. Mix up your collection with rock and roll and some romantic tunes. You know what you like!
  • The Sixties - The Beatles! If they didn't produce the music you love, then consider Gene Pitney, Neil Sedaka, and the Righteous Brothers.
  • The Seventies - Some favorites from these years were Simon and Garfunkel, The Carpenters, BJ Thomas, and music from television sitcoms like The Partridge Family.

Go Shopping - Hopefully you've been lucky enough to inherit some great records. However, even if you haven't, you can still find what you want and some surprises along the way. Head for stores that sell used records. You'll usually find what you want by checking the stock alphabetically. If you aren't finding what you want, the clerk will more than likely have a good idea of whether or not the store carries what you're looking for. Don't give up. People sell records a lot, so you might find exactly what you're looking for the next time you shop.

Caring For Your Collection - Consider the fact that you are holding a record that somebody else cared for well enough to pass it on to the next person.

  • Don't use tap water to clean your records. Instead, use distilled water and a very mild detergent. Immerse the record only half way into a rubber tub and gently clean the record, avoiding getting the label wet. Dry the record with a lint-free cloth and let it continue air drying. 
  • If you have kept your records clean, your stylus will last much longer. However, even then you'll need to replace the stylus of your record player so that an old one won't damage your records.
  • Keep the records in their original jacket so they won't get dusty, and so that bright sunlight won't harm them. 

Congratulations on building a collection of music that will bring you hours of pleasure. (For more information on records, contact a store such as The Turntable)