First Stereo albums I ever heard

stevephillips

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Back in 1966 I was 7 years old. I loved music and was fixated on the Beatles after seeing them on the Ed Sullivan Show with my older sister.
We had a few 45's that we listened to on a little mono phonograph. Then one day my parents bought a brand new GE console Stereo. This
was a huge event in our house. That thing was a beautiful piece of furniture, and I was amazed by it. My Dad bought 2 albums to test it out
with. They were Whipped Cream and Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66. I couldn't believe the sound coming out of that wooden box. I have all of
the TJB albums now, but Whipped Cream will always be special to me.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
I had to wait till I was 13 & 1/2 years old when my brother Mike bought his new stereo system in December 14, 1978 as an early Christmas present!! He bought a Technics turntable, Marantz stereo receiver, TEAC cassette player & Pioneer speakers!! As for me, I had to wait until the second week of July of 1986 when I was 21 years old. I got a Technics turntable from the "Best" store (NOT "Best Buy"), Yamaha headphones, Technics cassette player & Technics compact disc player & (can't think of the brand name) but it was a stereo receiver which I got from the old Highland Appliance store in Saginaw, Michigan!!! The Technics CD player was skipping (NOT the CD) so I had to wait until May 5, 1995 (which I turned 30 years old) when I got a DENON CD player at The Listening Room in Saginaw, MI!!
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Back in the late sixties and early seventies, all we had was Mono record players at home. One was a Magnavox or Phillips from the late forties/early fifties. I got permission the check out stereo players from the high school library on the weekends and I could listen to my stereo albums. I bought my first stereo in early 1974 at JC Penneys and do not remember what brand it was. In 1977 I got a Panasonic stereo and I still have it.
 

Harry

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I'd guess it was 1966, since I remember the stereo record player and one of the albums I got in stereo for Christmas that year was WHAT NOW MY LOVE. Along with GOING PLACES and SOUTH OF THE BORDER, those were the three albums I would have first heard in stereo.

The record player was a simple "portable" fold-out turntable with two side speakers that detached and you could set each one of them about six feet from the main unit. Controls were on the top of the fold-down; it was a light cyan plastic unit, and I believe it was either a Magnavox or a Motorola - one of those "M" companies. I already owned THE LONELY BULL and WHIPPED CREAM in mono, so my collection early on was a mixed one. I know it wasn't long until I added both SRO and SOUNDS LIKE, and ultimately getting VOLUME 2, but my sister picked me up a mono copy with her discount at S. Klein on the Square, where she worked.

I was really wowed by hearing separate stuff coming from one speaker or another, and was told by someone at school that stereo headphones were really something too. I did a makeshift tryout by holding the two blue speakers to my ears and turning the volume way down to experience what headphones must have sounded like.

For high school graduation, I was given an FM Stereo radio. It had two detached speakers that matched size and the wood-tone of the main cabinet. It was a neat looking unit with a beautiful blue dial that lit up, and an orange stereo pilot light that lit on stereo stations. Beforehand, I was convinced that FM stereo couldn't sound as good as my record player - I'd imagined that the stereo effect would be somehow reduced going through the airwaves that way, but I was dead wrong. In fact, the stereo radio, to me, sounded better than my stereo records, and I learned that it was because my little record player only had a ceramic cartridge, and to get the great sounds I was hearing on the radio, I needed a magnetic cartridge in my turntable. So that was the next purchase, a separate system with an FM tuner/amplifier and a turntable with a magnetic cartridge. BSR brand.

Ultimately, I went back and bought up all of the TjB albums in stereo and ditched the mono. Only many years later did I discover that there was some value in the mono pressings too!
 

Rudy

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I used the old Admiral hi-fi in the basement--it was an upright cabinet that played only records, and I used to stand on the chair next to it so I could load up the changer. Must have worn it out since my grandfather handed down a Heathkit changer (made by Glaser Steers) that replaced it. It probably was 1969 or so that we got a big Magnavox console up in the living room, stereo of course, and the stereo records were not to leave the console. My mother bought another console five or six years later when she redecorated and got a more modern and compact Magnavox to replace it with. In the meantime, I'd bought a plastic GE record player (similar to the GE Wildcat, but had separate cube-shaped speakers) from EJ Korvette's with my own money. Didn't take long before I was hooking other speakers to it to improve the sound.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
As I was born just shortly before Mono recordings were phased out in my earliest listening experiences I was exposed simultaneously to Both Stereo and Mono albums thanks to my parents collection I can say my first stereo listening was quite intriguing hearing different sounds coming from two speakers on some of the records and No difference on the others hearing these differences as a very young Child i had yet to know the differences and I owned Mono Cassette players from the time I was 11 until I got my first stereo system at age 17 so for a long time in my youth Stereo sound was a treat and a privilege as well as a rarity but today thankfully I still have the older Mono recordings too so both to me are still a treat especially now with what we know and have experienced ( sad to mention again) The Universal BBQ of 2008 (self explanatory)
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
My dad was and electrical engineer and on the hi-fi kick in the mid '50s. He built a mono amp and assembled two speakers at that time. According to my older sister, the only way to stop me from crying as an infant was to move my crib into the living room adjacent to the stereo (which at that time was a Scott 340A receiver and a Gerrard A70 TT). From that point onward, music was central to everything. In 1971 (when I was 7), dad set up his old mono unit in my bedroom and allowed me to play his LPs unsupervised. Within a year, I talked him into moving his entire collection into my room, which he didn't mind -- both he and mom referred to the 1950s and '50s LPs as "those old records" -- given they were listening to the newer music of the day.

The first LPs I heard were probably what dad was buying in 1964: Mancini / Our Man In Hollywood and Bud & Travis / Naturally come to mind. Years later, my dad said I destroyed his first copy of Herb Alpert's !!Going Places!! in 1966: He said Herb Alpert's music would make me happy and dance; one day, while I was in front of the stereo, I apparently removed that LP from its jacket and began jumping up and down on it!
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
The first time I ever listened to an album in Stereo, was in the fall of 1969. I was given "The Age of Aquarius"in stereo, as a Christmas present from my brother.
I listened to it on my aunt's stereo. I do not know what the brand was but it was huge and the non turntable portion doubled as a tabletop. It was four or five feet long. The next day, I bought my first Stereo LP and it was Brasil'66 Look Around.
 

Fran_SS

New Member
Back in the late sixties and early seventies, all we had was Mono record players at home. One was a Magnavox or Phillips from the late forties/early fifties. I got permission the check out stereo players from the high school library on the weekends and I could listen to my stereo albums. I bought my first stereo in early 1974 at JC Penneys and do not remember what brand it was. In 1977 I got a Panasonic stereo and I still have it.
We do have a Panasonic stereo too! My parents bought it when my older brother was a kid, so it must have been around 1980. Crazy to think that a 40+ year old machine is still working, to be honest. The double-deck is long broken but other than that the thing is completely functional. Me being and 80s boy, I was thrilled when my favorite songs were played on the radio and I had to rush to record them on tape. Happy times!
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
We do have a Panasonic stereo too! My parents bought it when my older brother was a kid, so it must have been around 1980. Crazy to think that a 40+ year old machine is still working, to be honest. The double-deck is long broken but other than that the thing is completely functional. Me being and 80s boy, I was thrilled when my favorite songs were played on the radio and I had to rush to record them on tape. Happy times!
I still use my Panasonic every now and then to listen to lp records.
 

Mike Blakesley

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We had two phonographs at our house when I was growing up -- the regular phonograph that us kids could use, and the "good" one that was mainly used by my parents when they had parties and such. I knew I was maturing when, at about age 9, I was allowed to use the "good" phonograph, on which I would drive everybody crazy by playing the Tijuana Brass records I was beginning to collect. But the "good" phonograph, although it had a nice tone, was a mono machine.

The first time I really heard and appreciated stereo was when our auto parts store started selling car stereo systems. My dad had rigged up a demonstration unit behind the counter, and they had installed four speakers in the decorative valance above the counter, spread across about 20 feet, so the stereo effect was really noticable. They had a demonstration tape called "Audio Fidelity Stereo Spectacular" that contained a lot of the standard sound effects, voices going back and forth, and so on. It also contained several "Cartoons in Stereo" that were pretty funny for their time. My favorite was "Russian Roulette," in which the two competitors would "slide" the pistol back and forth across the floor to each other. Naturally, it's on YouTube:


Anyway, from the time that tape deck was installed until today, even though the music department is long gone, there is still always music playing from some device somewhere in the store. Part of this is in my DNA inherited from my dad -- he always had a radio or TV or something on to create some background noise.
 

Rudy

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I was probably five or six when we got the Magnavox stereo console in the living room. Prior to that, the only "big" system in the house was the old mono Admiral console in the basement. The Magnavox was the one that had the "restricted" records that couldn't be played anywhere else in the house. Which in hindsight was the right move, since the mono system would have torn up the stereo records.

But I was one of those, too, that always had music going in the background. Even today it's true. I'll have my desktop system going while at work, Pandora streaming over the kitchen system at dinner, streaming in the garage if I'm deep into a car project or, heck, even my main system is fired up and playing music while I have a video game (muted) on the screen.
 

Harry

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Almost from birth, I was drawn to records. I have memories of being about two or three and playing and listening to records. We had one of those RCA 45 players and my teenager sister would bring home the pop hits of the day - the 50s - so I grew up with The Chords singing "Sh-Boom" and Teresa Brewer singing "Music, Music, Music", and Les Paul and Mary Ford doing "Vaya Con Dios". And as I grew up a little, I maintained my fascination with watching those records spin around and make music come out of that front speaker.

This is a frame of an ancient 16mm movie film that my Dad was into at the time. We were visiting my older sister's new apartment after she moved out. The picture contains me, facing the window and holding up a record, with the old 45 player going. The woman is my mother and the man is my grandfather. As you can see, I was much more fixated on playing the records.

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60-odd years later, very little has changed with me, except for height, weight, and amount of hair...
 

GDB2LV

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Lol. Great pic and story Harry.
I had a similar infatuation with records when I was about 3-4 years old. I got my first record player for Christmas in 1959. I also received the soundtrack of Sleeping Beauty, plus many other Disney 45’s with it. I would get those little Golden Records at the grocery store when shopping with my mom too. Popeye and Bozo the Clown were a couple I remember. The first stereo I ever heard was again the huge Magnavox one my grandparents bought in early 1964. It had a beautiful mahogany cabinet, with a satellite speaker that played in the den. The bass and sound was beautiful, and my grandmother gave me the soundtrack to Mary Poppins to play on it that spring. They had The Sons of The Pioneers Cool Water album, and Tennessee Ernie Ford with Sixteen Tons too. I also conned my dad into buying me the Beatles Rubber Soul album to play after school. So those were the first stereo records I ever heard.
Nice thread.
 

Harry

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I had a sister who was into westerns and horses and such, and for a birthday she received an album of western songs by Frankie Laine, a rather popular one called HELL BENT FOR LEATHER. We played that album a lot and it's one of those favorites in spite of itself. I wasn't into westerns at all, but somehow the music shone through. While the album we got then wasn't in stereo, I've since found a pristine copy of the vinyl that is in stereo - a Columbia six-eye that sounds better than most albums do today.

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By the way - there's a CD from a low-budget outfit called Hallmark in the UK. Avoid it like the plague - it's a bad needledrop from a mono LP.

The best CD out there of this album is a two-fer from Collectables where it's the second album on the disc.

P.S. - Oh, and this isn't what I'd recommend for kids today - it's got lots of blood and guns.
 

Rudy

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"Johnny Williams." Same guy who played piano on some late 50s/early 60s jazz dates with Mancini's jazz ensembles. Also the same dude who wrote scores for some little-known sci-fi flicks called Star Wars.
 
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