Willie Nelson showed up at Bookmans Speedway… well, not exactly. The original Willie Nelson Classic Collectors Edition vinyl came across our trade counter and that’s nearly as exciting. Imagine a clean cut, short haired Nelson in a crisp suit on the cover! In 1959-60 Nelson had a variety show! This was the beginning of his career and he was years from the country hippie we know now. The show only lasted a season, but we love seeing Willie in that light. In fact, seeing our most familiar and best loved musical heroes were back in the day always feels good.

Vinyl as Musical History

When we think of Johnny Cash we see a black leather-clad tough guy, possibly giving the finger to authority. Johnny Cash Sings offers a pre-prison persona — clean cut and be-suited. The liner notes tell the story of a young man who joined the Air Force to escape his 40-acre Arkansas farm. It’s amazing to look backwards through the lens of time to see these artists as they were, as they began, before we fell in love with them and their amazing talents.

Want another shocker? How about a album cover with a pink suited, guitar wielding Neil Young fronting his solo project The Shocking Pinks? Who knew that Neil is a genre-jumping rockabilly in his 13th album? This LP is a collector’s dream for the cover if nothing else.

For a real blast from the past check out Chubby. Chubby Checker released an album with Parkway records called Biggest Hits. Not only does this feature a young Chubby, it includes pull tabs on the back side of the cover. These “pull off pix” show the hit maker in all his moods and through the years. The idea is to use the frame on the inner cover to show off different pictures.

iPods are great for convenience and CDs are easy to carry and store, but there is no beating the appeal of music on vinyl. True audiophiles prefer their collections to include records. These are the precious gems that give us a look into our musical history.

* Bookmans can not guarantee stock. If you are interested in a specific title mentioned in this article, give us a ring. Bookmans is the place to browse, but it’s a good idea to make sure the title is still on our shelves before you come in.