I have always had a love of vinyl since being a young kid growing up in England and spending all my pocket money on 7” singles and, if I saved up, a full 12” album! I remember running home from the record shop and excitedly bringing down the needle on my latest acquisition. Back then there was a real magic when you listened to a record for the first time. They were indeed glory days.
Vinyl has always been there, it’s just that many people forgot about it. It got left behind.
Over time we became so obsessed with convenience and with what the latest technological advancements were, that our records were at first hoisted into dusty attics or deposited in dark basements. Vinyl records were then ‘replaced’ by cassettes and then by CDs. Then even CDs were replaced by the ungraspable digital mp3 file and then by online streams. We were left empty-handed. Our attics and basements had been emptied long before many of us realized what we had lost. A piece of us and our culture had seemingly vanished.
General Manager – WPSC
2018 Marconi Award
Non-Commercial Radio Station of the Year
And then something remarkable happened. Vinyl came back. An appreciation came back. It was somehow a revolutionary thought that something like a physical disc could be crafted and imbued with music and meaning and a solidity that we had forgotten existed. We could hold the music in our hands again. We could examine the artwork and read the lyrics. We could experience the totality of the artists' intentions. We could take a journey once more and feel a connection with the music that we had rarely felt before. Listening to music had become an important ritual again. It had become special.
So now they say that vinyl is back in a big way. And there is no end in sight, with vinyl sales experiencing double-digit growth in 2018. It’s not just the domain of old geezers as half of all record buyers are reportedly under the age of 25.
Vinyl is back because there has been a return to an appreciation of craft. We invest in vinyl because the artists invest themselves in it too.
The idea of Vinylthon came to me as an obvious one – because radio has always played vinyl and many stations never stopped playing it, even throughout the lean years of the 1990s and early 2000s. We should use the event to celebrate the importance of vinyl as a music format, but also as an event to help foster the development and growth of the next generation of radio broadcasters. That’s why Vinylthon is more than just simply playing records.
It’s an entire radio industry that is investing in the next generation who will one day carry the torch for all of us.