My Liner Notes - Victoria Shepherd - the Fleetwood Stereo
By Victoria Shepherd, Executive Director, AVLA on Aug 24, 2011
Liner notes appear on the sleeve of an album or CD case and contain a
mix of anecdotal or factual information. They often reflect the
artists’ personality and contain meaningful statements about the art or
life issues. My Liner Notes is a regular feature on Music Canada that
allows people of all walks of life to share personal reflections about
My dad celebrated my birth with the purchase of a Fleetwood Stereo for the princely sum of $500. I like to think it is because my presence filled his life with the gift of music, but it was more likely so he would have something else to listen to in the house other than a newborn’s cries. The stereo held the place of honour in our living room, and was NOT for small children to play with.
On my tenth birthday, my dad decided I was old enough to lift the lid on the stereo and start playing his records. There was nothing more exciting to me than sitting on the (shag) rug in our living room, and exploring my dad’s record collection. It was small, but it was GOOD! Elvis, Manfred Man, The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, Anne Murray and Gordon Lightfoot. The smell of the polished wood, the lyrics on the album liner, the warm, rich sound of the vinyl – I whiled away hours listening to some of the best music ever written.
Another milestone that year was the purchase of my first guitar – a Hofner acoustic guitar. First song learned – Gordon Lightfoot’s “Black Day In July”. One of my wedding Songs – “Fools Rush In”; Bedtime lullaby for my babies – “All I Have To Do Is Dream”; safety song for crossing the street “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, first song played at the cottage every visit “If You Could Read My Mind”. Elvis and The Beatles are as beloved by my 11 year old daughter as Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. When my dad comes to dinner every Sunday, we listen to HIS (our) music.
Time marches forward, and so does technology. I (finally!) bought my dad his very first CD player for Christmas fifteen years ago (accompanied by an Anne Murray CD, of course), and I listen to my music now on Rdio, but the magic of those albums played on that stereo is always with me.
Is there a stereo in your memories? A music collection influenced by your parents? We'd love to hear your story.