A letter arrives in the post:
Dear Mr Key
I was interested to read your comments about The Readers’ Digest, which was a formative influence when I was growing up also. An ancient companion of my late grandmother lived with us, and was a subscriber: she would leave copies outside her door when she’d finished with them and we all pounced on them with glee. As well as the magazines, she received a 78 rpm record every month from some sort of listening-club associated with the publisher, and my brother and I were intrigued by these, as she never allowed us to hear them (though we endured endless Caruso, Bing Crosby and The Spooncat 5 on her wind-up gramophone). She explained that the Readers’ Digest records always got broken in the post, and we never wondered why she didn’t simply cancel the subscription.
She’s been gone for decades; but her wind-up gramophone remained, and when we were cleaning it up recently to send it to auction we found just one of those white-label Readers’ Digest 78s, still extant in a thin drawer in the base of the machine. It’s lo-fi stuff – and pretty tame these days – but I’ve recorded the ‘with vocal refrain’ section in hopes that it will be of interest to your readers. I used ‘declicking’ software to remove most of the surface hiss but there’s no curing the damage at the end. Doubtless we have the Royal Mail to thank for that.
♫♫♫ aunt-maud-78rpm ♫♫♫