The Firestone

My family had one of those big wooden “console stereos” from the sixties with the sliding top that held the Perry Como and Andy Williams records on one side and had a turntable on the other.  It lived in the fancy, “just for company” living room under the picture window.  It weighed a ton, but we moved it down to the end of the wall every year so that our Christmas tree could be centered in front of the window and be seen by the neighbors, sparkling hazily from behind the window sheers.  It got a little beat up in the process, but at least it was conveniently located so that we could change out the Christmas carols as we drank our non-alcoholic egg nog and admired our tinsel-laden tree.

But there was another record player that we weren’t allowed to touch.  It was a 1953 Firestone Portable Radio and Record Player, and it was my mother’s first major purchase, paid for with her small paycheck from her first job, the summer after high school.  And here it is…

 Front view, closed. photo(3)

Front view, open.


Side view, closed.


Side view, open.


This blast from the past would be brought out when my mother was feeling nostalgic, and we would have a ball listening to her records from the fifties.  The record you see on the turntable is Elvis’s “Mystery Train” on the Sun label that I told you about here.  Thus I was introduced to rock ‘n roll in a fun way as a tiny tot – it was a special time when the Firestone would come out.  I’ve always had a particularly warm and fuzzy love for the music of the fifties, as you know if you recall the doo wop post, and I guess this may be why, now that I think of it. It’s a shame that the music of that era is not played much anymore – not even on the oldies station.

Mama, The Fifties Girl.

Mama teen2

Here’s another record Mama bought in 1954, which we still have – LaVern Baker’s “Tweedlee Dee”.   Definitely one of the “anthems of my childhood”.  Tweedlee tweedlee tweedlee dee, I’m as happy as can be…

Questions? Comments?  Please Share!




Filed under Music, Uncategorized

9 responses to “The Firestone

  1. Love the nostalgia, love the pic of your mom, love that you still have the record player, love that you come from a rock n’ roll family…on the surface a simple rock n’ roll memoir but really very touching.

  2. So glad you enjoyed it, Marissa. My parents were definitely into rock ‘n roll in the fifties – they even saw Elvis at the high school auditorium back when he was skinny! Of course, they went more in the Perry Como direction in the sixties, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Perry was a great singer, actually. 🙂

  3. Moving one of those wooden cabinet stereos with Perry Como and Andy Williams on board must have been quite an effort. Do the you suffer from back problems?
    10″ of ‘Mystery Train’ is VERY cool. And might well support your retirement fund (ask Mr 45 Spin!).

    • I shall never part with my Elvis! But ummm…maybe I should at least consult Sir Spin. I do have those big retirement travel dreams, remember. Haha!

  4. Wow, Marie! That looks like my mom’s record player where I first heard my first 45’s. I can hear Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa”, Petula Clark’s “Downtown”, and so many others just looking at that record player….I can even remember how it smelled! LOL! Your work is wonderful!!!! Peace & love at ya! Jon

  5. This post reminds me of my grandfather’s gramaphone. Keep it up.

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