A return to touchy-feely music

Today’s dominance of online streaming means my children do not have a way to touch the records we play.

I grew up often looking at the jewel cases in my dad’s music collection and leafing through the Sound and Spirit catalogs. I read the liner notes, studied the artist pictures, and switched out discs myself. 

My daughter, however, usually just sees us bend over a device. 

Is this important? Eh. Maybe not. We're still listening to the actual music together. Nevertheless, the tactile connection is powerful for kids, and I wonder if losing it weakens the impression that artist records have on the new generation. 

So I’ve toyed with the thought of slowly building a physical collection, maybe even in vinyl. Would you have predicted that in 2020 vinyl sales would beat CD sales?  

If I did build a physical collection, here are some albums I’d include. It’s not a definitive or exhaustive list of any kind. I’m largely leaving out the classical tradition because it 1) can be harder to appreciate in recordings and 2) deserves a more thorough treatment of its own.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Vince Guaraldi Trio) 
Christmas (Singers Unlimited) 
Carols from Cambridge (Various) 
The Bells of Dublin (The Chieftains)
Appalachian Journey (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor)  
Appalachia Waltz (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor)  
The Ministry Years, Vol. 1 and 2 (Keith Green)  
Let Them Fall in Love (Cece Winans)  
Sanctuary (Twila Paris) 
Jars of Clay (Jars of Clay) 
Add to the Beauty (Sara Groves) 
Glo (delirious?) 
The Legend of Chin (Switchfoot) 
The Land of the Living (Roo Panes) 
Foggy Mountain Jamboree (Flatt and Scruggs) 
Sing as We Go! (Charlie Hope) 
Song, Stories, and Friends 2: Where the Path Will Wind (Charlie Hope) 
Blue Clouds (Elizabeth Mitchell) 
Mute Math (Mute Math) 
The Sound of Music soundtrack 

If you rebuilt a physical collection of music, what is the first album that comes to mind as one you’d get? If I hear from enough people, I'll share the results in a future post. 

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