Sparky – 78rpm – 1952 ish!

I was born in 1946, and so wasn’t doing much (that can be recalled) until the early 1950’s.  Both my Mom and Dad enjoyed music so, in retrospect, it is no surprise that we had a record player. The records of the time were a hard plastic, 10″ dia., and played at 78rpm which gave a playing time of around 3 minutes per side! Playing a classical symphony would involve constantly changing the records and/or turning them over!

Finally, and to complete whatever image is being conjured up in your mind, the record player was driven by a clockwork motor. It had to be wound up on a regular basis and, in the event that you left it too late, then whatever you were listening to would slow down. Start winding the handle and your music got faster and faster until it reached the correct speed… and then all was well for a few more minutes! That was part of my world as a 6 – 7 year old!

Sparky’s Magic Piano was released in 1948, and was recorded on 3 x 78 rpm records (therefore 6 sides of playing surface, totaling about 20 minutes!).

I was reading a blog yesterday ( )  and the name Sparky immediately took me back to the early 1950’s and (no surprise now!) Sparky’s Magic Piano.

So, of course, I had to listen to it again. There have been a number of versions released, especially since the advent of TV and cartoons, but I wanted to hear the version that I was familiar with which, I believe, is the version linked below (runs almost 19 minutes).

Carol walked past and saw the Sparky heading on the laptop screen and said “Oh no… you’re not going to cry again are you?” Therein is an interesting situation. Why do I get teary listening to Sparky?

I equate tears with joy or sadness, and my early childhood was happy… although I don’t feel particularly happy when listening to Sparky!  I would question the argument that it is nostalgia, based on mourning a childhood, because although I have many happy childhood memories, I have many equally happy memories of later years.  I am also very happy with my current age, and where I am in general relative to life.

I can accept that an emotional response is logical, but to the extent of crying? I did not have any aspirations to play the piano so it is not the story line, which comes right back to nostalgia. I can think of many happy moments as a young boy, but Sparky’s Magic Piano is (as far as I recall) the only trip down memory lane that causes tears!

I am going to probably cry now as I listen to it again and, if you have 19 minutes to spare, please feel free to join me!



Given the changes in our world over the past few months, and the seemingly continual antagonism created by thoughtless individuals… and the predictable backlash from other equally thoughtless individuals, I thought that I would take the liberty of repeating “My Dream”. It will be appearing in my “Just Thinking” book which is currently in its final revisions stage before publishing. Continue reading