My grandparents moved from the UK to Australia in the late sixties as part of the ‘Ten Pound Pom’ migration scheme. They could bring barely anything with them, leaving almost their entire lives behind. My grandad, a lifelong jazz fan, managed to sneak through this record – Frank Sinatra’s classic ‘Songs for Swingin’ Lovers!’ From what I can tell, it’s an original British pressing from 1956, catalogue number LCT 6106.
It’s since been passed down through the family, from grandad to my mother (who, as a toddler, was responsible for the horror-inducing tear on the front cover) and from her to me. We don’t have a lot of heirlooms or traditions in our family, but one thing that all three of our generations share is a love of jazz. My mother grew up listening to Sinatra and the big bands via my grandad, but discovered jazz that she loved all of her own. Similarly, I was brought up on Sinatra when the time came, which led to me exploring jazz for myself, and a lifelong obsession with music of all kinds.
So yes, as far as I know, this is the oldest record I own. Not that it’s for playing these days, degraded as it is with years of repeated plays and small bits of the cover falling away. But it’s perfect as it is; a memory of a life my grandparents left behind to start anew, a relic of my family, a reminder of my grandad. It is, in all senses of the phrase, A Loved Thing. Also, it’s just a wonderful album, with Sinatra in full hip, swinging fashion, accompanied perfectly by the lush orchestrations of Nelson Riddle.
In short, it is, in all ways, perfect.