Tag Archives: 1956

Rocks In The Attic #514: Frank Chacksfield – ‘The Music Of George Gershwin’ (1956)

RITA#514Frank Chacksfield has been hiding from me. I’ve just spent the best part of the last hour searching for this record on my shelves. I’m a super nerd when it comes to organising, so my collection is sorted alphabetically, and chronologically within each artist. As a result, things don’t tend to get lost too often. Chacksfield had other ideas though.

After a fruitless search looking side-on at the spines, I started thinking that maybe it had been stolen. Perhaps a burglar had eased his way into the house at night, gliding in stocking feet past the sleeping Great Dane, to remove an obscure orchestral record from 1956 out of my collection.

It could fetch a pretty penny online. I may have discovered it in a charity shop for a dollar or two, but its age – sixty years old – means that a copy in good condition can secure $25 online. The loveliest thing is the disc itself, as heavy as a slab of lead, and with the original deep-red Decca label.

I resorted (or should that be ‘re-sorted’?) to pulling my records out of their indexed prison to flick through the covers one by one. I really need to store my records like this, in racks like you would find at a record store. You see much more that the couple of millimetres that a record spine allows. Starting back from M, I eventually found Chacksfield holidaying in the ‘H’ section. Which dyslexic former version of myself did this?

My suspicion now shifts from the unlikely burglar to the chaotic children of the house. My ‘A’ to ‘M’ section sits in shelves next to play-mat of theirs, waiting for the day when its spines will be sprayed by a mixture of vomit, milk and Weetabix (only they call it Weet-Bix in this heathen country; it still sets like concrete when it dries, so at least some things never change).

I only bought this Chacksfield record because I like Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue from the opening of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. I’ve since found that soundtrack, so I have the real thing. I still love this sixty year old record though.

Hit: Rhapsody In Blue

Hidden Gem: Fascinating Rhythm