End of a Musical Era: Goodbye, Columbia House

I wanted to become a member of the Columbia House mail-order music club in the worst way. Remember those ads in magazines trumpeting amazing music deals: 8 records, 10 tapes or 12 CDs for just a penny?! (Shipping and handling extra, of course.) The idea of so much for so little made me dream of the stack of fabulous hits I could pop into my Walkman or into the cassette player in the family car. Everything from Chicago to Jim …

The Day Sinatra Reimagined His Life

  My morning routine involves getting to my office around 7 a.m., sitting down with a cup of coffee and cranking up my record player. Today I slipped Frank Sinatra‘s post-retirement album, Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back, out of its sleeve and gave ‘er a spin. And that’s when serendipity took over. As I read the liner notes (record albums, you’ll recall, often had wonderful essays printed right on the sleeve, and you could read them without use of MIT’s …