70’s Funky Basement Party Mix

The party starts out dancing to some funky grooves, but soon goes for slow dancin’ and squeezing tight. This time warp mix features KC & The Sunshine Band, The O’Jays and some Commodores. All recorded from vintage vinyl, the tracks are both Sides A and B.



Listen to “Dancehall Reggae” (No. 1)

A mix of Dancehall Reggae 45s from Jamaica, these are the real deal. Title track on the A Side and Riddim version on the B, all on authentic Jamaican vinyl. I’ve digitized these using the process I describe on my blog “Drop The Needle.” Get ready to chill out.


Doo Wop & 50’s Pop Playlist on 8Tracks.com


Tops #R266 featuring "Black Denim Trousers" by Ken Otte

Tops #R266 featuring “Black Denim Trousers” by Ken Otte

Doo Wop & 50’s Pop Playlist on 8Tracks.com

There are both well-known hits and obscure numbers here, but all are fabulous tunes from the 50’s. Best song you’ve never heard before: “Black Denim Trousers” by Ken Otte — awesome motorcycle rebel/tragedy song!!

“Jack’s Doo Wop & 50’s Pop”  is Part 3 of a Series of five playlists that are all digitized from a box of 7″ singles from eBay. The final two are Country/Honky-Tonk and Humorous/Holiday — both coming soon.

Jack Thompson’s Box of Records – List 2 “Lounge Lizard”

The setting is a quiet, upscale lounge in the late 50’s with big, cushy seats and a warm jukebox that pipes out all the faves. Soothing and serene voices like Bobby Darin or Dean Martin, or big bands like Perez Prado & His Orchestra. This is part of a series of playlists that are all digitized recordings from a box of 7″ singles from eBay. Find “Jack’s Lounge” on 8tracks.com.  More coming soon.

http://8tracks.com/toekneereid/jack-s-lounge/editCherry Pink Alan Dale

“Just The Girls”

“Just The Girls”

This one is just the girls… Female vocalists from the golden era including Patti Page, Rosemary Clooney, Connie Stevens, Georgia Gibbs, and more. This sugar pop is so sweet that your teeth will hurt, but you’ll love it all the same. All of these came from a box of 7″ singles that I got on eBay. A Country mix, 50’s Pop and even a comedy mix are all yet to be posted.

Box Set of 45s to be Uploaded to 8Tracks.com

Over the next couple days, I’ll be uploading a few playlists to the streaming site 8Tracks.com, which all came from a recent eBay purchase. The discs were sold in a single 7″ storage box. All told there are 6.5 hours of recorded material that I have digitized on 70 discs. Only a few duds in the entire set, and some really amazing and rare discs too. Even though there were extremely dirty, they all cleaned up to VG -> VG+ standards. You’ll hear some pops and noise on a few discs, but most sound absolutely flawless. I hope you enjoy them and I’ll post more about the workflow for a large project too. I hope you enjoy what you are reading (and about to hear). 


Line Levels & EQ Adjustments – Background Noise will wipe out “Silence”

When “silent” is not actually silent. Once you have a recording, closely examine the waveform bars for the moments that should be pure silence. Listen to silence through the headphones. If there is background noise, it will be audible in the recording and that is very distracting. Adjust the knobs on the DJ Mixer. Is there a fault in one of the knobs or controllers? Swap out or move around the connector cables. Don’t forget to check the ground wire. If there is a break inside the sheath, you’ll need to rewire that… Don’t let hum and noise into your recordings.

Keep It On The Level

There is some temptation to laugh at people who obsess over minor, obsessive details that seem like pure audiophile silliness. Two tosses of salt over the left shoulder before and after switching speeds from 33 to 45. However, one simple task that you should do is to verify that your turntable is level. If it is not level, the needle will not travel correctly in the groove – and this, my friends, is everything that makes your records sound nice.

You can get a very cool center bubble level for this task. Like this:

A tool for every job.

A tool for every job.

You can also use any mini level to assure that the player is level side-to-side and back-to-front.  A player that is not level will also cause excessive needle wear and can damage the records.  So, just keep it on the level…

Cleaning your records – Wipe until it’s clean

Vinyl already has many flaws, like warps and scratches. You can’t really fix all of the problems your disc might have had before it comes into your very careful guardianship, but one thing is for sure — Dust and dirt will cause a problem once it comes to record. You can’t fix scratches – they are usually permanent damage, but dust and dirt is something you can fix, and a simple cleaning will make your recordings sound noticeably better.

If you have endless amounts of money and an incessant need for the perfect tool for every job, buy a fully automatic vinyl cleaner like the Nitty Gritty. These machines are super cool and do a great job, but they’re completely unnecessary imho. You can get very good results with commercial cleaning solutions and a good brush. I’ve had the same two vinyl brushes for almost 30 years and they still work perfectly.

The trick to good cleaning is using the right amount of fluid and a light hand with the cleaning brush. A lot of times, you’ll see applicator brush and cleaning solutions sold together. If you don’t already have one get the set. Discwasher has a nice combo available.

Spray the cleaning fluid across the top *once* across and then *once* back , then gently wipe the brush on a clean cloth (or your jeans). This will give you a nice, dense amount of fluid but not so much that it will leave fluid marks. While those stains are not harmful, they’re just extra fluid that you are wasting, and leaves unsightly marks that remain on the disc. Bleech!

I like to clean the record right on the turntable platter. It can’t fall on the floor and it rotates the disc for you – how convenient. Place one edge of the cleaning brush on the disc, starting at the center and then pulling toward you until you reach the edge of the disc. Set the tonearm into playing position, but next to the disc (not on it). This will activate the motor, but the stylus is not touching the record while you are cleaning the disc.

If you have a lot of dirt to clean, then set the speed to 45RPM and clean the surface a few times. You can also put the tone arm in neutral position so that the motor is not on and wipe the disc clockwise and counter-clockwise to work on a stubborn spot. Wipe back and forth with the groove, not pulling toward you. Also, make sure that you don’t bump the tonearm, which will then swing wildly and slam on the disc and damage the stylus. Make sure that you are pressing the brush down only slightly – if you use too much pressure, you can damage the turntable or scratch the vinyl.

After you’ve made a first pass on the surface, just turn the brush over to see if you have a lot of lint/dust/spunk, or just a little bit. Have another go at it if there is a lot, and you will rinse, lather and repeat until you see no schmutz at all. Surface dirt is something you can control, and the grooves of your vinyl can hide a lot of schmutz. As the needle hits the gunk, it will usually mean that the real sound fidelity that was on the disc is covered up and then lost in your recording (if you failed to clean). Friends don’t let friends play dirty records.

One small hint in regard to workflow — Start by cleaning the B-Side. After you’ve got that nice and clean, then flip to the A-Side and start your recording. You might want to give the B-Side a minor wipe after you flip it, but you won’t be spending a bunch of time cleaning after you’ve started the recording.

One other note — Store your records in sleeves, in the vertical position and in cases with doors to reduce the overall amount of dust exposure. Clean discs have less noise, and that is a good thing when it comes time to record them.

One other small hint – turn the cleaning brush upside down so you are looking at the cleaning surface. Brush the stylus back and forth on the brush very gently to remove any dirt or schmutz that has accumulated on the needle. It’s surprising how much build up can get trapped there, especially after cleaning a really dirty disc. Once the needle gets covered in gunk, it won’t work properly and it sounds like gunk. A couple quick little gentle wipes will usually eliminate this potential problem.