My dad didn't only make a living as a musician - he was an avid listener and collector of recorded music as well. Over the course of his lifetime he amassed a collection of over 3500 records and CDs. When he died I inherited that collection, moving it (ten van-loads in all) into my apartment where I spent the next four years gradually and painstakingly entering all of it into a master Excel file.
I was much more interested in documenting my dad’s collection than realizing any re-sale value. So far I’ve given away about 200 of these records and CD's to musician and music lover friends who I know will give them a good home. I think that’s ultimately what the old man would have wanted – the music to be truly appreciated rather than sold to the highest bidder.
Last week, from out of the blue, I got a message from a radio show host at WHUS, a station where I had done an in-studio interview and performance a few years back. I brought some of my parents' vintage guitars that never leave the house and did half a dozen songs. and we had a blast just hanging out and talking about music, including my dad and his collection.
This radio show host is an old-school devotee of physical music you can hold in your hand, so his preferred medium is the CD. He recently had a major fire in his home and his entire collection of CDs was lost. He wanted to know if I could send him hardcopies of all my albums, and burn him a CD of our night together at WHUS as well.
I said sure - I'll get all of that to him. I also reminded him of my dad's collection, and offered him any or all of it, since this was precisely the kind of "home" my dad would have wanted for his music. And if it would help this radio show survive, all the better!
Just today it suddenly dawned on me that my dad grew up on a farm about 12 miles from this radio station.
So thank you, timeless universe, for the magic that you do and the happenstance you bring when we least expect it. After many years, surprise - Dad will be going home again.