The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The phrase “The Gift That Keeps on Giving” was first trademarked in 1925 to promote “talking machines” and “talking machine records.” So it’s entirely appropriate that today’s holiday post focuses on the 21st century’s version of those.

I’ve always considered books and music to be the best gifts, perhaps because it’s what I always preferred getting. And yet, because I’m an instant gratification kind of guy, I’m far too impatient to wait for a holiday to hold out on either of those items. Occasionally I’d allow my parents to “surprise” me with a massive tome by James Michener or something like that, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to trust them–or anyone I knew, for that matter–with purchasing any music for me. Not only did I not trust their taste in music, but I also didn’t even have any faith in their efforts to purchase the “right kind” of music, especially when it came to film music.

In my early teen years of film music discovery, I only allowed certain gifts from a carefully detailed list, including a memorable CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND LP that I received for Easter one year. But once I knew what I was doing collecting-wise (and had been doing it long enough to have already received more than my share of sneers at my predilection for the genre), I was on my own. While I would have appreciated the effort that went into purchasing a last-minute substitution if my parents and friends couldn’t locate a particular title, the risks were too great. And deep down I think they knew it. All sides made peace with the situation long ago and everyone has been happier for it.

I can’t think of a single instance over the last 30-some-odd years where friends and family have purchased music for me for any occasion. So there won’t be any new film music coming my way this holiday season. But I don’t mind. I already have the latest releases (and who knows when I’ll get to them all). But more importantly, I have a whole back catalog of music that I’m about to rediscover as I go about re-digitizing my collection. So although I’m still fighting that constant pursuit of the “new,” this season, in particular, is providing me with a wonderful reminder that music will always be a gift that keeps on giving.

May you and yours have a happy and healthy holiday season filled with great film music!

Do you get and/or give the gift of music?

  1. Happy Holidays Jim! Thanks for all the great articles this year. You’ve introduced me to some wonderful music and I wouldn’t have found out about many releases had you not wrote about them :)

    I can’t trust my family with buying music either haha so I’m expecting lots of books this Christmas!

    1. Thanks Wendell. I’m glad you were able to find some new music. And I’m also glad to find someone else who doesn’t trust their family. LOL

      On to 2011!

  2. Merry Xmas Jim, and thanks again for a year of terrific film music reviews. My family never fails to mention that I’m some kind of nut when they see all the film-music CDs in my house; they are equally amazed that I can find any title I want in a collection of hundreds.
    Generally my friends don’t give me music as a present, but this year I was lucky. An overseas pal sent me the 2nd Volume of Vladimir Cosma film music – a super French box with 17 discs and 51 scores. C’est magnifique! I hope it is as good as the first box – a gift that will keep on giving for sure!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Gary. I miss those old days when I could find any title by just going to a shelf. Digging through unalphabetized boxes is a drag. Enjoy the Cosma!

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