Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Buddy Holly's Radio...

(Pretty, Isn't she?)
This is a project that I've had on the back burner for a while. I bought this Radio for $10 a few years ago, and refinished it from its water stained state. It COULD have possibly belonged to Buddy Holly, ya know Buddy Holly... BUT I have no solid proof of that. It came out of a house he rented in the 1950's here in Wichita Falls, The man I bought it from said his (not B.H.'s) mother purchased it brand new in 1946 for this particular rent house and it had been in the house ever since then, Since Buddy rented the house in the 50's (in theory) there's a pretty good chance he tuned into something on this radio!
(It's a 1946 Sparton "tube" radio.)
The question I have to ask you readers, is one that I have been playing with since I got this radio. The tubes light up and the turn table turns but the record drop timing is off. I've never been able to fix it, Its a rats nest of dry rotted wires and it has no sound. I have tried to find someone to work on it, but they're all dead or really expensive. I love this piece its one of my most treasured possessions it took me two weeks to refinish it by hand...It was in REALLY bad shape when I bought it.

  I am debating taking the original turn table out of it, and replacing it with a new one that will acutally play 78's, 45's and albums.
The record player is hidden, and slides out like int he picture above. it wouldn't alter the look to much if i just put the new record player in here, and ran the speakers underneath (like its currently set up). I think once Pontipee Hall is ready for furniture I want to take this piece out there because its BEAUTIFUL and deserves to be in a 1940's setting, but if it goes to the lake it has to be pretty AND functional. Putting a new record player inside it would eliminate having one set up on a table in the bedroom. Basically, I would just be taking the old player out and setting a new one, with new speakers in its place.
Taking the turn table out is a matter of cutting a few wires, and undoing a few screws and it would lift right out. But i cant seem to make up my mind, take the jump, and pull it out! Should I leave it alone for the possible fact it may have been Buddy Holly's? Or should I put a new player in it and haul it to the Casablanca?

What do you think?! It WOULD be nice if it looked pretty and worked too!

-Mick-


10 comments:

ThrifterSisters said...

Amazing story. I am pretty sure that Buddy Holly had to of least touhed it if he lived in the same house that it was in. If I were you, I would put a new record player in it. You need to be able to use it! Is there any way that you can take out the old one and set it aside just on the off chance that you ever find someone who can restore it and in the meantime put a new one in its place? Decisions, decisions!

Erica

Dana@Mid2Mod said...

What a cool story! If I were you, I'd replace the turntable so you can use it. And the first record I'd play would be Peggy Sue...just to start things off right.

Uncle Atom said...

That is way cool, Mick! I've found that there's usually a web forum somewhere with tons of knowledegable people who can help find parts and fix darn near everything. Try Googling 'Vintage Phonograph Forum' and you'll find some. Before you do any irreverseable harm, why not ask some experts for help? I'm willing to bet there's someone out there with the same exact phonograph that works who might be willing to help you out.

Trina44 said...

Nice find! I'm sure it used to belong to Buddy Holly! Maybe his neighbor.

Holly Hall said...

Really cool, Mick!

Rueby... said...

Its a beautiful radio! Personally, I wouldn't go ripping bits out if all your tubes light and the phono "plays". Chances are its a simple fix in that case. Have you actually gotten quotes from repairmen, or just gone off prices listed? I'd follow Uncle Atom's advice and look on forums! I managed to fix my record player that wasn't spinning at speed and wouldn't change records with a whole bunch of googling - but now it works perfectly.

I also have a mid fifties TV console cabinet. I decided to rip out the TV itself and replace it with a flatscreen, but I left all the wires for the radio and phono intact as I would like to fix them one day down the line.

Vintage Christine said...

I agree with the ones who say try to restore it first. If Mike is able to come with me he can take a look at it and see what he thinks. In the meantime, it's just beautiful to look at! See you soon!!!!!

Tracie@MiddleClassModern said...

I'd google around for an old "hobbyist Mr Fix It" kind of book. I used to have one that included a section on how to fix your radio and television.

SixBalloons said...

Oooooooh, the wood grain is amazing too. So cool, great story.

Zootsuitmama said...

It's hard to know what to do, especially if you are like me and have a lot of stuff around just because it LOOKS amazing! Pretty though!