Readers weigh in on which albums kept their turntables busy

  • Here is a selection of albums helping the writer tolerate the long pandemic winter days.

    Here is a selection of albums helping the writer tolerate the long pandemic winter days. Courtesy of Dave Heun

Posted2/19/2021 6:00 AM

The winter's bitter turn and the ongoing pandemic have given many of us a chance to revisit our music libraries. For most, that means playing digital music channels or personalized radio stations through various services.

But it mostly sent me to my old vinyl records, where each passing decade sits amongst the albums lined up in alphabetical order. And it brought on the question I asked a couple of weeks ago -- which of these albums were most likely played the most often through the years?


I asked readers to share their top three most-played records, and plenty responded -- and their choices reflected numerous decades of great music. Here's a look at the records worn out on turntables and by whom (and their hometowns when provided) over the years:

• Gary Knapp of Geneva picked "Chicago II" by Chicago, Jackson Browne's "The Pretender" and Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run."

• Mary Kay Dowling of St. Charles chose "Fleetwood Mac," Eric Clapton's "Slowhand" and "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.

• Marie Pederson of Batavia, mentioning she was "showing her age," picked The Glenn Miller Orchestra and its original soundtracks album, "Jimmy Dorsey's Greatest Hits," and "Remember When" by The Platters.

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• Holly Hein of Sugar Grove went with "Aja" by Steely Dan, "Anthology" by Stevie Wonder and various albums, cassettes and CDs from the band Chicago, which were all played quite often, she noted.

• Jerry Gawlik of Yorkville was waxing nostalgic when picking the first albums from Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Dave Clark Five and The Beach Boys.

• Vic Furlanetto picked "Sailing to Philadelphia" by Mark Knopfler, "Flowers in the Dirt" by Paul McCartney and "Aja" by Steely Dan.

• Terry Lanthrum of Elburn chose the first album from Blood, Sweat and Tears, as well as "Days of Future Past" by the Moody Blues, and was stuck in a tie for the third choice with "Stones" by Neil Diamond and "No Secrets" by Carly Simon.


• Ms. Bobby Xhilone of Elgin chose "Meet the Beatles," Santana's first album, and another tie with the Broadway soundtrack from "Hair" and "The Nightfly" by Donald Fagen.

• Rosanne Derango also picked a Beatles record as her top choice, this one the U.K. version of "A Hard Day's Night" with its interesting mix of tunes from the popular movie and other hits. It was followed by "The Queen is Dead" by the Smiths, and "Music for the Masses" by Depeche Mode.

• Tyron Tipitino went with "Out of the Blue" by Electric Light Orchestra, "Sunburst Finish" by Be-Bop Deluxe, and a tie between "Joy Ride" by the duo Roxette, and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John.

• Bev Finger had "Sundown Lady" by Lani Hall as her top choice, with "Tapestry" by Carole King second. She also had a third-place tie with "Chicago" and "Bette Midler," a first album from Midler and the second from Chicago after its initial Chicago Transportation Authority debut.

• Mark Horn had "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John as his top choice, with "Fleetwood Mac" and "I Robot" by The Alan Parsons Project rounding out the top three.

• Dennis Zielinski went with "Something New, Something New" by The Beatles, "Changes" by Johnny Rivers, and "Them" featuring Van Morrison. He also said it was hard for him to leave out instrumental albums, mentioning "Knock Me Out" by The Ventures and "Themes for Young Lovers" by Percy Faith.

About the boys, girls:

Years ago, it was common to see plenty of publicity for organizations like the YMCA's Indian Guides and Princesses, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Boys and Girls Clubs.

So, it was good to see last week that the Boys & Girls Club of South Elgin was breaking ground for a new clubhouse at the site of the village's former public works building.

This clubhouse will help the organization continue to promote the development of skills in youths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as the arts and preparing to become part of the workforce in the future.

These are important tasks that complement schooling and are designed to guide youths toward a successful and enjoyable future. These days, there are a lot of negative things tugging at our kids through social media channels.

A place where they know positive things will result after participating is always a welcome addition to a community.

Weigh in on film:

Those interested in viewing and discussing a documentary about famous American writer Toni Morrison can participate in the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission's virtual screening as part of Black History Month.

"Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am" will be available for viewing for free from Friday, Feb. 26, to Sunday, Feb. 28. After that screening period, the commission will host an online conversation at 4 p.m. Feb. 28 about the documentary.

Those planning to view the film and participate in the discussion should register by sending an e-mail to to receive links to both platforms.

Speakers scheduled include Amy Levin, an NIU English and Gender Studies professor, and Lauren Maxwell, the information and readers services coordinator at the Geneva Public Library.


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