An Interview with Melinda Murphy

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Melinda Murphy is one of the newer channels within the YouTube Vinyl Community, but don’t look now, she’s on fire. At the time of this writing (January 2021), Melinda has nearly 10,000 subscribers and counting and has published nearly 120 informative videos on all things vinyl. One of the amazing things about Melinda is she is truly one of us, just a person who love music and vinyl. Her passion and drive for collecting, listening and surrounding herself with the music she loves is not only endearing but inspiring. There are some who like to think that that vinyl is a “boys club” and even go as far as saying women’s knowledge is inferior to that of men’s, which is truly sad. So, here is your homework for today: I challenge you to watch Melinda Murphy’s videos and tell me that she isn’t knowledgeable on everything from the bands themselves, to the quality of pressings, industry going ons, how to get a good deal and more. With years of experience as a consumer of music, and endless musical knowledge, coupled with her humble and inviting demeanor, you can expect her channel to continue to grow for as long as she wants to keep at it. For Melinda, the sky is truly the limit. Melinda releases a few videos per week, but in between, you can head over to her channel here, and catch up on her back catalog of fun, entertaining and informative videos. Don’t forget to hit subscribe before you leave. With all that being said, let’s do this. Until next time- cheers.

Andrew:
Melinda, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Tell us about your back story. How did you get into records?

Melinda:
My love for records started when I was a little girl. My mom had a 1967 Motorola console and I spent a lot of time playing records, dancing and looking at the album cover artwork.

Andrew:

You’ve been running the Melinda Murphy YouTube channel for some time now, and I have to say – I’m a big fan. Tell us how that started? What gave you the idea, and how did it become what it is today?

Melinda:
Long before I started making the YouTube videos, I watched them. I loved the camaraderie between the people in Vinyl Community. None of my friends in my daily life are interested in vinyl so I thought it would be a great way to make friends with people who share a passion for music.

Andrew:

One of the things I enjoy about your channel is how relatable it is. You really seem like one of us. Your love for vinyl, and the sheer joy it gives you really shines through. Did you ever have a plan for the channel, or are you just sort of being yourself?

Melinda:
Thank you so much. I am truly being myself in my videos and I’m glad it shines through. I really didn’t know what to expect when I started making vinyl videos. I was just hoping to make a few friends and have fun. My channel has surpassed any expectations I may have had. This experience has been such a blast. Everyone should have something they are passionate about in life – it is good for the soul.

Andrew:
You’ve got great taste in music. I love the emphasis on the classics. It’s actually inspired me to pull out some of my older records that I haven’t been giving enough attention to. How has your musical taste evolved over the years to where it is today?

Melinda:
My musical tastes have evolved so much thanks to vinyl collecting. I have become a huge Beatles fan and I have developed a love for the jazz genre. However, Classic Rock will always be my first love. Van Halen has been my favorite band since I was 11 and I can’t imagine that will ever change.

Andrew:
You recently made a very cool video featuring your husband, where you two talked about what it’s like being a “vinyl partner.” I really enjoyed that video, and I think it’s extremely relatable. Your husband seems very supportive. Does he help out with the channel at all?

Melinda:
I’m so blessed to have a supportive husband. He doesn’t collect vinyl but he will go record shopping with me. There is nothing better than spending a Saturday record shopping and then eating at a mexican restaurant for dinner. My husband helps with editing my videos. I share video ideas with him and he always gives me honest feedback.

Vinyl Community Introduction - YouTube

Andrew:
Record Store Day has become a very polarizing topic around the vinyl community. What are you honest thoughts on the matter?

Melinda:
I still enjoy Record Store Day. I love getting up early and making new friends while waiting in line. RSD can at times be stressful when something is being released in limited quantities. Last Black Friday, a couple of the records I bought had terrible sound quality. It turns out one of the records used a VHS tape as the source. With a $35 price tag, that was a huge disappointment. Hopefully, RSD has helped our independent record stores – especially this year.

Andrew:
Another hot button issue around the community these days is quality control with new records. What are your thoughts on that?

Melinda:
I’m so happy they are putting out so much music on vinyl. We are now getting reissues of rare records. For example, Tom Petty’s 1994 album, Wildflowers is finally getting a reissue as well as a deluxe box set. I have had to return some new vinyl due to warping issues, which is unfortunate. I try to buy reissues from reputable labels that have good quality control. For the most part, I am just so happy that vinyl is resurging and that we have so many choices.

Andrew:
Is there anything within the industry that you would like to see change for the better? What improvements would you like to see that you feel would beneficial to us all within the Vinyl Community?

Melinda:
That’s a good question. I would love for the prices to come down, especially on box sets. Having said that, I love deluxe packaging, colored vinyl and all of the extras that come with quality box sets. I have to be careful with what I wish for. Lower prices usually means lesser quality. 

Vinyl Community - Stereo Equipment and Listening Room Tour - Music Room -  YouTube

Andrew:
I feel that the presence of strong women in the Vinyl Community is very important, and you are a wonderful example of that. As I am sure you know, despite the efforts of amazing organizations like Women Who Rock and Women In Vinyl, women are still drastically underrepresented within both the Vinyl and Music Communities. What are your thoughts on that, and what do we need to do/ what can we do to change that dynamic?

Melinda:
Thank you for that kind compliment. I am starting to see more and more women collecting vinyl. In years past, I rarely saw women at the record stores or making vinyl videos. That is changing and I’m thrilled to see it. I must say that the men I am friends with in the Vinyl Community are wonderful. They have welcomed me with open arms. I have been treated with nothing but respect which says a lot about this wonderful community.

Andrew:
Anyone who watches your channel will know that you are a big Van Halen fan. As you know, we lost Eddie Van Halen this past fall. I have to say, your video regarding him was extremely touching. What did Eddie and his music mean to you?

Melinda:
I have a hard time putting my feelings about Eddie Van Halen into words. I never met him but I have loved and admired his talent since I was a little girl. I can still remember listening to Dick Clark’s National Music Survey and hearing ‘Pretty Woman’ for the first time. I was blown away. Eddie revolutionized the music world with a gentle smile on his face. I still can’t believe he’s gone

Andrew:
I know this is a broad question, and many of us who watch your videos will know this, but for those who might be new, who are some of your favorite artists (aside from Van Halen)? What’s your favorite genre, and why?

Melinda:
My favorite genre is Classic Rock. I love hearing music that takes me back to my wonderful childhood. Bands like KISS, Paul McCartney and Wings, Boston, Cheap Trick, and The Rolling Stones are some of the bands from that era that I still enjoy today. Through vinyl collecting, I have discovered The Beatles, The Zombies, The Electric Prunes, Jimi Hendrix and so many more. I have also discovered Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and other great Jazz artists. Vinyl collecting has opened the doors to a whole new world of music for me.

Andrew:
We know you collect records, but beyond the collecting, what do records mean to you? More so, what does music mean to you in general?

Melinda:
Music is the closest thing we will ever have to time travel. For example, when I hear the song ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac, I am transported to my childhood home on a warm summer day,  playing with my Barbie dolls. My parents are no longer living and my childhood memories are very precious to me. I grew up with vinyl and I have always loved it. In my opinion, vinyl sounds better than any other musical format.

Chris Has The Spins No Sub Contest - Vinyl Community - YouTube

Andrew:
What are some albums you don’t have, but hope to find one day? Are there any albums you’ve given up that you wish you hadn’t? Are you like some of us who purge records only to rebuy them again? 

Melinda:
My dream record would be to have an original press of Odessey And Oracle by The Zombies. That is one of my favorite albums and it would be very cool to have an OG copy. I am also on the hunt for the Mobile Fidelity version of Chicago Transit Authority on vinyl. Other than a few duplicates, I really haven’t sold anything out of my collection. I don’t regret selling anything but I do regret not buying something when I could. I regret not buying The Rolling Stones mono box set. Now it is out of print and very expensive.

Andrew:
What I love most about your channel, and what I think makes it stand out is, it’s authentic. You seem very genuine. It’s been a hard year, and I think it helps your viewers feel more connected, which in 2020 means a lot. I know many YouTubers are afraid to show too much of themselves. Did that ever come into play for you?

Melinda:
Thank you so much. I do love to share parts of my life with my viewers. Even though we have never met, I do feel like I am talking to a bunch of vinyl loving friends. When I show a recent vinyl find, I often share childhood memories that are attached to it. The most rewarding comments I receive are the ones that say I reminded them of something special from their childhood. Thinking of better days from the past can give us a momentary escape from the struggles of everyday life, especially this year.

Andrew:

Once COVID-19 is done with us, what does the future hold for the Melina Murphy channel? What’s next?

Melinda:
I am looking forward to the return of concerts. My husband and I had pit seats for a Rolling Stones concert last June that was unfortunately cancelled. I am also hoping to take a vacation. The pandemic kept us at home this year. I love checking out record stores in other states while on vacation and sharing my finds and experiences with my viewers.

Andrew:
What drives you? What inspires you most?

Melinda:
Music and vinyl bring joy to my life. I can’t imagine life without music but my true inspiration and drive comes from my family. My husband and daughter encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and try making vinyl videos. I am so thankful they did. 


Andrew:

Is there anything else you want all of us here as well as the general record consuming public to know?

Melinda:
Take the time to enjoy your records and don’t be afraid to explore new genres. My channel is Melinda Murphy on YouTube and you can follow me, melindamurphy08 on Instagram. Thank you.

Melinda Murphy: You Tube channel | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

Want to learn more about Melinda and her YouTube channel? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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