A Link To The Past - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

A Link To The Past

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A Davenport man says the phonograph and records are a link to his great grandfather.

Neal Smith has a passion for preserving the past. Especially the 1907 Victrola and about one hundred fifty records which date back to the early 1900's.

At one time, the phonograph and records belonged to his great grandfather, Frank Rice.  Now, Smith has them in his home.

Smith says it's fascinating to take these ancient sounds and keep them alive. He has played all of the records on the Victrola at least once.

The records are categorized. numbered. Orchestra recordings, violin solos. Neal Smith wants to digitize the entire collection.

Frank Rice was a Navy Orchestra Leader in World War One and Two. Neal never met his great grandfather, but feels like there is a special connection with him.

Especially their love for music.

So, Smith is in the process of recording and editing on his high tech equipment.  He is taking out the surface noise on many of the old recordings,  giving this vintage music a cleaner sound.

Bringing musical history, Smith says, back to life.

Smith is a very talented sax player. He has been a guest artist on several recordings, and has performed live with big bands and orchestras.

He is thrilled to preserve the records that his great grandfather once owned. Creating a musical sound that can be put on a cd and enjoyed for years to come.

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