Offbeat: Record Collector

Ocotober 31, 2005--Posted at 8:45 a.m. CST

JONESBORO--Robert Whitaker decided 20 years ago he wanted to retire and have something to do.  For Robert, that meant listening to music the old fashioned way, with records and phonographs.  Right now Robert says he has about 7,000 records that he's been given or bought at flea markets, garage sales, and auctions.  About 95% of his collection is old time country and bluegrass tunes dating back to the turn of the century.

Robert says his retirement has been perfect, spending 2-3 hours a day in his listening studio, that he built by hand.  He says he just loves the raw, unrefined sound of records under the phonograph needle.