About This Site - Postscript

"What's It All About?"

By Doug Boilesen, 2020

Phonographia's "About This Site" is a fairly standard "About" page.

As I was writing that page, however, I could hear Dionne Warwick singing "What's It All About?" from the movie "Alfie" and it triggered two thoughts: First, that even the "About" page of Phonographia has connections. And second, those connections should be noted.

So I created this postscript page "What's It All About."

Phonographia.com is an on-line scrapbook but its phonograph related themes and connections started in 1981 when I wrote a book, "Hats Off to the Phonograph!" That book didn't get published but I still wanted to do something with its content, especially its images which actually couldn't all fit into a book anyway.

This website was my solution.

Much has changed since my draft 1981 book with the phenomenal growth of information and images on-line. Museums have put more and more of their collections on-line and other applications in social media (e.g., Pinterest in 2010) support the saving and sharing images and ideas based on hobbies and the interests of its users.

Bots and Artificial Intelligence will likewise impact the collecting of these images adding astounding numbers of examples with their search results. Nevertheless, I continue to add my one-by-one "connections" to phonographia.com because I enjoy finding them (or sometimes they just find me). I think I also rationalize that phonographia's galleries are more than simply collections of images.

Jonathan Haidt in The Righteous Mind, explains that writers who have fascinations with their subjects often come to believe that "the object of their fascination is the key to understanding everything."

Here's how the social psychologist Haidt writes about this phenomenon and how it is applicable to his own book:
"People who devote their lives to studying something often come to believe that the object of their fascination is the key to understanding everything. Books have been published in recent years on the transformative role in human history played by cooking, mothering, war...even salt. This is one of those books. I study moral psychology, and I'm going to make the case that morality is the extraordinary human capacity that made civilization possible. I don't mean to imply that cooking, mothering, war and salt were not also necessary, but in this book I'm going to take you on a tour of human nature and history from the perspective of moral psychology."


Phonographia is not my key to understanding everything nor is it about the all.

But it does offer glimpses into the popular culture of other eras. It tells stories about the past that are still relevant today. It takes something like the phonograph and reminds us that not too long ago sound was ephemeral and the music of the world could not be heard except in its own time and place. And now we have things like Spotify and unbelievable home entertainment opportunities.

What I personally enjoy is that since phonograph connections and its inter-connections are everywhere they can be found anywhere -- in a book like Willa Cather's One of Ours, or in a movie or a cartoon.

Phonographia is an assortment of ephemera. I have tried to organize examples into respective scrapbooks but some are in multiple galleries because they are part of multiple themes.

The following are a few "What's It All About" phonographia connections that make up this ad hoc "What's it All About" gallery.

These are the part of the "just for fun" aspects of being a Friend of the Phonograph.

Pat Metheny LP album "What's It All About", Nonesuch Records ©2011


What's it all about, Alfie?



The Hokey Pokey


"do the hokey pokey" LP 33 1/3 RPM, Peter Pan Records 8073 - 1969

"My Records!"


Monty Python's The Meaning of Life LP, CBS 1983



Courtesy Bill Woodman and The New Yorker, 1992



Courtesy Pete McKee and the Ministry of Audio Pleasure from the Thud, Crackle, Pop exhibition, 2014