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Record Player: 1957

Record Player: 1957

September 1957. New York. "Tennis champion Althea Gibson unpacking trophies at her home in Harlem." Medium format acetate negative by Genevieve Naylor for the Look magazine assignment "Althea Gibson: Tragic Success Story." View full size.


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Her Hi-Fi

... is an Admiral, I think.

It's possible that Althea is listening to herself

... on the record player. She achieved her greatest success, of course, as a tennis player. But she also played professional golf, and was the first Black member of the LPGA. And she was a talented vocalist and saxophonist. She recorded an album for Dot Records, and sang on the Ed Sullivan show. Here's a sample:

Love all

The problem is we never know where genius is going to come from. How did Althea Gibson's record breaking (great title, Dave) tennis game not come from a leafy suburb near a country club where someone was coached from an early age? Even today we need to do a better job recognizing, encouraging, and rewarding extraordinary ability when and where it appears. Not just in sports.

The metal beast

That turntable looks almost steampunk.

Double fault

Ms. Gibson had to overcome two big challenges - a lack of money and an abundance of melanin - in an era when tennis was synonymous with wealthy white people. She was at the top her game in 1957, receiving an audience with Queen Elizabeth (after a Wimbledon win) and a ticker-tape parade in New York.

"Record Player"

You clever devil you Dave.

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