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More than a collection: Man amasses over 40,000 records

Arif, Merieme

By Toby Mohr

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    ALTOONA, Wisconsin (WQOW) — When you step inside Larry Daken’s home in Altoona, you’re greeted with music. Music is in the air and records line the walls.

“There’s records here that go back a long time,” Daken said. “I don’t have the exact number but it was close to 46,000 at one point until I sold 4,000. So it’s over 41,000 records.”

His collection includes records of all types and sizes and ranging back over 100 years to the early 1900’s.

“Look at the number of people who have tried to make a living selling their voice,” he said, standing in front of the shelves.

Daken started collecting in 2000 when he bought an old phonograph.

“There were records that came with it and I was amazed with what was in those records,” he said. “So then it went from there on and it hasn’t stopped.”

He believes some of his more rare records could be worth over $1000.

“You can have a lot of records that are the same, but there’s a few that have some differences and those are rare and they bring a lot more money,” Daken said.

But he’s not ready to sell, at least not yet.

“I think if I wanted to, if I ever get to that point, and I don’t think I ever will, I could just open up a store here and sell records,” he said. “I’ve got enough variety.”

Daken said his collection isn’t about the money. It’s about the music.

“Music has been known to be and proven to be uplifting,” he said. “It takes you to different places and it changes moods, it lifts moods, it’s healthy.”

It allows him to reconnect with history, with the artists, and himself.

“I listen to music when I was growing up now and it just takes me back and it’s almost invaluable, and those people are all gone now so all that’s left is their recordings,” he said. “So to your question, ‘What is it about music?’ I don’t know. It just does something to you.”

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