Monday, January 25, 2010

Calling All Record Collectors

A few weeks ago, we invited all of the record collectors on our list to share their stories about the exciting world of record collecting. Sadly, we didn't get anywhere NEAR the response we had hoped we would get ... but maybe reading some of these replies will inspire a few more of you out there to share your war stories with our readers.

Here is how the whole thing started:
>>>OK ... Here's a great question for our Forgotten Hits Readers ... what's the most you EVER spent for a record ... and why? And which one are you STILL trying to get your hands on? We'll compile all your answers and put them together in a special issue in a few weeks ... who knows, maybe somebody ELSE on the list has EXACTLY what you've been looking for ... or vice-versa!!! Should make for some interesting reading ... so get your stories (and want lists) in NOW!!! (kk)

Well, I recently hit my all time record for spending on one record (previously I had spent $64 for some horrible garage band-type disc from the UK that I shouldn't have spent 64 cents on -- I later sold it for $25 just to get it out of my collection), more than doubling the price I had most paid, I just spent $132.50 on a copy of Everybody's Talking by Joan Baker on the Diamond record label. No, it's not the song you're thinking of ... but the reason it went for so much money is because it's big in the soul crowd ... now, that's not why I bought it -- normally soul isn't my favorite type of music, but it's a really good record ... I bought it to put another record into my Diamond Records collection which is now just four 45's away from being complete.
As for 45's I'm looking for? Well, I have a list but can't access it now because my computer died and once I get my new computer I'll be able to transfer all of my files over, but the #1 and #2 records on my want list are:
1) Rodd Keith and Judy Layne - Passenger Train Rock on Preview records, a song poem 45 where maybe 50 copies were ever pressed up. It's a really awful record but i broke the copy I had as a kid and I just want to hear it again.
2) The Bellingham Accents - Bacon Fat on Jerden records, a tune I discovered in an ebay auction once when I was younger ... if I'd known how tough of a 45 it would be to find years later I would've put in a better bid for it ... the seller had sound samples posted and the tune was just amazing (to me, anyway). I'd take mp3s if that's all that could be found but if anyone has these 45's and wants to make some extra spending cash in a hurry -- feel free to email me:
-- Tom Diehl

The most I ever paid for a record was $90 for a 78 rpm album called Square Dances by Cliffie Stone. Obviously I didn't know what I was doing. It's listed at $30 now.
As for what I'm looking for, the only "want" that still eludes me is the June 18, 1956 WJJD Forty Top Tunes Of Greater Chicagoland survey. Anyone who finds that one will be a legend in their own time.
Ed Erxleben

And a few folks LOOKING for some ...
I'm hoping you can help me! I am looking for two records.
The first one is a 45 that was recorded by Frankie Gracie & The Plastics between 1968 and 1970. Side A is "In the Beginning" and Side B is "Ain't Coming Back". I think it was released on GMC Records. It got some play on underground stations on the East Coast, but I don't think it was ever comercially released. I've seen the group several times. They are originally from Philadelphia, but worked all along the East Coast (from Maine to Florida) as Frankie Gracie & The Soul Brothers. They were a really hot group, and drew crowds wherever they appeared. This group was very big in Washington, DC. (Bennie's Rebel Room, Hay Loft, and the Rands). A picture of the group is attached.

The second one is an LP from Warner Brothers. It is the soundtrack from the movie, Jamboree. It was released in 1957. It featured various artists; e.g. Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, and Frankie Avalon.
Would appreciate any help you can give me in locating these records.
Thanks very much!
Mary Ann
Other than point you in the direction of the usual places (eBay ... ... we really don't get involved in the record-finding business anymore ... but I'll run your request just in case one of the record collectors on the list can help you out! (kk)

Hi Kent,
Thanks for getting back to me.
Since I wrote to you, I googled Frankie Gracie & the Plastics, and the name came up on the EGGMAN website. I contacted him, and he said he had the 45 RPM but had just sold it recently. He said he had the "A" side (Love ... in the Beginning) on one of his show tapes (show #170 - Feb, 2008). He burned a copy for me, but I am still trying to find the original record so I could also have the "B" side (Ain't Coming Back). He thought it had a unique psychedelic sound. If I am not mistaken, I think the record label was GMC Records based in New York City.
You mentioned that you would try to help me by listing the information in your record collecting issue. Is this a separate site? I can not locate it.
If you would be interested in hearing this song, I'd be happy to send you a copy.
Thanks, Kent!!
Mary Ann
No ... this was going to be a special posting specifically about record collecting and people look for particular records. Unfortunately, the response to this topic has been VERY limited ... so nothing has run yet. Let me find an excuse to mention it again and see if we can entice anybody to write in!!! Thanks for reminding me! (kk)

I, too, am still looking for Somebody New by the Rivieras. I don't care how beat up it is or if it's a reissue ... I just want the 45 RPM to help complete a project I'm working on.
Well, we posted the MP3 the other day ... but finding a copy of the 45 is another matter. Anybody out there got a copy to sell??? (kk)

Hi Kent,
I have a funny record-collecting story. In early 1985, Foreigner hit the top of the Billboard chart with "I Want to Know What Love Is." The backing vocals on that track were done by the New Jersey Mass Choir. One day about six years ago, while in a secondhand record store, I came across a single of that song, as performed by the New Jersey Mass Choir. It was marked 19 cents, so I said what the hell. About two weeks later, on Joel Whitburn's site, he mentioned he had been trying to locate that very record. I wrote Joel (who had been a guest previously on my radio show) and told him I had a copy. He said what do you want for it, and I said his latest book, autographed. About a week later, a Whitburn book arrived via UPS, signed by Joel on the inside cover, and Joel had that single in his hands.
Tim Jensen

Out of all the finds that I found at record shows and yard sales and church sales and Goodwill stores, this one was the most profitable. In 1995 I picked up about 50 promo LPs at a yard sale, $5.00 for the whole lot. While searching through all the crap, a picture sleeve falls out of one of the LP's. The Rolling Stones "Beast Of Burden". I figure, yeah OK, I got the record, now I got the sleeve to match. I find out later that there were only 100 sleeves pressed, due to content (a lion is sitting upon top of a woman, in a compromising position). Several years later I sold the sleeve at auction for just under $900.00. Of course, before I did, I photocopied the original for myself! Not a bad investment at all. If any of my fellow readers have crap LP's, take a look inside, you'll never know what you'll find!

Mark (Computer DJ 61) Q¿Q

I never visited the Wax Trax in Chicago or know about the record label, but Wax Trax in Denver was an INCREDIBLE place to get 45s and vinyl in 70's, 80's, 90's. I have spent hours and hours in those 3 shops in Denver and it is sad to hear the owner has passed away. The store is still open I guess, but those good pickin days are gone, IMO. But those memories of GREAT record stores of the past always linger.
I used to make the long trek out to Wax Trax back in the day ... occasionally you'd find that odd item here and there but primarily it was the place to pick up really cool imports that you couldn't get anywhere else. The days of the dedicated record shops ... especially for serious collectors ... has been greatly shrinking for years now. Here in Chicago we still have Beverly Records way out on the south side (but I've never been fond of their selling methods there.) In Fort Worth we used to visit a place called Forever Young ... and I remember checking out AWESOME collectible shops in San Francisco and New York City over the years ... not sure if ANY of these places are still in operation or not. Tougher and tougher ... even classic publications like "Goldmine" and "Discoveries" have been hurt by eBay and, both offering ALL kinds of collectibles you can't find anywhere else ... from the convenience of your computer screen. There's still something about flipping through that stack of records YOURSELF, however, a stumbling across one of those "Oh My God!" records that you've been looking for for AGES ... I honestly believe that this experience just may have been the greatest part of the appeal. (kk)

After our recent pieces on The New Colony Six ran on the website, I happened to mention to NC6 Fans Jerry Schollenberger and Clark Besch that I had been looking for a Jimmy Clanton record that I heard Dick Biondi play on his program a few months back ... something called "Old Rock 'n' Roller" ... a non-hit from a small, independent label ... but interesting to me because Ronnie Rice wrote the song during the "country phase" of his career in the late '70's. Jerry told me that he, too, had been looking for a copy of the record for 30 years and I had hoped that even if we couldn't find a copy of the actual 45, perhaps we could track down an MP3 of this tune to share with our readers. I went so far as to contact both Dick Biondi and Jimmy Clanton ... without any response ... so I figured I'd just add this one to my own personal "Want List". Well, lo and behold, Clark Besch DID have a copy in his collection ... never even realizing that Ronnie Rice had co-written the tune!!!

Ronnie told me recently that he always wondered if Jimmy Clanton actually LIKED the song ... or if this was just one of those that he was MADE to record ... but it turns out that Ronnie had the pleasure of talking to Jimmy a year or two ago and Jimmy told him that he LOVED the tune. Ronnie also said that he has seen Clanton performing on some of those PBS / Doo-Wop / Oldies Shows and that he STILL sounds great ... Tom Diehl said that HE has tickets to see Jimmy Clanton live in concert this upcoming November.

The good news is that we're now able to share this tune with our readers ... an otherwise LONG forgotten little gem by one of the early '60's biggest names, written by yet another one of our Local Heroes. Enjoy!!!

I've got a hunch that this one may have never actually made it past the demo / DJ Copy phase ... so it's especially neat to be able to share it with you today. Enjoy!

And PLEASE ... keep those Record Collector Memories coming ... we'll run another segment of this new feature in an upcoming issue of Forgotten Hits!