Friday, April 2, 2010

More Record Collecting Memories

Got a Record Collecting Memory or two that you'd like to share with our readers?
Then drop us a line and we'll include it in the next installment of this recurring series.
Check out the responses below ... these are the kinds of stories we'd like to share. Tell us about your greatest find ... or the one that got away ... or how about the ONLY one you need to complete your collection??? You get the idea. Just drop us an email and we'll put your story in our next edition.

I was wondering if you might be able to help me with finding someone who might be interested in buying a collection of 78 and 33 RPM records dating back to the 1940s and possibly the 30s.
These are my mother's records. I hate to just donate them or worse, toss them out. They are not old rockers, but some of them are known big bands and solo artists. There are probably around 200 - 300 records. Most are in decent condition, some not so good.
I can come up with a list if you want. I don't know if they are worth anything or not. My mother is elderly and on a fixed income. I would like to try to get what I can for them to help her out.
Thank you in advance,
We really don't get involved much with record searches or sales anymore but I'm happy to post your inquiry on the website and see if we get any nibbles. Give it a week or two and see if anybody responds. (kk)

I can think of three great finds at garage sales. First the seller had two tables of LPs. One had the Beatles And Elvis for $5.00 each. All were commons so I passed. On the other table was another box of LPs for 75 cents. Among those I bought were the Rivieras on USA and the first David Bowie LP on Deram.
Speaking of Elvis & the Beatles, the next two sales involve them.
One garage sale had a few hundred 45s including at least a half dozen or so Beatles picture sleeves and another estate sale had about two dozen original Elvis LPs all with the inserts still inside.
Finally, you may remember this, Kent, it falls under the heading if we knew then, what we know now. We've all heard stories of the legendary store stock sitting in the basement of a record shop. Well, Kent and I can honestly say we saw one and while we both spent what was for us major money at the time, we didn't make a dent in it and I tend to think there might have been more that we didn't see. The store was The Record Center in Chicago, and they specialized in oldies 45s. They're long out of business now and the two stores that I believe bought up most of their stock are long gone as well. It's possible Beverly records bought some, but I can't recall. We are talking tens of thousands. The guy never returned his overstock. I don't know about Kent, but the stuff I bought is long gone as well.
I have a copy of Somebody New, by the Rivieras that has been copied on a CD, but still need the 45. It's the last 45 on the list I need for 45 45s that were popular on my wife's birthday on 9/7/65. Thanks to those who have helped me so far.
One last thing ... while I didn't find it, my ex girlfriend did and gave me, two copies of Stairway To Heaven on a 45 rpm.

I think The Record Center deal was one of those "Deals Of A Lifetime" ... if we'd ONLY had the money, we could have bought 'em out lock, stock and barrel and started our OWN oldies record shop! I was still doing mail order at the time and you were doing most of the record shows that came through town so I'm guessing that had to be late '70's / early '80's. (Somebody out there probably knows the EXACT date that The Record Center closed their doors!!!) Anyway, Jack is not exaggerating ... I was picking up entire BOXES of 45's ... these came right from the distributor ... unopened cardboard boxes of 25 copies of the same record that just never hit it big on the charts ... I swear, they must have NEVER made a return!!! I clearly remember buying entire boxes of things like The Monkees' "Good Clean Fun" with a picture sleeve, a single I don't remember ever even SEEING in a record store here in Chicago! We spent what we could afford (and probably a little bit more than that) and we were VERY fortunate to get an early look before the REAL collectors and dealers swooped in to clean out the rest. It made for a VERY exciting afternoon of scavenger hunting to be sure!!! (kk)

UPDATE: I just heard from Jack ... and he has completed his search for the 45 Top 45 singles from 9/7/65. (Special thanks to Carolyn, who supplied the last record needed to complete this collection!)

Here are a couple of stand-out deals that I remember ...
At one of the very first Beatlefests, I swapped a guy my copy of John Lennon's "Roots" LP on Adam VIII Records for a copy of The Beatles' "Yesterday And Today" / "Butchers" album in a dead-even swap. Back then, the butcher cover went for about $300 ... it's worth FAR more now for an original. By comparison, the "Roots" LP was probably worth about $80 ... but it was the ONLY item missing from this guy's Beatles collection (and he had THREE butcher copies, so he was willing to relinquish one to make this deal.) I held on to it for a couple of years before selling it at a local record show for, if I remember correctly $350. Kicking myself now but at the time, that was a $342 profit over what I paid for the "Roots" LP through mail-order so I thought I had made a good deal.
(Until I just recently read Tommy James' auto-biography, I had absolutely NO idea that it was Morris Levy who was behind the release of this unauthorized Adam VIII LP!!!)
I was also invited to do the very first Chicagoland Area Monkees Convention ... I loaded up with as much Monkees merchandise as I could get my hands on ... and COMPLETELY sold out in about 2 1/2 hours!!! I had absolutely NOTHING left and finally had to just pack things up and go home early ... most successful single show I'd ever done but the down-side of record collecting (and dealing) is that when it's gone, it's gone ... never completely adapted to that line of thinking!!!
The most successful single sale I ever had was back in my mail-order days advertising in Goldmine Magazine. I ran a Picture Sleeves ONLY auction and, in these days some 20 odd years before eBay, found myself smack dab in the middle of a relentless bidding war that literally went down to the wire. In fact, one determined buyer kept me on the phone until after midnight so that the official ending to the auction had passed before I could check any other bids that I had received ... he then overbid by $20 the top price on every picture sleeve he needed for his collection. It was BY FAR the single biggest money-making auction I ever held ... but same sad story ... once they're gone, they're gone!!!
Finally, I found a goldmine of picture sleeves at a garage sale one day, still in one of those old 45s record cases ... there were 60 of them in all, and it was all mid-'60's stuff in absolutely MINT condition ... and they only wanted about a quarter a piece for them. The Dave Clark Five, The Turtles, Herman's Hermits, The Beatles, The Supremes, Elvis ... you name it, it was there. I finally just told the lady that I'd take them all ... so she pulls the stack out of the case and then ... before I could say a word ... writes on the top sleeve (a Lovin' Spoonful PS): 60 x .25 = $15!!!! Thus RUINING the sleeve from any collectibility stand point!!! I freaked, thinking that that sleeve was probably worth every bit of $20-$25 at the time ... and now it was barely worth the quarter I had paid for it!!!
In a related story, I was once moving from one apartment to another when a soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend of mine was helping me carry my boxes of 45's out to the car. To get a "better grip" on the box, she punctured her nail right through Elvis' face on the "Don't Cry Daddy" picture sleeve ... I decided from that point forward to move ALL of the record boxes myself!!! lol Ah yes, those were the days!!! (lol) kk

Hi Kent:
I will give you a record buying / collecting story. Several years back I got a call from a woman who was selling stuff because she was to be moving soon. She was having a rummage sale the next day, but said I could come over and look through any records she had. Well, the place was a mess and nothing organized, so records were scattered in boxes of everything. Some were in with toys, dishes, clocks, books etc. Most of it was various piles of un-sleeved 45’s. Anyway, after going through tons of boxes with little success, I was thinking of leaving. I thought, what the heck there are only a handful of boxes left in this room, I’ll at least finish these off. As luck would have it there was a Pink Promo copy of “My Bonnie” by Tony Sheridan & Beat Brothers in a little stack! What Luck! She was asking $1 a piece for any record I wanted. I thought that was a pretty good deal so I took it along.
Yeah, I'd say it was a pretty good deal. I once found a yellow-label promo of the official US / MGM Version at a similar estate sale ... but the minute the guy saw that I was interested in buying it, he decided not to sell it, figuring it must be worth a fortune. I picked up MY copy of "My Bonnie" at Woolworth's for nine cents!!! And, with a Picture Sleeve no less!!! This was back in the day when they used to sell those poly-bag packs of ten 45's ... they'd stick a desirable hit on each side of the exposed package ... but you had NO idea what the middle eight singles might be. It was one of those drill-hole singles and sleeves ... but I've still got it some 46 years later! (kk)

The most I paid for an LP was $50 over 20 years ago. It was for an album by the 5 Keys. Now this is a very valuable album because of the cover picture.

click to enlarge photo

You will notice that Rudy West, the lead singer, and first in line, appears to have his penis displayed, but it is actually his thumb. This was released and then complaints poured in, so they air brushed that out and re-released it. It is known as the Phallic cover. I still have the album and it is in at least very good condition.
Bob Hughes


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