Thursday, January 31, 2008

This Day In Music History- Jan 31

"I Want You Back," the first of four consecutive #1 hits in a nine-month period from the Jackson 5, reaches the top of the charts in 1970. The others: "ABC" (April 1970), "The Love You Save" (June 1970) and "I'll Be There" (October 1970).

In 1995, 'Skeletons from the Closet,' the Grateful Dead’s “best of” record from their years at Warner Bros., was certified triple platinum (3 million copies sold). It was the top-selling album of the Dead’s career.

KC (Harry Wayne Casey) of KC & the Sunshine Band ("Get Down Tonight") turns 57.

Slim Harpo ("Baby Scratch My Back") dies of a heart attack while recording in London in 1970.

Bob Dylan was reported to be in the audience as Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper play Duluth, Minnesota less than three days before their fatal plane crash in 1959.

Seventeen year-old Neil Young performed his first professional date at a Winnipeg country club in 1963.

In 1970, The Grateful Dead's bust for LSD and barbiturates in a New Orleans hotel becomes the inspiration for their song, "Truckin.”

In 1956, Elvis Presley signed a contract with the William Morris Agency to represent him in film deals.

Today in 1976, the song "Love Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players topped the charts and stayed there for a week.

The song "The Tide Is High" by Blondie topped the charts and stayed there for a week in 1981.

Johnny Rotten (from Sex Pistols) was born in 1956.

In 1978, Blood, Sweat & Tears sax player Greg Herbert died in Amsterdam from an accidental overdose at age 30.

In 1967, at an antique shop in Kent, England, John Lennon, who is filming the promo clip for "Strawberry Fields Forever" nearby, purchases an 1843 circus poster reading "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite."

Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera was born in London in 1951.

Genesis drummer turned solo hitmaker Phil Collins was born in Chiswick, England in 1951.

Blues singer Chuck Willis, who recorded a definitive version of "C. C. Rider" and wrote songs like "It's Too Late," was born in Atlanta in 1928.

Singer Mario Lanza was born in Philadelphia in 1921.

The Cure’s Jason Cooper was born in 1967.

In 1969, Led Zeppelin opened for Iron Butterfly and so thrills the audience the headliners refuse to go on.

In 1957, Decca Records announced that Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around The Clock" had sold over a million copies in the UK, mostly on 10 inch 78's.

The mother of the group The Cowsills, Barbara Cowsill, passed away in Arizona on January 31st at the age of 56. She and her family were the real life inspiration for the Partridge Family TV show.

In 1987, Paul Simon's "Graceland" went to number 1 on the UK album chart. The LP would stay on the list for 101 weeks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Record Store Day

I just heard about this amazing concept and hope to have more information very soon!

On Saturday, April 19, 2008, hundreds of independently owned music stores across the country will celebrate “Record Store Day.”

On this day, all of these stores will simultaneously link and act as one with the purpose of celebrating the culture and unique place that they occupy both in their local communities and nationally.

This Day In Music History- Jan 29

This Day is from Jan 29th. sorry it is a day late, I had some pressing issues that forced me away from my computer (OHH nooo!)

"Walk This Way” is a Top 10 single in 1977. The Aerosmith song is inspired by a line in Mel Brooks’ comedy Young Frankenstein.

In 1969, Steve Winwood leaves Traffic to join Blind Faith.

Mary Wilson of the Supremes is injured and her son is killed in a California auto accident in 1994.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer disband (the first time), 1979

Warner Brothers Records signed Peter, Paul and Mary to their first recording contract in 1962. Their self-titled album would stay in the US Top 10 for ten months, remained in the Top 20 for two years, and did not drop off the Hot 100 album chart until three-and-a-half years after its release. Their only single to make it all the way to number 1 was 1969's, "Leaving On a Jet Plane," written by John Denver.

The Beatles record "Sie Liebt Dich" (the German version of "She Loves You"), in 1964.

Rose Royce, the former backing band for the Temptations, went to #1 on the US singles chart with "Car Wash” in 1977.

In 2005,the Arctic Monkeys' "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" sells a 363,700 copies in its first week of release to become the No. 1 album in the U.K. and the fastest selling U.K. debut ever.

In 2001, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle rules that Funkadelic star George Clinton signed away his copyright on songs written in the late '70s and early '80s and no, he can't have it back. Clinton claimed rap stars were profiting off tunes he sold to Bridgeport Music in 1983.

Willie Dixon died of heart failure aged 76 in Burbank, CA in 1992. The blues songwriter's "Little Red Rooster" was famously covered by his acolytes the Rolling Stones.

Jimmy Durante or, as he was known, The Great Schnozzola, died in Santa Monica, CA in 1980.

In 1958,The Champs released "Tequila", an instrumental that will hit number one in mid-March, staying there for five weeks The group included sax player Jim Seals and drummer Dash Crofts, who would go on to score several hits in the seventies, including "Summer Breeze" as Seals and Crofts.

Tommy Ramone was born with the name Tamás Erdélyi in Budapest Hungary in 1952. He grows up in Queens, NY. Prior to the Ramones, the drummer is a studio intern for the production of the Jimi Hendrix album “Band Of Gypsys.” He's the group's manager before becoming a band member. 1952

Singer David Byron of the rock band Uriah Heep was born in Essex, England in 1947.

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix and The Who gave a tribute concert to the Beatles late manager, Brian Epstein.

1996 - Garth Brooks refused to accept his American Music Award for Favorite Overall Artist. Brooks said that Hootie and the Blowfish had done more for music that year than he did.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Album Cover Art

I enjoyed these YouTube videos, I hope you do as well:


King Crimson


Great album Covers


Vinyl Gets Its Groove Back.

by Kristina Dell -- Time Magazine January 21, 2008 U.S. Edition

From college dorm rooms to high school sleepovers, an all-but-extinct music medium has been showing up lately. And we don't mean CDs. Vinyl records, especially the full-length LPs that helped define the golden era of rock in the 1960s and '70s, are suddenly cool again. Some of the new fans are baby boomers nostalgic for their youth. But to the surprise and delight of music executives, increasing numbers of the iPod generation are also purchasing turntables (or dusting off Dad's), buying long-playing vinyl records and giving them a spin.

Like the comeback of Puma sneakers or vintage T shirts, vinyl's resurgence has benefited from its retro-rock aura. Many young listeners discovered LPs after they rifled through their parents' collections looking for oldies and found that they liked the warmer sound quality of records, the more elaborate album covers and liner notes that come with them, and the experience of putting one on and sharing it with friends, as opposed to plugging in some earbuds and listening alone. "Bad sound on an iPod has had an impact on a lot of people going back to vinyl," says David MacRunnel, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Creve Coeur, Mo., who owns more than 1,000 records.

The music industry, hoping to find another revenue source that doesn't easily lend itself to illegal downloads, has happily jumped on the bandwagon. Contemporary artists like the Killers and Ryan Adams have begun issuing their new releases on vinyl in addition to the CD and MP3 formats. As an extra lure, many labels are including coupons for free audio downloads with their vinyl albums so that Generation Y music fans can get the best of both worlds: high-quality sound at home and iPod portability for the road. Also, vinyl's different shapes (hearts, triangles) and eye-catching designs (bright colors, sparkles) are created to appeal to a younger audience. While new records sell for about $14, used LPs go for as little as a penny--perfect for a teenager's budget--or as much as $2,400 for a collectible, autographed copy of Beck's Steve Threw Up.

Vinyl records are just a small scratch on the surface when it comes to total album sales--only about 0.2%, compared to 10% for digital downloads and 89.7% for CDs, according to Nielsen SoundScan--but these numbers may underrepresent the vinyl trend since they don't always include sales at smaller indie shops where vinyl does best. Still, 990,000 vinyl albums were sold in 2007, up 15.4% from the 858,000 units bought in 2006. Mike Dreese, CEO of Newbury Comics, a New England chain of independent music retailers that sells LPs and CDs, says his vinyl sales were up 37% last year, and Patrick Amory, general manager of indie label Matador Records, whose artists include Cat Power and the New Pornographers, claims, "We can't keep up with the demand."

Big players are starting to take notice too. "It's not a significant part of our business, but there is enough there for me to take someone and have half their time devoted to making vinyl a real business," says John Esposito, president and CEO of WEA Corp., the U.S. distribution company of Warner Music Group, which posted a 30% increase in LP sales last year. In October, introduced a vinyl-only store and increased its selection to 150,000 titles across 20 genres. Its biggest sellers? Alternative rock, followed by classic rock albums. "I'm not saying vinyl will become a mainstream format, just like gourmet eating is not going to take over from McDonald's," says Michael Fremer, senior contributing editor at Stereophile. "But there is a growing group of people who are going back to a high-resolution format." Here are some of the reasons they're doing it and why you might want to consider it:

Sound quality LPs generally exhibit a warmer, more nuanced sound than CDs and digital downloads. MP3 files tend to produce tinnier notes, especially if compressed into a lower-resolution format that pares down the sonic information. "Most things sound better on vinyl, even with the crackles and pops and hisses," says MacRunnel, the young Missouri record collector.

Album extras Large album covers with imaginative graphics, pullout photos (some even have full-size posters tucked in the sleeve) and liner notes are a big draw for young fans. "Alternative rock used to have 16-page booklets and album sleeves, but with iTunes there isn't anything collectible to show I own a piece of this artist," says Dreese of Newbury Comics. In a nod to modern technology, albums known as picture discs come with an image of the band or artist printed on the vinyl. "People who are used to CDs see the artwork and the colored vinyl, and they think it's really cool," says Jordan Yates, 15, a Nashville-based vinyl enthusiast. Some LP releases even come with bonus tracks not on the CD version, giving customers added value.

Social experience Crowding around a record player to listen to a new album with friends, discussing the foldout photos, even getting up to flip over a record makes vinyl a more socially interactive way to enjoy music. "As far as a communal experience, like with family and friends, it feels better to listen to vinyl," says Jason Bini, 24, a recent graduate of Fordham University. "It's definitely more social."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Goldmine Magazine Launches Radio Station

The music that fills the pages of Goldmine Magazine can now be heard on Goldmine Radio, a 24/7 online streaming radio station at

IOLA, Wis. (January 24, 2008) -- The music that fills the pages of Goldmine Magazine can now be heard on Goldmine Radio, a 24/7 online streaming radio station at

Whether it’s classic rock, blues or oldies, or the best from the cream of the crop of today’s artists, music fans can log on any time to hear their favorites. Coming soon, Goldmine editor Peter Lindblad will host new programming each week featuring interviews with artists, collectors, auction houses, music industry players and more.

“For the serious record collector, this is the perfect avenue to listen to their favorites without compromising the condition of their vinyl collection,” says Lindblad. “For the music lover in general, they won’t find a bigger mix of all the music they’ve come to love over time.”

For more information about Goldmine magazine, the collectors record and compact disc marketplace, visit

# # #

About Goldmine
Goldmine is the world's largest marketplace for collectible records, CDs, and music memorabilia covering rock & roll, blues, country, folk, and jazz. Each issue features articles on recording stars of the past and present with discographies listing all known releases. For more information visit

About Krause Publications
Krause Publications, based in Iola, Wis., is the world's largest publisher of leisure-time periodicals and books on collectibles, sewing and quilting, hunting, and fishing. Chet Krause, a long-time collector of coins, published the first issue of Numismatic News on Oct. 13, 1952, with nearly 1,000 readers. Today, Krause Publications, owned by F+W Publications, offers over 40 periodicals, 10 hobby shows, 750 reference and how-to books, and web properties. F+W Publications, an ABRY Partners, LLC company, also operates book clubs, conferences, trade shows, interactive media and education programs.


Peter Lindblad
Editor, Goldmine
800-726-9966, ext. 334

Website Link:

This Day In Music History- Jan 27

Elmore James was born in Richland, MS. In 1918.

Nick Mason of Pink Floyd was born in 1945

In 1956, Elvis Presley's debut single for RCA, "Heartbreak Hotel," was released. The first of Presley's 17 Number One hits, it holds down the top spot for eight weeks. The song sold 300,000 copies the first week and would eventually sell over a million, becoming Elvis' first gold record.

In 1972, perhaps the world's greatest gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, died at age 60 in Evergreen Park, Ill.

The late David Seville ("Witch Doctor" and leader of the Chipmunks) was born in 1919.

Nedra Talley of the Ronettes ("Be My Baby") turns 62.

The Bee Gees made their first-ever appearance in the U.S. in 1968, at the Anaheim, California Convention Center (then head immediately back to England), after making $50,000.

Michael Jackson suffers scalp and neck burns when his hair catches fire during an accidental explosion on the set of a Pepsi commercial, shot in Los Angeles. Pepsi paid Jackson a $1.5 million settlement, which he then donated to the Brotman Memorial Hospital where he was treated. The commercial debuted on MTV on February 27, 1984 with the fire scene edited out.

"Peppermint Twist - Part I" by Joey Dee & the Starliters topped the charts in 1962 and stayed there for 3 weeks.

Bobby Bland
was born in Rosemark, TN. in 1930.

Today in 1973, the song "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder topped the charts and stayed there for a week. (the song was Originally given to guitarist Jeff Beck but not immediately released, so Wonder cut his version).

In 2006, Gene McFadden, the R&B singer/songwriter who penned classics like The O'Jays' "Back Stabbers" and had a No. 1 hit as McFadden & Whitehead with "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," died of cancer complications. He was 56.

Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton was born in Eureka, CA. in 1958.

Margo Timmins, lead singer with the Cowboy Junkies, was born in Montreal in 1961.

Little Richard left Rock and Roll in 1958 and enrolled in bible school at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. Richard explained that while flying over the Philippines on tour, the wing of his plane caught fire and his prayers that the flames go out were answered, so he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to God.

Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was released in 1968. The release came 6 weeks after he was killed in a plane crash.

In 1971 David Bowie arrived for his first visit to the U.S. He did not perform, but received a lot of publicity for wearing dresses in Texas and Louisiana.

1967 General Motors begins offering an eight-track tape player as an option in their Buick line.

John Lennon writes, records and mixes "Instant Karma" during a nine hour session in 1970. Phil Spector produced the effort with George Harrison on guitar, Billy Preston on piano, Klaus Voormann on bass and Alan White on drums.

In 1972, the New Seekers received a gold record for "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing,” a song that received extensive air-play as the music for Coca-Cola commercials.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Top Sellers at Vinyl

Looking for hard to find, rare and collectible vinyl? Visit Virgil Dickerson over at Suburban Home Records and Vinyl Collective. I have picked up several beautiful picture discs (Sublime) and this is a great source for 'colored vinyl' as well. Tell Virgil that I sent you on over!

Top 30 items for December 2007- Vinyl

1 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Red with Black Smoke vinyl (VC exlusive)
2 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes “Willie” 7″ buckaroo Blue vinyl
3 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Clear with Red Splatter vinyl
4 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Red and Black half and half vinyl
5 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Sky Blue vinyl
6 HEAVENS “Patent Pending” LP alkaline trio hand #d
7 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP White vinyl
8 MINUS THE BEAR “Highly Refined Pirates” LP Aqua Vinyl
9 MINUS THE BEAR “Planet of Ice” dbl LP solid white vinyl
9 O PIONEERS!!! S/t 7″ strawberry colored vinyl
11 EVERY TIME I DIE “The Big Dirty” LP leapord print vinyl
12 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP 5 colors plus CD/DVD
13 Fake Problems “Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies” 7″ all 3 colors
13 MINUS THE BEAR “Highly Refined Pirates” LP Orange vinyl
13 DRAG THE RIVER “You Can’t Live This Way” LP Grey Vinyl
13 Fake Problems “Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies” 7″ black/silver swirl
17 BEN WEASEL “These Ones Are Bitter” LP clear brown
18 NEKO CASE - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood LP
19 27 “Holding On For Brighter Days” LP green glitter vinyl
19 Tim Barry “Rivanna Junction” LP grey/black half and half vinyl Avail
19 Poison the Well “Tear From” LP (clear pink vinyl)
22 American Steel - Jagged Thoughts LP
22 THE PLAYING FAVORITES “I Remember When I Was Pretty” LP pink/blue half and half
24 BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY! “Get Warmer” LP clear vinyl w/ white splatter
25 NORMA JEAN 4 x LP Vinyl Box Set colored vinyl set A limited to 400
26 Bomb the Music Industry! / O Pioneers split LP 10″ Mystery colored vinyl
26 Teenage Bottlerocket “Another Way” LP red vinyl
28 Tim Barry “Laurel St Demos” LP brown vinyl white covers
28 American Steel - Rogue’s March LP
28 WEAKERTHANS “Left and Leaving” LP
28 THRICE “The Illusion of Safety” LP
28 Casket Lottery “Possibilities & Maybes” 2xLP Clear vinyl
34 Bomb the Music Industry! “To Leave or Die in Long Island” 12″ black/pink split

This Day In Music History- Jan 25

Etta James was born in 1938.

'Proud Mary', the Creedence Clearwater Revival LP, was released in 1969. "Proud Mary" eventually reached #2 on the charts (the band never had a #1 hit).

In 1980, Paul McCartney was released after nine days in a Tokyo jail for marijuana possession, he then flew to Amsterdam.

In 1984, Yoko Ono donated $375,000 to Liverpool's Strawberry Fields retirement home, the inspiration for her husband, John Lennon's, song.

Organist and acid jazz pioneer Brother Jack McDuff died at age 74 in 2001.
In 2000, a 1930 lacquered aluminum record was discovered on which Frank Sinatra sang "Roses of Picardy." It is believed to be the first ever solo recording made by Sinatra.

In 1971, Beatles-inspired nutcase Charles Manson was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of seven counts of murder in the first degree and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Three other members of his family are also given life sentences. Thankfully, all are still in prison.

In 1958, Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" entered the British pop singles charts at No. 1, an unprecedented feat.

The Tubes' synth player Michael Cotton was born in 1950.

Bassist and KC & the Sunshine Band co-founder Richard Finch was born in Indianapolis in 1954.

Birthday wishes to Alan Cox of the Fine Young Cannibals and the English Beat who was born in Birmingham, England in 1956.

In 1958, Gary Tibbs, bassist with art rockers Roxy Music, punk rockers the Vibrators and new wavers Adam + the Ants, was born.

While the Beatles performed with the Mustangs at a Baptist Youth Club Dance in England in 1963, Vee Jay signs a contract to distribute their singles in the United States.

David Gilmour played his first show with Pink Floyd at Southampton University in 1968. He replaced Syd Barrett whose behavior had become increasingly unpredictable.

In 1979, Rolling Stone Magazine’s Reader’s Poll named The Cars as the year’s best new band.

In 1961, the House of Representatives Special Sub-committee on Legislative Oversight, opened hearings on disc jockey payola. Legendary Cleveland DJ Alan Freed would eventually be convicted, while Philadelphia's Dick Clark would be cleared.

In 1964, the Beatles scored their first number one best seller in the US when "I Want To Hold Your Hand" reached the top of the Cash Box Magazine music chart. The Fab Four would eventually rack up 25 number ones in America.

In 1975, “Please Mr. Postman" became a US number one for the second time when The Carpenters took it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The Marvelettes version led the hit parade in January, 1961. (the Beatles also recorded a popular version of the song, it didn't make the American Top 40)

Allman Brothers bassist, Lamar Williams died of cancer in 1983 at the age of 34.

2005 Ray Peterson, the voice behind the June 1960, number 7 hit, "Tell Laura I Love Her" passed away at the age of 65.

Independent Record Labels Need To Be Counted

By Robert Benson

With vinyl record sales up more than fifteen percent over last year’s totals (858,000'units’ bought in 2006 versus 990,000 in 2007, according to Nielsen Soundscan), has the comeback of this historical audio medium reached its pinnacle? No one can say for sure, but one thing is certain, these sales figures are not a full indication of just what is happening in the ‘vinyl world’ and how many records have truly been sold.

These sales figures may be underestimated and under represent the exact sales figures because they don’t always include the sales at the smaller ‘indie’ record shops where vinyl does the best. I spoke with Virgil Dickerson, owner of one of these ‘indie’ record shops, and Vinyl Collective (based in Denver, Colorado) about what he is noticing about the trend to go back to vinyl records.

“Certainly, my CD sales have dropped off, and I have seen an increase in the sales of our vinyl records. People want a tangible product to go along with their music. The record album artwork and the great sound of vinyl are also factors in the resurgence,” detailed Virgil. “Digital music lacks the ‘soul’ of a record and there is almost a therapeutic ritual when you experience playing vinyl, the act of physically playing the record, the smell, turning the record over to hear the other side- are all factors as to why people are in love with the format.”

But, is the vinyl resurgence just a passing fad, what do you see for the future of the vinyl record?

“Some of our customers are what I term as ‘lifers,’ people who will buy records whether they are popular or not and may even have an extensive collection of records. And then there may be some that are just jumping on the ‘vinyl bandwagon,’ buying records to be cool or because they are popular now, but there will always be a place for vinyl within the music community,” said Virgil.

As previously noted, Virgil is the owner and operates Suburban Home Records, a record label that signs and releases music from bands from all over the world as well as Vinyl Collective, a unique vinyl friendly web store. And with such an eclectic array of musical genres to choose from including punk, alternative country, heavy metal, rock and roll and just about anything in between, his customer base is as varied as the musical styles that they offer.

We discussed some of the vinyl record formats that are being manufactured, including audiophile vinyl, picture discs, limited releases and colored vinyl.

“With regard to colored vinyl, we do it because we want each pressing to be distinctive. Colored vinyl is more prevalent now than, lets say, ten years ago and is highly sought after; people want it, so we appease our customers by releasing it,” explained Virgil. “We have some that are just one color, clear vinyl and we have added some with speckles and swirls.”

“Picture discs are also highly sought after as well, but are much more expensive per unit to manufacture. They are usually released with no jacket (they are kept in a clear re-sealable package) so that helps to reduce the cost. And the sound quality can fluctuate from good to bad depending on the pressing plant that is used. Audiophile records are more expensive as well, manufactured as 180-200 gram records instead of our norm, which is 140-160 grams,” said Virgil.

We also discussed the difference in sound quality between audiophile records and the normal standard vinyl releases.

“Audiophile records have a better sound quality because a higher grade of vinyl is used and the grooves are cut deeper into the vinyl, producing a much clearer sound. I would think that they are also less susceptible to scratching and scuffing and withstand the normal wear and tear that a record gets form use, because of their thickness,” related Virgil.

We talked about ‘limited releases’ and why these are not only popular, but profitable as well.

“Well, instead of pressing, let’s say, 5,000 copies of a particular recording, we may only press 500. This helps to keep our costs down and collectors love this type of release; they will own an uncommon or rare record, which can affect the resale value of the record, depending on various factors such as the artist, condition etc.”

What other marketing ploys are utilized in the record business?

“We are starting to sign up bands for a 7” ‘split’ series. We will do a pre-order for each 7” and have several artists already committed to the project including Chuck Ragan/Tim Barry, William Elliott Whitmore/Josh Small, Fake Problems/Look Mexico, Rocky Votolato/Chad Price (of Drag the River), just to name a few. The artists will do a cover of a song that has influenced what they do today. We not only have our own artists from Suburban Home Records, but other record labels and artists as well. And this is not so much a marketing ploy, as it is a unique opportunity for artists to be heard by other fan bases that may have not heard of the artist before the split and may also introduce the listener to another kind of musical genre that they may not listen to. With luck, we hope to have customers be interested enough to collect the whole series,” detailed Virgil.

We have just met the man behind the scenes at Suburban Home Records/Vinyl Collective, one of hundreds of independent record labels that produce quality vinyl records and allow independent musicians to be heard by the masses. Why these sales are not tabulated with the ‘big box’ record stores or major labels is food for thought. But if Suburban Home Records/Vinyl Collective keeps releasing quality vinyl records, it is just a matter of time, before they too, will become a “major label” and be counted, as the sale of vinyl records continues to move upward.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Record 'Master' Passes Away

Vinyl Mastering Guru Ron Murphy Passes Away

Detroit vinyl mastering guru Ron Murphy died of a heart attack this week, aged 58. The unassuming studio genius was described on Discogs ‘as probably one of the most instrumental figures in the history Detroit electronic music’, mastering records for the likes of Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson and Jeff Mills, and helping define the sound that became known as techno.

Ron’s company Sound Enterprises announced that a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday January 26th at Santieu Funeral Home in Garden City, posting a poignant video interview on their website of Ron discussing his craft. “A lot of people ask me what I do and I tell them I cut records,” he explained. “I don’t record people, I cut the masters,” he clarified. “Something that’s already mixed down: we may touch it up a little here and there. And you don’t want these things (records) to be too long- the shorter the better. The shorter it is the louder it is,” he added.

Underground Resistance leader Mike Banks (reputedly a close friend) declined to comment, though British techno pioneer Dave Clare was more forthcoming. “Ron Murphy will be sorely missed,” Dave told Skrufff. “He was the catalytic converter of raw sounds from enthusiastic project studios to legendary vinyl presses that rocked clubs around the world, he was the Bob Katz of techno and his passing with all the years of gained knowledge comes in the last chapter of the Edison era for phonographic recordings,” he said.

Retro Vinyl Cupboard

I found a very interesting and informative blog and must share it with you, here are the details:

Retro Vinyl Cupboard

Stop in, look around, have a drink and crank some tunes. I'll be posting some songs ripped from records, some out of print and hard to find stuff, some songs by artists you should be listening too, and a few mixes here and there.

Very insightful posts about all kinds of music, stop by and have a look around!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Sells On E-Bay

Click here for your favorite eBay items
Below are the 'top' sellers (price wise) on that wonderful auction house ebay. I have had people ask if a record is worth, let's say $100 in the record price guides, then you should be able to get that price for the record if you were to sell it. As I tell all who have read my ebook, "The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting," you will only get what someone is willing to pay.

And that also depends on who is buying the record. If it is a record dealer, expect to get about 10-30% of the record price guide value. Why? Because these people are in business to resell the records and make a profit. But let's say you have two or three different collectors bidding on a rare Bob Dylan release that may be listed at $400 in the price guide. The price that the winning bidder may pay could be twice that, especaily in a "bidding war."

There are many other variables that go into the worth of a record. Condition is the most important factor, not only of the record, but the album jacket, picture sleeve and/or contents (for instance, if the record had a special poster or insert inside when it was released). Additionally, the genre of music plays a role. For instance, if you have a rare "Northern Soul" record (and that is a hot commodity right now) you may get more than the 'book value.' Conversely, you may have an old opera recording, and because there is not a huge demand for that genre, you may have to settle for less than book value. Also, what record label it is on can effect the value. But, this is not an exact science. If you get the right bidders, on the right day, truth is, you can only presume what could happen, nothing is written in stone.

That said, let's explore some of he highest prices that have been paid for records at ebay in the last few weeks:

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales Week Ending 01/05/2008

1) 45 - Freddie Butler "All Is Well" / "Save Your Love For Me" - $5,200.00 Start: n/a Bids: n/a

2) LP - Mariani "Perpetum Mobile" - $2,850.00 Start: $2,500.00 Bids: 2

3) LP - Jutta Hipp "D.G. Flat" Blue Note Mono - $2,534.00 Start: $90.00 Bids: 15

4) 45 - Elvis Presley "That's All Right" / "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" - $1,726.99 Start: $700.00 Bids: 8

5) LP - Billy Preston "Club Meeting" - $1,711.96 Start: $9.00 Bids: 4

An ultra-rare soul rocker from Freddie Bulter topped eBay sales this particular week. The "All Is Well" 45 RPM sold for $5k. Dropping pretty far down in terms of dollars, a more or less psych LP by the band Mariani came in the #2 spot. A Blue Note jazz LP from Jutta Hipp sold for a little over $2.5k. In the #4 spot sits an Elvis 45 on the Sun label. And in #5 comes Billy Preston's very rare live "Club Meeting" LP.


Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales Week Ending 01/12/2008

1) LP - U2 "Joshua Tree" Swedish Blue Vinyl - $4000.00 Start: $4000.00 Bid: 1

2) 45 - Al Williams "I Am Nothing" / "Brand New Love" Palmer - $3,500.00 Start: $3,500.00 Bids: BIN

3) 45 - Innersouls "Just Take Your Time" / "Thoughts" Plemmons - $2,469.44 Start: $99.99 Bids: 17

4) 45 - Elvis Presley "Milkcow Boogie Blues" / "You're A Heartbreaker" Sun 215 - $2,254.90 Bids:32

5) 45 - Frankie Lyman "I'm Sorry" / "Sea Breeze" Big Apple - $1,901.00 Start: $9.99 Bids: 11

Another oddball Swedish colored vinyl U2 record came in at the top of the list this week. This time the color is blue and the record is Joshua Tree. Some weeks ago a red Unforgettable Fire made the list. Next, one of the gods of high dollar rare soul 45's Al Williams comes in at #2, with "I Am Nothing New" selling on a buy-it-now for $3,500.00. Another rare soul 45 from Innersouls made the #3 spot. And an Elvis on Sun 45 comes in at #4 for the second week. And last is another soul 45 from Frankie Lymon.

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales Week Ending 01/19/2008

1) LP - Hank Mobley self titled LP Blue Note - $3500.00 Start: $3500.00 Bids: BIN

2) 45 - Jackie Day "Naughty Boy" / "I Want Your Love" Phelectron - $3,000.00 Start: $499.00 Bids: 16

3) 45 - Iron Maiden "Two Minutes To Midnight" Japanese Promo - $2,895.00 Start: $2895.00 Bids: BIN

4) 78 - Margaret Thornton "Jockey Blues" / "Texas Bound Blues" Black Patti - $2,4000.00 Start: $99.00 Bids: 27

5) 45 - New World "The World To-day" / "J.R." Virtue - $2,178.88 Start: $9.44 Bids: 37

For having only a 500 copy run, this Hank Mobley Blue Note LP changes hands quite a bit. This time coming in #1 and selling for $3.5k. For #2, it's back to rare soul for a Jackie Day 45. The rarest of Iron Maiden collectibles, a Japanese promo 45 sells for close to $2.9K and makes the #3 spot. A 78 RPM blues record from 1927 by Margaret Thornton came in #4. And for #5 we have a rare soul 45 from New World.

As always, I want to thank my source of this useful information:

Monday, January 21, 2008 'The Hip Side of Music'

I recently sent a copy of my ebook "The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting" across the pond to the people at and received a wonderful response and write up by a gent named Mof.

You can read the write up here:

I have added Electric Roulette to my 'blogroll' and if you want to keep in touch with 'the hip side of music,' be sure to stop by and read their informative posts and articles about rock & roll music, interviews, music reviews, books, film, Hot 45's, rock and roll fashion and much, much more. An interesting site, that's for sure!

This Day In Music History- Jan 21

In 1989, the song "Two Hearts" by Phil Collins topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1959, The Kingston Trio, one of the foremost groups behind the Folk music craze, received their first gold record for "Tom Dooley.”

Country singer Mac Davis was born in Lubbock, Texas in 1942. His biggest pop hit was the 1972 No. 1 "Don't Get Hooked On Me." He also wrote "Don't Cry Daddy" and "In the Ghetto" for Elvis Presley.

Folk singer Richie Havens ("Here Comes The Sun") turns 67.

The late Wolfman Jack (Robert Smith) was born in 1939.

Jackie Wilson ("Higher & Higher") died in 1984, eight years after a heart attack and subsequent fall left him in a coma, with brain damage.

Peggy Lee ("Fever") passed away from a heart attack in 2002 at age 81. Lee won a Grammy Award for her 1969 hit "Is That All There Is" and had charted 46 times from 1945 to 1969, ten times in the Top Ten.

The Trips Festival, a multimedia event featuring performances by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and the Holding Company, was held at Longshoreman's Hall in San Francisco in 1966.

"I'm a Believer," by the Monkees, topped the UK charts for four weeks in 1967.

"Colonel" Tom Parker (Elvis Presley's manager) died of a stroke in 1997.

Journey received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005. (why?)

Patsy Cline
won "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" program in 1957, singing "Walking After Midnight.”

In 1957, Filming begins on Elvis Presley's second movie, "Loving You.”

Blues pianist Charles Brown passed away at age 76 in 1999.

In 1982, B.B. King donated his record collection to the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture. The treasures included a 7000-strong blues collection he built during his years as a DJ.

In 1950, Billy Ocean was born in Trinidad as Leslie Sebastian Charles.

Happy birthday to Troggs guitarist Chris Britton, who was born in Watford, England in 1945.

Yes hits number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, with their only Top Ten hit, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart". It reached #28 hit in the UK.

In 1989, Steve Wahrer, drummer and vocalist for The Trashmen on their 1964 hit "Surfin' Bird,” died of throat cancer at the age of 47.

"Nobody Told Me," by John Lennon, from the posthumously released 'Milk and Honey' album, cracked the Top Forty in 1984. It will peak at #5 and be the last of 13 charting singles by Lennon spanning 15 years.

In 1990, MTV launched season premiere of "MTV Unplugged," an acoustic music series. The first episode features performances by Squeeze, Syd Straw, and Elliot Easton from the Cars.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Day In Music History Jan 19

Phil Everly was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1939.

In 1943, Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas.

In 1993, the reunited quintet, Fleetwood Mac including Buckingham, performed "Don't Stop" at President Clinton's Inaugural Gala.

Carl Perkins died in 1998, following a battle with throat cancer. Carl wrote and recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" which went to number 2 for him in 1956, selling 2 million copies. The Elvis Presley version topped out at number 20 the same year.

Shelley Fabares ("Johnny Angel") turns 64.

The late Robert Palmer ("Bad Case Of Loving You") was born in 1949.

Marty Robbins made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1953.

Today in 1959, the song "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" by the Platters, topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

In 2006, soul dynamo Wilson Pickett, who pumped out hits like "In the Midnight Hour" and "Mustang Sally," died after suffering a heart attack. He was 64.

In 1994, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts John Lennon, Bob Marley, Rod Stewart, the Grateful Dead, Elton John, the Animals, the Band, and Duane Eddy.

Vocalist/guitarist Dewey Bunnell of America was born in Yorkshire, England in 1951.

In 1946, Appalachian singer and actress Dolly Parton was born in Locust Ridge, Tenn.

In 1971, the court hears the Beatles' recording of "Helter Skelter" at the trial of Charles Manson. Manson claimed to have heard secret messages in the music that led him to order the murders of actress Sharon Tate and others. At the scene of one of his gruesome murders, the words "helter skelter" were written on a mirror.

In 1957, Johnny Cash made his first network TV appearance, on CBS' "Jackie Gleason Show" .

In 1963, The Beatles appear on Thank Your Lucky Stars where they perform "Please Please Me." It was their first national U.K. TV appearance.

1976 saw The Beatles being offered $30 million to perform for one show by U.S. promoter Bill Sargent. Solo sets are OK but the group has to play together for a minimum of 20 minutes. The Beatles decline.

Denny Doherty, the angelic voice that carried the '60s folk-pop group The Mamas and Papas through such memorable hits as "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday", died January 19th, after suffering an aneurysm in his abdomen. He was 66.

In 1986, Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at a benefit for laid off 3M workers in Asbury Park, NJ. He sang a handful of songs including “My Hometown.”

In 1957, Pat Boone sang at Dwight Eisenhower's presidential inauguration ball.

In 1983, bassist Lamar Williams of the Allman Brothers Band died in Los Angeles of cancer. Williams had served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange.

Today in 1974, the song "Show and Tell" by Al Wilson topped the charts and stayed there for a week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Man Who ‘Dressed the King’

By Robert Benson

Fashion designer extraordinaire, Bill Belew, passed away on January 7, 2008 in Palm Springs, CA at age 77.

Best known for designing the elaborate and iconic Elvis Presley ‘jumpsuits,’ Belew also created costumes for stage, screen and television during his 50 year career; including costumes for such stars as Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Flip Wilson, Brooke Shields and Gloria Estefan among others.

But it was his flamboyant and bejeweled jumpsuits (with matching capes) that the King of rock ‘n’ roll adopted as his own that made Belew a household name.
“Bill Belew changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll fashion,” related Presley costume historian Butch Polston. “He is the one who created the jumpsuits, after that, everybody wanted to dress like Elvis.”

Belew’s collaboration with Elvis began when he was commissioned to design the wardrobe for Elvis’s 1968 television special. He also designed the tight-fitting black leather outfit that Presley loved and Presley was heard saying, “If the songs don’t go over, we can do a medley of costumes.”

The costumes enriched Elvis’s personality and were even given names, such as the ‘Burning Love Suit’ (red with several pinwheel designs), the ‘Flame Suit’ (in which the first of two versions had large jewels in a flame design on the front, on the back and down the legs), the ‘Dragon Suit’ (which was an embroidered dragon embellished with rhinestones) and Elvis’s favorite, the ‘Peacock Suit’ (which featured a peacock on the front and back in chain-stitch embroidery with feathers tapering off the tail of the peacock that ran down the entire side of the suit).

“The simplest outfits that didn’t seem particularly remarkable on the rack transformed into something spectacular when Elvis put them on,” said Belew. “He was that beautiful and powerful a presence.”

And so was Bill Belew, who remained Elvis’s wardrobe designer until Elvis’s untimely demise.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This Day In Music History- Jan 17

Cat woman Eartha Kitt, whose raspy-voiced delivery made VH1 dub her one of the 100 Greatest Women in Rock, was born in North, S.C. in 1927.

Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and Ian Stewart perform together for the first time at London's Marquee Jazz Club in 1963.

In 1972, a section of Bellevue Boulevard in Memphis was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. The remaining length of road kept its original name after protests from the Bellevue Baptist Church.

Barry Manilow had the number one record in the US in 1976 with "I Write The Songs.” Ironically, he wrote many of his hits, but he didn't write this one; Bruce Johnson of The Beach Boys did.

In 2003, Charlie Webber of The Swingin' Medallions, died of cancer on January 17th at the age of 57. The group was best known for their 1966 hit, "Double Shot Of My Baby's Love.”

Mick Taylor (one-time member of the Rolling Stones) turns 60.

Billy Stewart ("Summertime") dies, along with three members of his band, in an auto accident near Smithfield, North Carolina, in 1970.

In 1994,Donny Osmond fights Danny Bonaduce of the Partridge Family in a charity boxing match in Chicago (Danny wins a controversial split decision-Must See TV!)

The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live” in 1976.

The first Led Zeppelin album (self-titled) was released in 1969.

In 2004, Art Garfunkel was arrested in Hurley, NY, for pot possession after cops pulled him over for speeding and subsequently smell marijuana wafting from his limousine(so that’s what he does in his spare time).

In 1975, Bob Dylan released Blood on the Tracks, arguably his most important album of the '70s.

In 1970, the Doors performed the first of two nights at New York's Felt Forum. The dates are recorded for their live album Absolutely Live.

In 1967 an article appeared in today's Daily Mail about the "holes in our roads." The snippet gives John Lennon an idea for a lyric in his song "A Day in the Life." (interesting)

Steve Earle was born Fort Monroe, Va. in 1955. The country outlaw went from "Copperhead Road" to working as a guard at a crack house to resurrecting his career with 1995's “Train A Comin'.”

Chris Montez ("Let's Dance") was born in 1943 in Los Angeles as Christopher Montanez.

In 1945, the Delfonics' singer William Hart was born in Washington, D.C. The soul group's biggest hit was 1968's "La - La - Means I Love You."

Blue-eyed British soul boy Paul Young ("Everytime You Go Away") was born in 1956.

In 1969, "Lady Samantha" was released in England. It was one of the very first recordings by Reginald Kenneth Dwight, better known as Elton John.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Convert all of your vinyl records

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Finding Quality Vinyl Records Online

It Is Easier Than You Think

By Robert Benson

While CD sales continue to plummet and music consumers go “digital,” there is an audio format that has endured through all the other formats that were supposed to bring it to its demise. As we read about the resurgence in the production and sale of vinyl records (up ten percent from last year), some still assume that finding vinyl is a hard process.

And although the ‘brick and mortar’ stores may be closing up shop, a new avenue for vinyl lovers has come to the forefront; the ‘online record shop.’
From the ‘big box’ online retailers like Music Stack, GEMM, Net Music, and even ebay to the small independent dealers like,, and many more, finding quality new and used vinyl records has become quite easy.

I spoke with Lorie Beshara operator and owner of a small vinyl website called about this phenomenon and the enjoyment she gets from, not only the music, but this historic format as well.

“I have been selling vinyl records since the year 2000, but I have been collecting vinyl forever,” Lorie said. “I was raised in a family of musicians and I have a great love and appreciation for all kinds of music. In fact, my Mother was a singer with some of the all-time greats including Ted Weems, Artie Shaw and Les Brown, among others. My Father was a very famous drummer (at one time he was named the drummer of the year) and he also produced a band called Fuse. I still have some of my Mother’s old records; I cannot bring myself to part with those.”

I asked Lorie if she remembered the first 45 rpm that she purchased.

“Oh my, yes, the first 45 I bought was “Surfer Girl,” by the Beach Boys, when I was fourteen. They were very popular and I just loved their sound,” recalled Lorie.

She held on to all her records and she decided to go into business online selling used vinyl that she has accumulated over the years from garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores and what she can find locally. But before she opened, she had to research the best methods of cleaning and grading records.

“Some of the records are so dirty, but will certainly play great once they are cleaned up a bit. So I did extensive research as to the optimum way to clean and grade them,” said Lorie.

After trying several different methods, Lorie has discovered a simple, yet very effective way, to clean up the records she has for sale.

“Each record is meticulously cleaned using a UPI Record Cleaning Machine using ionized water, which helps eliminate static. It also takes off all the dust, dirt, human oils and nicotine off the records,” explained Lorie. “Then I dry the records with a microfiber cloth.”

We talked about the very subjective and tricky element of grading vinyl records.

“I am very, very picky about my grading and especially so with a rare and valuable record,” detailed Lorie. “All the records I sell are, not only professionally cleaned, but I also “play grade” them (for 45’s I play grade the ‘A’ side) and I love listening to the old music. I then incorporate the Goldmine Grading Standard to them and give the buyer a clear indication of the quality of a record. I do grade conservatively and the condition of the album cover (for 33 rpm) or the 45 rpm record sleeves are also taken into account. I use Jerry Osborne’s Cyberguides,” (which is a real-time weekly update of his Rockin’ Records Price Guide) GEMM or Musicstack to gage what a particular record may be selling for and combined with the condition, I ascertain how much I will be selling the record for.”

Besides website, Lorie also sells her records on ebay.
“Ebay is a wonderful option, you have a targeted buyer that may be looking for exactly what you are selling,” said Lorie. “It is also a great place to find rare and undervalued records. And we sell 45’s from all genres, from big band, blues and country to folk, gospel, rock and everything in-between.”

But Lorie and her husband have also incorporated a novel concept with the records that don’t pass her strict grading policies. They have created the “Rock N Roll Beverage Coaster,” a fast-selling novelty gift.

These 45 rpm coasters make great gifts and conversation pieces,” added Lorie. “We take an unplayable oldie, coat it in a thick high gloss acrylic finish, add a cork backing and they fit into any bar or living room. These are used records, so the labels may show signs of wear and tear and slight defects, but that is their charm.”

In a musical arena filled with thousands of online retailers pitching vinyl records, it is refreshing to find a small “Mom & Pop” shop, where you can not only find quality used vinyl records, but have personal service, a unique gift option and a music lover that appreciates the memories that we all have of our treasured music format.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This Day In Music History- Jan 15

The Supremes were signed to Motown Records in 1961.

In 1972, Don McLean hit the #1 position with "American Pie.”

Sollie McElroy of the Flamingos passed away in 1995.

Harry Nilsson ("Without You" and a Lennon crony) died of heart disease in 1994.

The Rolling Stones perform a cleaned-up "Let's Spend Some Time Together" on CBS-TV's "Ed Sullivan Show" (at Ed's request) in 1967.

"Happy Days" premiered on ABC-TV in 1974.

Today in 1977, the song "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," by Leo Sayer, topped the charts and stayed there for a week.

In 1993 the great lyricist Sammy Cahn died in Los Angeles at age 79. He was a favorite of Frank Sinatra's, he co-wrote "All the Way" and "Come Fly With Me."

In 1966, The Beatles remain at No. 1 this week in the US with "We Can Work It Out."

Eddie "Sonny" Bivins of New Jersey R&B vocal group the Manhattans ("Kiss and Say Goodbye") was born in 1942.

Famed drummer Gene Krupa was born in 1909 in Chicago.

Captain Beefheart was born in 1941, in Glendale, Calif., as Don Van Vliet.

In 1964, Vee Jay records filed a lawsuit against Capitol and Swan Records over manufacturing and distribution rights to Beatles recordings.

Elvis Presley reportedly drew the largest audience for a single TV show at the time, when he presented a live, worldwide concert from Honolulu in 1972.

Lynyrd Skynyrd vocalist, Ronnie Van Zant, was born in Jacksonville, FL in 1948.

Drummer Charlie Watts joined the Rolling Stones in 1962.

Guitarist Joe Walsh made his debut with the Eagles in 1976 and signs on for the group’s Australia/Japan tour.

The Eagles’ “Hotel California” is the #1 album in the U.S. in 1977. The album is already platinum (one million sales) and contains the title track and “New Kid In Town.”

The Beach Boys enter Billboard's Hot 100 for the 23rd time with their version of "Barbara Ann", (previously a hit for the Regents in 1961). The song was recorded live at a party and actually features the voice of Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean on lead vocal. The record peaked at #2 in the US and stayed on the charts for eleven weeks.

In 1983, Australia's Men At Work owned both number one spots on the US albums and singles charts. "Down Under" was the second #1 single from the "Business As Usual" album, following "Who Can It Be Now.” The L.P. was also at the top of the UK chart, a feat previously accomplished only by Rod Stewart, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles.

Sean Lennon's remake of his father's hit, "Give Peace A Chance" was released in 1991 to coincide with the United Nation's midnight deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. The lyrics are updated to reflect the concerns of the day.

An oddity in the music business occurred in 1969 when Atlantic Records traded the contract of -Richie Furay for Graham Nash-with CBS Records. Furay is now free to work with Poco and Graham can partner with David Crosby and Stephen Stills for CS&N.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Join Jerry Osborne's Vinyl Forum

Ask "Mr. Music" is in its 22nd year of syndication (1986-2008). Jerry Osborne has also opened up a new forum for all vinyl and music lovers....stop by for a visit!

This Day In Music History- January 13

In 1979, Donny Hathaway ("Where Is The Love" with Roberta Flack) falls to his death from the 15th floor of a New York City hotel room (ruled a suicide, though evidence suggests it was accidental).

In 1970, John Lennon and Yoko Ono cut their hair and donate it to a charity auction.

British police arrested the Who's Pete Townshend in 2003, on suspicion of possession of child pornography (he says it was "research" and receives an official caution).

In 1999, the performing rights group BMI proclaims the most-performed song of the century is the Righteous Brothers' 1965 # 1 hit "You've Lost That Loving Feeling."

The Beatles released “I Want To Hold Your Hand" in the U.S. in 1964. Let Beatlemania begin!

Guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of the Doobie Brothers was born in Washington, D.C. in 1948.

In 1948, Tony Gomez, organist with English soul act the Foundations ("Build Me Up Buttercup"), was born in Sri Lanka.

Anthony Faas of Philadelphia, PA, patented the accordion in 1854.

1957 saw Elvis Presley record "All Shook Up" and "That’s When Your Heartaches Begin" in Hollywood.

In 1968, Dr. K.C. Pollack of the University of Florida audio lab, reported that tests found that the noise levels at rock & roll concerts was harmful to teenage ears. (and we loved it anyway!)

The Y.M.C.A. filed a lawsuit against the Village People in 1979 over their song, "Y.M.C.A." The suit was later dropped.

Elvis Presley entered the American Sound Studio in Memphis ("Memphis Sessions") in 1969, where he will cut some of the finest recordings of his career, including the hits "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds." It is the first time he's recorded in his hometown since 1956.

Backed by an all-star band in 1973, guitar legend Eric Clapton performed a solo concert at London's Rainbow Theatre. It is promoted as a comeback concert, returning Clapton to the public eye after a reclusive period of heroin addiction. Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert is released in abbreviated form on LP (6 tracks) in 1973 and in expanded form on CD (14 tracks) in 1995.

In 1958, radio station KWK in St. Louis declared that Rock n’ Roll was dead. After giving their Rock n’ Roll records one final play, the station staff started breaking them. (real smart, eh?)

In 2006, it was announced that The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Axis: Bold as Love" and Bob Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" albums will be added to the Grammy Hall of Fame. The inductees represent "the most significant recorded musical masterpieces that have had a profound impact on our culture," says Recording Academy president Neil Portnow.

"The Twist," by Chubby Checker, topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks in 1962.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blue Note Releasing Classic Music

Blue Note Records To Release 'Droppin' Science' Feb. 12

On February 12, Blue Note Records will release Droppin' Science, a unique collection of the legendary label's classic late 60s through mid-70s jazz-funk tracks, all of which have featured prominently as samples in some of the greatest hip hop cuts of the late 80s, 90s and beyond.

Friday, January 11, 2008

This Day In Music History- Jan 11

In 1963, Sam Cooke's late show at the Harlem Square Club in Miami, Florida, was recorded by RCA for possible release as a live album.

"Little Boxes," by Pete Seeger, entered Billboard's Top 100 in 1964. It is his one and only entry on the pop charts.

In 1975, "#9 Dream," from John Lennon’s Walls and Bridges LP, entered the Top Forty, where it will peak, appropriately, at #9.

In 1986, "Living in America," the theme song from Rocky IV, reached #4 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, becoming James Brown's biggest pop hit since "I Got You (I Feel Good)" went to #3 in 1965.

Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane passed away in 2005.

The big man - Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band - was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1942.

In 2005, Jimmy Griffin, guitarist with soft rock superstars Bread and co-author of the Carpenters' hit "For All We Know," passed away from cancer complications in Nashville aged 61.

Mickey Finn, percussionist for '70s glam rockers T. Rex ("Get It On (Bang A Gong)") died in a hospital south of London in 2003 at age 55.

Vicki Peterson, guitarist with the Bangles and the Continental Drifters, was born in Los Angeles in 1960.

The Whiskey-a-Go-Go opens in Los Angeles in 1963. The rock club would become a hangout for musicians trying to break into the music industry, as well as the launch pad for the Doors.

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix recorded "Purple Haze.”

The Beach Boys recorded "Do You Wanna Dance,” in 1965.

In 1992, Paul Simon became the first international performer to play in Johannesburg, South Africa after a U.N. apartheit boycott was lifted.

Chuck Barksdale, bass vocalist with the R&B group the Dells ("Oh What A Night"), was born in Chicago in 1935.

In 1964, "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash became the first country album to top the U.S. pop album chart.

Nirvana appeared on “Saturday Night Live.” At the end of a song, Krist Novoselic hurls his bass into the air. Unfortunately, it comes down right on top of him. (*ouch*)

The Coasters record their first tracks for Atlantic Records in 1956.

"Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen was the number one song on the Cash Box music chart in 1964. For a while, the record was banned by some US radio stations because of its indecipherable lyrics, which were rumored to contain some naughty words. Even the F.B.I. investigated the song, but finally concluded that they could find nothing wrong. (what a long way ‘censorship’ has come !)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Vinyl Information!

Always on the lookout for interesting and informative vinyl record sites, check out this blog about "bootleg" vinyl, the gent is very well informed!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Vinyl Art - A New Canvas

By Robert Benson

Album cover art has a fascinating and long history. From the days of Alex Steinweiss to pop artists like Andy Warhol and Roger Dean, album cover art has evolved; with some highly praised covers (i.e. the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper LP) to the controversial, including Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” that featured nude women.

But using old, generally unplayable vinyl records (LP’s) as a canvas, artist Daniel Edlen is creating one-of-a-kind ‘Vinyl Art’ masterpieces, adding a new dimension to the art of vinyl albums.

I spoke with Daniel about his love of art and music and how he is able to merge the two on the unique canvas of a vinyl record.

“My Dad introduced me to records with the Beatles’ “Revolver” album,” explained Daniel. “My Mom volunteered for the local library, running the used book sales. They would get records as donations and I got first crack at them because they were usually too beat up and they didn't sell well. Then I had an art project in my teens with white pencil on black paper and I thought, why not try to paint on some of these old records.”

But as a record collector yourself, isn’t this almost blasphemy, using a vinyl record as a canvas?

“I have struggled with that question, especially after the reaction I've gotten from some collectors. My answer is that I do try use albums that would practically ruin a good phonograph needle, and also, I'm turning something that likely would sit in a box in someone's garage into something they can hang on their wall to celebrate their musical culture. It's something unique and creative that is a great ice-breaker, starting conversations about music, art, and all things retro.”

When asked about the process, Daniel detailed:

“The actual painting part of the process verges on meditation for me, it just flows. I'm always listening to music while I work, often whom I'm painting. It's a joy to do what I do, and when I write my blog posts, I often end up adding how lucky I feel that my passion allows me to touch people. The tricky part is finding and sizing the right image of the musician. I place the portrait so the label becomes part of the composition, sometimes highlighting specific information, like the title of the album or certain tracks that make that particular record special or important. I use just white acrylic paint, using the density to create the shading. The whole process takes about a day."

Recently, Daniel has also begun creating time-lapse videos that he's uploaded to YouTube These show the development of the paintings, using about twenty-five pictures taken as the painting goes through its stages, and are backed by music recorded by the subject of the piece.

So, just who is Daniel Edlen? Obviously a very talented artist, he would draw and paint for fun and enjoyment throughout his formative years and after experimenting with other art media (such as sculpture), he did a few pieces of what he now calls ‘Vinyl Art’ for friends and family as gifts.

His audience not only loved his work, they encouraged him to try selling them. So with the support of his wife, family and friends, Daniel decided to utilize his talent and passion to, not only make something new from something old, but to create a whole new way for music-lovers to share that passion. For Daniel, the payoff is peoples' reaction when they see the pieces for the first time.

Daniel has opened up a web site and online gallery so the public can see just what he does. Framed simply in a black metal LP frame with the album sleeve behind, the focus is on the original painting.

As a vinyl record collector and enthusiast, I am excited and just marvel at the ‘Vinyl Art’ history and one-of-a-kind paintings that Daniel Edlen creates everyday. Daniel keeps his audiences craving more, and as an artist, that is all you could ever wish for.

Monday, January 7, 2008

70's Reggae Music Missing

A portion of the 70's reggae music that had been locked up in the archives of the former Jamaica Broadcasting Corp. are now gone. The sketchy act is a dis on the Jamaican government who people accuse of not properly maintaining the archives, according to the AP.

The theft was noticed recently by workers for the new Public Broadcasting Corp. of Jamaica, who went to the old JBC building looking for archived material for new programs on the network.

Thousands of vinyl records and compact discs are being considered stolen. Also missing is video, including footage from Fidel Castro's 1977 visit and the 1978 "One Love Peace Concert," where Marley famously joined the hands of two bitter Jamaican political rivals, political rivals Michael Manley (PNP) and Edward Seaga (JLP), onstage.

'from news files'

Today In Music History- Jan 7

In 1963, Gary "U.S." Bonds files a $100,000 suit against Chubby Checker, charging Checker rearranged "Quarter to Three" and turned it into "Dancin' Party." The suit is settled out of court.

In 1970, area residents file a $35,000 lawsuit for property damages against Max Yasgur, owner of the New York farm that hosted the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

1978 saw the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever enter the US album charts, where it will eventually hit number one and stay there for six weeks starting February 18. The album had a chart stay of 39 weeks and to this date, has sold over 15 million copies.

The "Eagles Live" album went platinum in 1981. The two-record set will turn out to be the final Eagles album until 1994's comeback LP, "Hell Freezes Over".

Led Zeppelin's "In Through the Out Door" was awarded a platinum disc in 1980. It's the last album issued before the September 25th death of drummer John Bonham.

Paul Revere
("Hungry") turns 70.

Happy birthday to Kenny Loggins ("Your Mama Don't Dance" with Jim Messina) who turns 60.

In 1962, Chubby Checker's "The Twist" returns to #1, the only rock song to do that by the same artist.

Led Zeppelin fans riot before a Boston concert in 1975, causing $30,000 in damages and the concert to be cancelled.

In 1998, Owen Bradley, who introduced slick instrumentation to the country genre in his productions for Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee and helped establish Nashville as the center of C&W, dies at the age of 82. His last work was on k d lang's album Shadowland.

Early rock 'n' roll star Larry Williams is found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in his Los Angeles home in 1980. The "Bony Maronie" singer drifted into crime during the '60s, and although his death is ruled a suicide, many believe he was murdered.

Also in 1980, The Rivingtons' Carl White dies in Los Angeles, aged 48. The West Coast doo-wop group made their mark on the pop culture with the two nonsense singles "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word."

In 1964, the Beatles record a session for the BBC Saturday Club program, during which they make their only known recording of the Chuck Berry song "Johnnie B. Goode."

In 1967, The Young Rascals, The Doors and Sopwith Camel played at Winterland in San Francisco.

Today in 1950, the song "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," by Gene Autry, topped the charts and stayed there for a week.

In 1956, the song "Memories Are Made of This," by Dean Martin, topped the charts and stayed there for 6 weeks.

Rolling Stone founder and editor Jann Wenner was born in New York City in 1946.

In 1968, David Gilmour is asked to join Pink Floyd, briefly making them a five-piece band.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Naked Vinyl Cover Art- Selling Music and Sex

Part two

As we continue our look at ‘naked vinyl’ album cover art, let’s explore two other companies who capitalized on the fad and what has transpired since.

In the last article, we discussed two West Coast record labels that were prolific and utilized ‘naked vinyl’ to sell their record albums. Not to be outdone by their counterparts, many East Coast record labels followed suit. None were more successful than the Davis and Que record labels and both of them focused on saucy songs and risqué nude cover art. Davis, in particular, had a cavalcade of stars that would churn out ‘double entendre’ songs that had been popularized on the Vaudeville stages. In fact, the owner of the label, Joe Davis, also wrote some of the songs and brought talented entertainers to the genre as well as a classic line of album cover art. The Que record label produced more of the same material, but the records were dubbed as “sexucational,’ with songs and stories to inform the uninitiated.

In 1967, it seems that the attitudes about ‘naked vinyl’ had changed over the years, being replaced by peace, love-ins and flower children. When Jimi Hendrix released his album “Electric Ladyland,” that featured Jimi surrounded by naked and buxom beauties, it created quite a stir. The cover was replaced, but the genre did not go away altogether, rather it was replaced by pop-art covers, psychedelia and slender, beautiful European women who would grace various covers from a multitude of musical genres.

Maybe the fad had run its course; the gimmick wasn’t nearly as popular by the end of the 60’s. But, now instead of getting coarse comedy, stag party specials and often quality music to accompany the ‘naked vinyl’, instead it became an avenue and a tool to release terrible music, by not so talented musicians; all packaged in a sexy cover and priced to sell.

Foreign music from Italy, France and Germany and other countries flooded the market with substandard music, but they all had one thing in common-‘naked vinyl ‘covers. Cover versions and greatest hits compilations were hastily recorded and rushed to press, all including that special feature that the record companies knew the public would enjoy, never mind the music. In the 1970’s, the ‘easy listening’ music boon was in full swing, full of Hammond organ medleys, smoochy-sax covers of pop hits and ear-bending violins destroying popular classics. Artists such as Gil Ventura, Klaus Wunderlich and the ‘Latin Lounge Lizard’ covers of Robert Delgado were all cashing in on the fading fad.

In addition the 70’s saw an exotic extravaganza of foreign music that the public would probably have never have gotten to hear, sans the ‘naked vinyl’ album covers. Mysterious countries all of a sudden were thrust into the music spotlight, from Borneo to the shores of South America and Africa. No country or culture was excluded. From the erotica landslides of misguided music of traditional song, all merged with native naked women in exotic poses that were happily hawking the substandard music.

In the late 70’s, another phase of ‘naked vinyl’ came in the “disco era.” The Ohio Players released a wonderful erotic series of ‘almost’ nude cover art. Sexual innuendo on the form of an album cover was not lost with the disco ‘divas’ “Silver Convention,” whose cover for their album called “Save Me” created waves. Their frontal nudity of “Discotheque Volume Two,” not only features their big hit of the era “Get Up and Boogie,” but a startling cover of a handcuffed female. Blended in with a list of steamy, seductive songs, the cover grabbed audiences’ attention as well as their eyes.

But as the disco era closed and the 70’s drew to a close, society seemed to tire of the market and album cover nudity was no longer a mainstream wonder. Album cover artists and record companies all left sex to the imagination and returned to the safe images and cover art that was G-rated. With the advent of the compact disc, album cover art was led into the annuls of music history and pretty much became a non-issue. But, there have been some historic naked album covers since then. Let’s explore a few.

Leave it to John Lennon to create a stir, he was a master at creating controversy and knew how to draw media attention to whatever he was doing. In 1968, Lennon and Yoko Ono released their album called “Two Virgins,” with the front cover displaying a full-frontal nude image of them. The back cover showed the same image, but from behind. They were forced to replace it (they sold it in a brown paper wrapper) and copies of the album were impounded as obscenity in some jurisdictions.

The rock band Blind Faith had a cover that pictured a topless pubescent girl in 1969, and the U.S. record company had it reissued with an alternative cover showing a photograph of the band. The Scorpions actually had two “naughty” covers that caused a stir, 1976’s “Virgin Killer,” also featured a topless young girl and was replaced with a photo of the band. In 1979, the band released “Lovedrive,” with a man and a woman in the back seat of a car. The woman’s chest is exposed and the man was pulling bubble gum off of her breast and the album was repackaged.

But the band Jane’s Addiction got it right when, anticipating trouble, released the 1990 album called “Ritual de lo Habitual” with two covers. One cover, which featured singer Perry Farrell’s artwork (male and female nudity), was released along with a ‘clean’ version of the cover with the text of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, that promotes free speech.

All we can ask is where was the censorship in the heyday of ‘naked vinyl’ album cover art? Now pop artists, rappers and rock and rollers can sing and say anything they want on a record. You can turn on the radio and hear the “Frankie Goes To Hollywood” sexual number “Relax,”, but god forbid you show any nudity on an album cover.

But all is not lost for the lovers of ‘naked vinyl’ cover art, as the 90’s and beyond have seen album cover art and specifically ‘naked vinyl’ return as record companies and designers are not afraid to use the human body to sell music. Vinyl is back, with the public demanding the format as well as the album cover art that accompanies it, no matter what the format, because as we have all learned; sex sells.

Author Robert Benson writes about rock/pop music, vinyl record collecting and operates, where you can pick up a copy of his ebook called
"The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting."
Contact Robert at

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Naked Vinyl Cover Art- Selling Music and Sex

Part one

by Robert Benson

When we look back at album cover art throughout the years, it is kind of ironic that some album covers that are released these days can cause such an uproar because they may have a nude image on them or sexual suggestive scenes. But ‘naked vinyl’ started a long time ago, and, in fact, sold many, many records before it was decided that it is offensive. In this two-part article series, let’s explore some of the more interesting facets of ‘naked’ album cover art and erotica.

There is an age-old adage in the marketing world that ‘sex sells.’ And let’s face it, you’re more apt to buy a particular product from a curvy supermodel than a housewife with curlers in her hair and pictured in a robe and slippers, or you may prefer a hunky-he-man instead of a pot-bellied, balding gentleman hawking a product.

So, taking advantage of this motto, the record labels and specifically, album cover art, used this phenomenon to sell records. The labels released all kinds of music and ‘blue’ comedy records with one thing in common, nudity and plenty of it.

It all began in the late 40’s when album cover designers and the marketing departments for various record labels conjured up a plan to sell records by adorning the album covers with nude or scantily clad women. Another slippery gimmick was to make a play on the title of the record, a visual pun that allowed the erotica to slip in subtly and unnoticed.

For instance, on an album by Hugo Winterhalter (RCA Victor LPM-1904) called “Wish You Were Here,” the cover depicts a beautiful woman seemingly stranded on a desert island with only a telescope and her ripped and cleverly revealing nightgown. Beside her, in a cartoon caption cloud, she is stating the name of the album. And, yes, this worked, the album sold very well and it is still cherished by record collectors to this day.

In post-war America in the 1950’s, stripping as a form of adult entertainment was in vogue, with some women becoming minor celebrities. Why even American idol Joe DiMaggio had a well-documented affair with a hooker. Sex was selling magazines, posters, calendars and everything else in between. And jumping on this bandwagon, record companies rose to the occasion by releasing hordes of “Music to Strip By” records.

Cinema and magazines soon jumped in with big and low budget films and the success of the adult magazine ‘Playboy’ helped pave the way for an increase in the use of ‘naked vinyl’ record covers. In fact, famous Playboy models like June Blair, Dawn Richard and Jayne Mansfield were featured on record album covers. Playboy even released a few records now and then, such as 1958’s “Playboy Jazz-All Stars LP.” In the same year the magazine featured a pictorial montage about erotic album cover art, even using the headline “Music To Make Your Eyeballs Pop.” Playboy documented that the record companies were utilizing a discovery that was made popular by the paperback and romance book publishers-that nudity on the covers sells.

But the ‘naked vinyl’ and erotica vinyl cover phenomenon was just getting started. The 1960’s brought the public ‘stag party’ records, sex-obsessed vinyl covers that not only featured risqué music and lyrics, but ‘live’ blue comedy as well. Kind of like sports cards for adults, these ‘stag party’ records were highly sought after and collectible.

Yes, the public was snatching up these raunchy and ‘blue’ comedy records and two record labels on the West Coast in particular took full advantage of the opportunity to cash in on the trend. It became an excuse to release as much crass comedy and trashy sex songs as they could. Based in L.A., Fax Records was one of the most prolific labels, and had four distinct ‘sex genres’ that they focused on. They, of course, capitalized on the ‘stag party’ themed records, but also included a ‘personality’ series, a special ‘erotica ‘series as well as a ‘themes and scenes motion picture set’ series. These records were all about sex, in many forms, and were both educational and entertaining.

The second West Coast record label, LAFF records, focused on the American Nightclub Comedy Circuit and promoted their releases by quipping “Recorded at the scene of the applause, on the stage, or at an intimate party, the live and living heart-tugging, button-busting laughter of America’s funniest comic personalities; on LAFF Records just for you!! Have a Party, Have a LAFF!”

And LAFF backed up their claims with coarse and crude comedy records including a record called “Tales You’d Never Tell Your Mother,” from raunchy comedian Kenny Carol. A country comedian, Sam Nichols’ (Cowboy Sam-The Old Cowhand From The Rio Grande) slow southern drawl was a perfect medium for his crass comedy; including a country comedy song called “Courtin’ on a Mule.” Other “naked cover” comedians included the lascivious Rex Benson, the ‘blue’ comedy of Bub Thomas, the stand-up dirt of Bert Henry and many, many more.

But the coarse comedy was not limited to the men. Faye Richmond, Madame Mame, Terri “Cupcake” O’Mason and many others were all successful entertainers in their own right. All these records invited the public into the intimate world that was popularized by the rich, famous and sexually successful, embellishing “You Are There” or “Rubbing Shoulders With Hollywood Greats.”

In part two of our look into ‘naked vinyl’ we will explore a couple of East Coast record labels and look at some other albums that have caused a stir because of nudity.

Look for part two of this article in tomorrow's post!

This Day In Music History- Jan 5

Sam Phillips, the producer who discovered Elvis, was born in Florence, Ala in 1923. With his Sun Records label, he also brought to the world's attention the talents of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, B.B. King, and Howlin' Wolf.

In 1959, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" becomes the last release from Buddy Holly before his death.

The late Wilbert Harrison ("Kansas City") was born in 1929.

Sonny Bono ("I Got You Babe" with then-wife Cher) died in a skiing accident in South Lake Tahoe, California, in 1998.

Michael Stipe (R.E.M.'s lead singer) was born in 1959.

Today the song "Please Don't Go" by K. C. & the Sunshine Band topped the charts and stayed there for a week. (1980) It was the first number one song of the eighties and the band’s fifth and final U.S. chart topper.

Today in 1991, the song "Justify My Love" by Madonna topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

The Blues Brothers top the American album charts in 1979 with Briefcase Full of Blues. The album goes on to sell two million copies.

The No. 1 album in the country today in 1974 was The Carpenters' The Singles 1969 - 1973.

In 1954, Elvis Presley cut a 10-minute long demo tape at Memphis Recording Studio.

In 1962, The Beatles released their single "My Bonnie." When a fan in Liverpool asks record shop owner Brian Epstein for the single, Epstein further investigates the Fab Four and has his life changed: he becomes the band’s manager.

Prince made his solo performance debut in Minneapolis, MN in 1978.

In 2005, Doors’ manager Danny Sugarman passed away at age 50. Involved with the band since 1967, Sugarman, co-author (with Jerry Hopkins) of the Jim Morrison tome No One Here Gets Out Alive, had been fighting brain cancer for several years.

"Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" goes Gold just nine months after its release in 1968.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Unqiue Artist's Canvas

I have been in contact with an amazing artist who can do wonderous artwork on old vinyl records and essentially turn them into treasured art. Come see for yourself:

I will be talking more with the artist, Daniel Edlen, and you can visit his gallery at

In the meantime, enjoy the music and the experience:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

ebay Vinyl Sales

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales Week Ending 12/29/2007

LP - Mozart a Paris Oubradous Pathe 7 LP Box Set - $7,230.00 Start: $6,999.00 Bids: 2

LP - Bach Suites Andre Levy Lumen 3 LP Box Set - $6,678.00 Start: $2,999.00 Bids: 9

78 - Daddy Moon Hayes "Gang Of Brown Skin Women" / "Two Little Tommie Blues" Gennett - $3,250.00 Start: $8.99 Bids: 24

4. 45 - Aztex "The Streets Of This Town" / "I Said Move" Staff - $3,051.77 Start: $0.99 Bids: 33

5. LP - Sonny Clark "Cool Struttin'" Blue Note - $3,000.00 Start: $3,399.00 Bids: Best Offer