Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dovecote's Di-Vinyl New Club

Apr 29, 2008

Story by: Michael Tedder

Dovecote Records recently opened one of the most exclusive music clubs around, and access is extremely limited. But to get in you don't need to know the right dress code or the door man, but it might help to bookmark their website and get a quicker modem speed. The New York-based label, home to artists such as Ed Harcourt and Mason Proper, recently launched their vinyl club with the release of a limited-edition two-song 7-inch from Cincinnati indie rockers Bad Veins, and has since put out releases by dance duo Blamma! Blamma! whom the label discovered through their MySpace page. The releases are sold directly, and exclusively, through Dovecote's site and limited to 500 copies.

"We love the format and want to keep it alive. For lots of these artists it makes sense," says Carter Matschullat, president and founder of Dovecote. "Blamma! Blamma! for example, create phatty-boom-batty dance tracks, but have yet to gain much exposure. A vinyl release is a credible introduction to their work and fans from around the world have been ordering their 12-inch. We've even been exporting to Japan and Europe from our small office. It's great fun."

Though the label also released the debut album by their own Mason Proper, There Is A Moth In Your Chest, on high-grade, 180-gram vinyl, one of the perks of their club is that it lets them work with artists outside of their usual roster.

"Vinyl rights are mostly ignored by labels so this club allows us to work with artists that may already be in the process of signing to other labels or haven't released anything on their own," Matschullat says, adding, "We produce limited quantities in hopes that once we run out, each release eventually becomes a rarity."

reprinted from:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vinyl records making a comeback

I enjoyed this article about the 'vinyl comeback' and I thought I would share it:

By Steve Adams

Reprinted by permission from The Patriot Ledger

Eclipsed by CDs and later by online music downloads, the vinyl album is experiencing a bit of a renaissance.

Some music stores are expanding their album sections to take advantage of rising sales. They’re tapping demand from audiophiles who swear by an LP’s sonic qualities, and members of the iPod generation who are discovering the novelty of records and turntables.

Year-to-date sales of vinyl albums are up 35 percent at the Newbury Comics chain, which has 27 stores in five states. The chain’s stores have been expanding shelf space for LPs, said Duncan Browne, chief operating officer of the Boston-based company.

“We only recently started concentrating on the category as something we ought to pour some gas on the fire for,” Browne said.

Newbury Comics first reintroduced vinyl around 2000 with a focus on 12-inch dance tracks, but scaled back because of weak demand. But after an increase in vinyl sales in 2007, the stores have expanded their record sections in recent months.

Vinyl selections at Newbury Comics are predominantly recent alternative rock releases by groups such as the Shins and time-tested classics such as “Led Zeppelin III.”

New releases are more likely to contain extra materials such as photographs, liner notes and bonus tracks.

The Dropkick Murphys’ latest album, “The Meanest of Times,” is available on vinyl in a “deluxe” two-disc set that includes two bonus tracks and a CD. It sells for $19.99 at Newbury Comics.

Boston alternative rockers Mission of Burma recently reissued three 1980s albums with bonus tracks. Like many new releases and reissues, the album is printed on 180-gram vinyl, which is thicker than the normal 140-gram vinyl used for albums and less likely to warp.

Planet Records has sold new and used LPs since 1983 at its original store in Kenmore Square and its current location in Harvard Square. Owner John Damroth said vinyl loyalists generated sufficient demand even as CDs and MP3 downloads became mainstream alternatives.

In the past year, however, Damroth has noticed a new kind of clientele showing enthusiasm for records.

“The people who seem to be coming to it now are a combination of late high school and college age people who got hip to it through their parents, and up into the 30-year-olds and older doing it from an audiophile perspective,” Damroth said.

Customers in their late 30s and up are the most likely to spend up to $35 for deluxe albums because they came of age listening to vinyl and miss the experience, said Richie Parsons, manager of Newbury Comics’ Braintree store.

One customer sold his turntable and most of his album collection last year.

“Six months later, he came in and said, ‘Why did I do it? The records sound so much better,’” Parsons said.

CD sales still dwarf those of records, with 990,000 new albums sold last year compared with 449.2 million new CDs, according to market researcher Nielsen SoundScan. But album sales did notch a 15 percent gain over the previous year.

Joseph Levy, founder of the Vinyl Tourist Web site, has tracked an influx of new record stores in cities like Montreal that have large student populations. Levy, who lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., posts store reviews on the site about vinyl-friendly cities such as Cambridge, which has a cluster of stores selling new and used records along Massachusetts Avenue.

“It’s undergone a resurgence in the last six years, mainly because of a lot of kids are discovering their parents record collections,” Levy said. “Maybe it’s just the novelty of having an album with artwork you can actually see.”

Vinyl buffs swear by the sound quality produced by records, describing it as warmer and more natural than CDs and MP3s. While digital recordings are made by encoding recordings into thousands of bits and reassembling them, vinyl recordings reproduce sound in a continuous wave format similar to how the human ear processes sound.

“There’s a natural tonality of instruments and voice (that is) more lifelike than any other format,” said Josh Bizar, director of sales for Music Direct. “There’s a warmth in the mid-range, and the high end sounds more natural and lifelike. The bass sounds like it does at a live performance.”

Chicago-based Music Direct has staked its fate on the resurgence of vinyl. Through a Web site and a retail store, it sells nearly 4,000 record titles.

Most of the sales are in the rock new releases category, which attracts the attention of the 16- to 27-year-old audience.

“They’re the group of people that are just now coming into analog, and that’s the most interesting part of this resurgence,” Bizar said.

Music Direct also sells nearly 100 turntable models ranging from $99 to $24,000. The newest twist in turntable technology suggests that vinyl enthusiasts can make accommodations with the digital era. Some models now come with built-in USB ports enabling listeners can upload albums to their MP3 players.

Reprinted by permission from The Patriot Ledger

This Date In Music History- April 29

In 1966, Bob Dylan, backed by the Hawks (better known as The Band), performed in Stockholm, Sweden. Six more weeks of dates follow across Europe in what will come to be regarded as one of rock’s most historic tours.

Tommy James ("Hanky Panky") is 61.

April Stevens ("Deep Purple" with brother Nino Tempo) turns 72.

Carl Gardner of the Coasters ("Yakety Yak") is 80.

Beach Boy Brian Wilson's daughter, Carnie (of Wilson Phillips) was born in 1968.

Composer Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born in 1899.

In 2003, ancient metal band Great White played their first gig since a fire at one of their Rhode Island shows killed 100 people. The concert is to establish a scholarship fund for the son of Great White guitarist Ty Longley, who died in the fire.

Mick Ronson, genius guitarist and arranger for Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust phase, died of cancer in England in 1993. He also played on albums by Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Morrissey, and even John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane."

After suffering the indignity of having an album rejected by their label in 1975, the Bee Gees released their career renaissance Main Course, featuring the disco hits "Jive Talkin'" and "Nights on Broadway."

Skiffle hero Lonnie Donegan was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1931. His biggest American hit was the 1956 No. 8 "Rock Island Line."

Songwriter and poet Rod McKuen was born in Oakland, CA in 1933. His more than 900 songs include Terry Jacks' 1974 No. 1 "Seasons in the Sun."

1980 - Black Sabbath began their first tour with Ronnie James Dio as singer.
In 1967,Aretha Franklin releases her interpretation of the Otis Redding song "Respect."

Otis Rush, one of the most intense and inventive guitarists of the post-War Chicago blues renaissance, was born in Philadelphia, Miss in 1934. Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, and Fleetwood Mac have covered his songs.

In 1970, George Harrison announced The Beatles will eventually reunite. He’s wrong about that one. George also discusses his plans for his first post-Beatles solo album, “All Things Must Pass.”

Having already appeared on both the covers of Time and Newsweek, Bruce Springsteen jumps the fence at Graceland in an attempt to meet Elvis. Security guards catch him. Springsteen tells them who he is but the guards are unimpressed and escort “The Boss” off the premises without ever meeting “The King,” who wasn’t home at the time anyway.

In 1960, with the payola scandal still in the news, Dick Clark relinquished the rights to music publishing that he owned. The value of those rights, Clark indicated later, amounted to about $80 million.

In 1963, 19 year old Andrew Loog Oldham signed a contract with The Rolling Stones, becoming their manager. Oldham had seen the band in concert the previous day at the Crawdaddy Club in London.

Cindy Birdsong makes her stage debut with The Supremes at The Hollywood Bowl in 1967, replacing the increasingly unreliable Florence Ballard.

In 1972, New York Mayor John Lindsay intervened in the immigration proceedings against John Lennon. Lindsay called attempts by the US government to deport Lennon "a grave injustice in light of Lennon's unique contributions to music and art." Lennon was granted permanent resident status in the US in 1976.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Top 5 eBay Sales Vinyl Records

Week Ending 04/26/2008

1) LP - Bob Dylan "John Wesley Harding" Red Vinyl LP - $10,655.55

2) LP - The Bachs "Out of the Bachs" Private Press LP - $8,450.00

3) 12" - Madonna "Like A Virgin" alternative jacket hand crafted by Basquiat $8,100.00

4) LP - The Savages "Black Scorpio" INDIA Psych - $3,200.00

5) 45 - Nirvana "Love Buzz" Sub Pop - $2,950.00

RIAA Admits Vinyl Sales Are Climbing


By Eliot Van Buskirk April 28, 2008


When I asked RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy last October whether the association was seeing a spike in vinyl record sales, he confounded my expectation. "Our numbers, at least, don't really point to a resurgence," he said.

Indeed, the '05 to '06 numbers showed a decline in vinyl sales, but the association's new numbers confirm what we were driving at: vinyl records made a major comeback last year.

According to the RIAA's recently-released 2007 sales report, the American music industry sold 36.6 percent more Extended Play (EP) and Long Play (LP) records than it had in the previous year, increasing vinyl sales revenue by 46.2 percent. CD unit sales, on the other hand, declined 11.7 percent with revenue dropping 20.5 percent during the same period.

I gathered plenty of evidence for this story, and all of it pointed to a vinyl resurgence, which is why the RIAA's response didn't seem to make much sense at the time. Now, it's clear that its numbers just hadn't caught up to the trend. With this report, the vinyl resurgence has been officially acknowledged by the RIAA.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This Date In Music History- April 27

Casey Kasem ("American Top 40") and voice of Scooby Doo's Shaggy is 76.

Al Hirt ("Java") died of liver disease in 1999.

In 1976, David Bowie was detained on a train trip from Russia to Poland for having Nazi books (research for a project).

Nearly three years to the day after it opened, New York's Studio 54 disco closed in 1980.

At 15 years, 1 month and 13 days old, Little Peggy March became the youngest female singer to have a #1 record in the US when "I Will Follow Him" reached the top of the Billboard chart in 1963. Her producers stuck the "Little" to her stage name despite her strenuous objections.

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards suffered a brain hemorrhage after falling out of a palm tree on the island of Fiji in 2006. The Richards’ family were on vacation. Doctors say the rock warhorse will need an operation to drain his skull. Maybe it knocked some sense into him…or not.

Iggy Pop reunited with the Stooges for the first time in decades in 2003, on the closing night of California's Coachella Festival. Other performers include the White Stripes, the Hives, Primal Scream, Blur, Hot Hot Heat, the Libertines and Queens of the Stone Age.

Here’s a surprise- During Pink Floyd's five-night stand at the Los Angeles Arena in 1975, 511 audience members are busted for smoking marijuana.

Joe Cocker made his debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969.

In 1969, John Lennon's book In His Own Write was published in the U.S. Newsweek , who declared that the Beatles singer/guitarist is "an unlikely heir to the English tradition of literary nonsense."

Sheena Easton was born in Scotland in 1959. She shocked the world by turning from that nice girl who sang "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" to a Prince protegee who invited you inside her "Sugar Walls."

Ace Frehley was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1952. And his name isn't really Ace, it's Paul.

Ann Peebles, one of America's finest soul singers and the voice behind "I Can't Stand the Rain," was born in St. Louis in 1947.

Also in 1947, Badfinger's tragic songwriter Peter Ham was born in Swansea, Wales.

Cuba Gooding, lead singer with the Main Ingredient and dad of Cuba Gooding Jr., was born in New York in 1944.

The Fillmore club reopened in San Francisco in 1994.

Singer Kate Pierson (The B-52's) was born in Weehawken, NJ in 1948.

Members of Cheap Trick and the Allman Brothers Band initiate a class-action suit against Sony BMG in 2006, claiming that the music company hasn't paid them what’s due from digital-download sales. The action also includes ring tone sales. Cheap Trick and the Allmans ask for more than $25 million in damages.

Friday, April 25, 2008

This Date In Music History- April 25

Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA ("SOS") turns 63.

The late Jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Va. in 1913. Her incredible interpretative ability makes her one of the most influential singers in America.

Songwriter Jerry Leiber (wrote "Hound Dog", "Stand By Me", "Charlie Brown" "Yakety Yak" and "Jailhouse Rock" and many other tunes with his partner, Mike Stoller) is 75.

Bobby "Boris" Pickett ("Monster Mash") died of leukemia in 2007.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s bassist, Stu Cook, was born “down on the corner” in Stanton, CA. in 1945.

In 1999, "Joe DiMaggio Day" is held at New York's Yankee Stadium and Paul Simon sang "Mrs. Robinson" in his honor.

The Ramones' movie, "Rock & Roll High School" opened in 1979.

Blues guitarist Albert King was born in Indianola, Miss in 1923. Guitarists like Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan have spent their lives searching for his unique expressive tone.

In 1964, the Beatles have an amazing 14 singles on the American chart.

Also in 1964, in England, Peter & Gordon take the Lennon/McCartney song "World Without Love" to the top of the singles chart, where it knocks off the Beatles' own "Can't Buy Me Love."

In 1974, Rolling Stone reported that concerts by Yes and Gregg Allman, were hit by streakers, no doubt inspired by Ray Stevens' No. 1 hit "The Streak." In a related story The Beach Boys are streaked by members of their own road crew, during a concert in 1974.

In 1977, Elvis Presley made his last-known recordings during a live concert at the Saginaw (Mich.) Civic Center. The tracks will turn up on the posthumous album Moody Blue.

In 1990, the Fender Stratocaster on which Jimi Hendrix played "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock sold at a London auction for $295,000.

The Beatles recorded "All You Need Is Love" during a British TV broadcast in 1967. Marianne Faithfull sang in the chorus.

1955- John Walker, the British delegate on the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs announced that there is a "definite connection between increased marijuana smoking and that form of entertainment known as bebop and rebop."

On this date in 1968, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed that listening on the job to Radio 1, the major Pop and Rock station of the BBC, made workers less productive. (maybe they were listening to bebop!)

Elvis Presley's first release since leaving the US Army, "Stuck On You" topped the Billboard chart in 1964. The record had been so highly anticipated, it sold over one million copies before it was even recorded. It reached #3 in the UK.

The Eagles performed their first reunion concert in 1994. Though having previously said it would never happen, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmitt, play for an invited audience at Warner Burbank (CA) Studios. The concert was taped and shown on MTV later in the year.

Bruce Springsteen's "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" was released in 2006. The album features 13 tracks associated with Folk singer Pete Seeger.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This Date In Music History- April 23

In 1949, "Tell Me So," by the Orioles, entered the R&B chart. It will be their second #1 hit in less than a year.

'Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie Together in Concert,' a live collaboration between two generations of folk-music legends, was released in 1975. It will be followed by another, 'Precious Friends,' in 1982.

The late Roy Orbison ("Oh, Pretty Woman") was born in 1936. His haunting voice has graced some of the most extraordinary songs of the rock era, including the 1961 No. 1 "Running Scared."

The late Ray Peterson ("Tell Laura I Love Her") was born in 1935.

Peter Ham of Badfinger ("Baby Blue") committed suicide in London in 1975. He wrote the classic song "Without You" with 'finger bassist Tom Evans. Evans also took his life after becoming frustrated with his career.

Cass Elliot collapses before a scheduled performance on NBC-TV's "Tonight Show", 1974

In 1956, Elvis Presley, accompanied by Bill Black and Scotty Moore, made his Las Vegas debut at the New Frontier Hotel when he opened for the Freddie Martin Orchestra and comedian Shecky Greene. Despite having "Heartbreak Hotel" at the top of the charts, Elvis was not well-received by the middle-aged audience. Management of the Frontier was so unimpressed, they gave Elvis his walking papers after one week of a two-week engagement. Presley wouldn't play Las Vegas again for almost 13 years.

Jan & Dean recorded their No. 1 "Surf City" in 1963. Brian Wilson appears on backing vocals.

Bruce Springsteen defends the beleaguered Dixie Chicks in 2003, who suffered a backlash after criticizing George W. Bush. In a statement, he declared, "To me, they're terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech. For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks, for speaking out is un-American."

Harold Arlen died at age 81 in 1986. The pianist wrote pop standards like "Get Happy," and "Stormy Weather" with lyricist Ted Koehler. He also penned the song "Over the Rainbow."

A song called "My Bonnie" by Tony Sheridan and The Beatles was released in America on the Decca label in 1962. It was the first commercial release anywhere in the world to carry The Beatles name. John Lennon would later say "It's just Tony Sheridan singing with us banging in the background. They're flogging it, but I wish they'd just shut up! It's terrible! It could be anybody." The mono 45 failed to chart on Billboard or Cashbox.

In 1960, in Caversham, England, a very young John Lennon and Paul McCartney performed together as the Nerk Twins.

In 1995, the Sunday Times of London reported that a Liverpool man, Peter Hodgson, had found a tape in his attic containing 16 of The Beatles' earliest recordings made in 1959. The session included "Hello Little Girl", a Lennon-McCartney composition that the Beatles never recorded commercially and Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So". The tape had been made on a reel-to-reel recorder that Hodgson's father had lent to Paul McCartney.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back to basics: A visit to vinyl

By Jim Downing, Musician and Writer

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Reprinted by permission from

The counter-revolution has been on for some time now, as I’m shopping for a new cartridge for my turntable.

I’m not much of a casual music listener anymore; I don’t have an iPod and don’t particularly want one. I didn’t even use my Walkman very often. When I listen to something, I pay attention, and I want good sound.

You may disbelieve, but nothing sounds as good as a vinyl record. That’s not an opinion; it’s a fact. That’s why some records were cut direct-to-disk, bypassing analog tape with 1/8” track widths. By comparison, a cassette is just a little wider with four tracks on it, and those awful 8-track tapes had one-fourth of that track width.

Audio quality has gone steadily downhill since the ‘70s. Studios used tube amps until the manufacturers sold them a bill of goods that transistors were the way to go. The studios then bought tube pre-amps to regain some of the lost quality. With CDs, they lopped off the highs and lows and were able to get more than twice the time on one disk. MP3s subtract even more signal. We may be headed toward the tinny AM pocket radios of the fifties; why not – who cares?

On the other hand, you have the car stereos with grossly disproportionate low frequencies that amount to scrotal massage – nothing at all like music is supposed to sound.

Donald Fagen made the first digitally recorded hit album 25 years ago. He complained then about the dullness of the sound and digital’s deafness to nuance and dynamics. The good part is that there is no extraneous noise from tape hiss or a speck of dust in a groove.

The four-track that the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ was recorded on was bigger than your dishwasher. They tediously spliced different tapes together with a razor blade and tape. Now you can put a decent four-track in a briefcase. That certainly makes it a lot easier to record a gig.

Digital recording has made many amazing things possible. One unit has so much RAM that you can record 256 tracks for 40 hours before dumping to a hard drive. There is even software that composes music. You can cut out one measure of a guitar lick and paste it into another spot. This would be like cutting windows in tapes: nearly impossible. You can alter the sounds into digital samples of other instruments, turn a wobbly drummer into a human clock and even make a tone-deaf banshee sing on pitch. In short, bad musicians can be made to sound almost talented. Is this a good idea?

These capabilities are wonderful and can be very useful. But a perfectionist can also get bogged down in the details and literally tweeze something to death, not to mention spend far too much time in the studio reinventing the wheel.

Artists and engineers are rebelling. One Los Angeles mixing engineer even wrote a hilarious book about a crappy band with a ridiculous budget that he was recording for a major label. He could make a bad band sound good even without using all the tricks he could have used, but why? It was an epiphany for him; he now produces music he actually cares about.

Some of the biggest names in music are returning to the old method: rehearse the songs and then go in and record them live, maybe overdubbing only the solos and vocal harmonies. After all, some of the biggest sounding records ever made were recorded on one track. The first Beatles tracks are just what they sounded like in the studio. Creativity, talent and passion cannot be synthesized and never will be.

A factory in Nashville still produces vinyl recordsMixing is an art in itself now, and good mixers command high salaries. That’s just the way it’s done. But, as one said, “We can give you all kinds of haircuts, but it won’t matter if you’re just ugly.”

I’m looking for a stereo tube amp, maybe even a Heathkit, to go with these nice Bozak speakers.

Monthly Ebay Record Sales

April 2007 - March 2008

April 2007 / 45rpm - Rolling Stones "Street Fighting Man" Pulled 45 w picture sleeve - $15,200.00

May 2007 / LP - Mozart Oubradous Pathe Box Set - $11,300.00

June 2007 / LP - Beatles "White Album" #0000006 - $21,411.00

July 2007 / 45 - The Counts "Peaches Baby" / "My Only Love" - $6,776.00

August 2007 / LP - The Beatles White Album Acetate - $5,478.00

Sept 2007 / 45rpm - The Five Crowns "I Want You" / "Hillum Bay" De'Besth - $5,900.00

Oct 2007 / LP - Beatles - Yesterday and Today Butcher - $10,000.00

Nov 2007 / LP - Bach Cello Suites, Andre Levy Box Set - $20,000.00

Dec 2007 / LP - Mozart a Paris Oubradous Pathe 7 LP Box Set - $7,230.00

Jan 2008 / 45rpm - The Misfits "Horror Business" (Signed) - $14,301.38

Feb 2008 / 45rpm - Bruce Springsteen "Spirit In The Night" / "For You" Columbia - $5,100.00

March 2008 / 45rpm - The Limelights "Don't Leave Me Baby" / "(Time Has Passed) You Don't Love Me Anymore" Uncle - $6,889.10

This Date In Music History- April 21

The Cure's Robert Smith was born in Sussex, England in 1959.

Guitarist Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies was born today in 1959.

Ernie Maresca ("Shout! Shout! Knock Yourself Out") turns 69.

In 2003, legendary vocalist/pianist Nina Simone died at age 70 at her home in France. Her biggest hit was the smoky "My Baby Just Cares For Me."

Elton John made his solo concert debut in 1970, opening for T. Rex in London, England.

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and avid vinyl record collector was arrested at Heathrow Airport in 2001 after allegedly causing a drunken ruckus during a flight from Seattle to London. He was later found innocent of all charges.

In 1993, Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann saved a young surfer from a California riptide.

Folk singer Sandy Denny died in 1978 at age 31 after falling down a flight of stairs. You can hear her on Led Zeppelin IV's "Battle of Nevermore" and with her band Fairport Convention on albums like 1969's Unhalfbricking.

In 1973, Alice Cooper had the #1 album in the US with "Billion Dollar Babies.” The LP also topped the chart in the UK.

Legendary Skatalites trombonist Don Drummond, who wrote and arranged hundreds of ska hits, died in Bellevue Hospital in New York in 1971. He had been committed to the institution after his girlfriend was found stabbed to death in his home in 1965.

In 1970, Chicago slide guitarist Earl Hooker died from tuberculosis at age 41.
In 1961, Folk singer Cisco Houston died of cancer in San Bernardino, Calif. The influential troubadour traveled America with Woody Guthrie and was Leadbelly's houseguest.

In 1960, Dick Clark admitted that he had a financial stake in more than a quarter of the records that were played on American Bandstand. The congressional committee investigating payola orders him to sell off several of his holdings.

1947- Rock's wondrous front man, Iggy Pop, was born today in Michigan as James Osterberg. He's led the wild and wildly influential band, The Stooges, and recorded a string of solo albums.

The Bihari brothers founded Modern Records in 1945. Over the years, the label will become an R&B powerhouse, releasing discs by John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and Etta James among others.

In 1963, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones met for the first time during a Stones performance at the Crawdaddy Club. 'We got all nervous', said Bill Wyman, “but then we had a chat with them afterwards and stayed up all night rapping and became really good mates.”

In 1969, Janis Joplin made her first London concert appearance at Royal Albert Hall, a performance considered by many to be one of the best of her career.

In 2000, Neal Matthews of the Jordanaires died of a heart attack. He sang back-up on Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" and also worked with Ricky Nelson, Marie Osmond, Tom Jones and Merle Haggard.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Record Store Day

I hope everyone had a chance to get out and visit their local record store yesterday (Saturday, April 19) and joined in the celebration of the first annual Record Store Day.

Nationally, hundreds of independent record stores celebrated the event with sidewalk sales, live music, refreshments, in-store specials and what I think is the best part of it all- actually using the 'old fashioned' way to obtain vinyl, by physically flipping through bins of records to add to a collection.

I made the forty-mile trek into the east side of Milwaukee to visit Atomic Records, who had a full day of events planned. Local bands were entertaining the crowded store while customers enthusiastically shopped for music.

What struck me the most were the people, all ages and races, happily celebrating this historic day. I saw many customers with their arms full of vinyl records, from the classic like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, to the obscure punk and alternative musical genres.

I spoke with Kevin, who had also made a long 'road trip' to get to Atomic Records.

"I do a lot of my vinyl shopping online nowadays because we don't have a record store close by, but I am here to lend my support," related Kevin. "Vinyl records are a part of the music culture and so are record stores, and this is a wonderful way to draw attention to the record stores that are still open."

Since 2003, over 3,100 record stores have shut down, making vinyl lovers have to scramble to find records. But there was something very special in the air on this springtime afternoon in Milwaukee. I can remember all the great times I had as a youth at Insound & Stereo in Indiana (where I used to obtain vinyl records), the people I met, the music I heard, why, even the smell of that old record store. I don't get back to Indiana much and I wonder if the store is even open anymore.

But, this Saturday afternoon, I would suppose there were a lot of memories made. I saw the excitement on people's faces, heard the laughter, listened in on some vinyl vs. CD debates and heard some fantastic local music, and, by the way, also added several nice gems to my own record collection. I can only hope that this celebration can be duplicated, it truly was a marvelous day.

Do you have any Record Store Day experiences? Please share them; we would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

David Bowie to release 'Ziggy Stardust' live album

David Bowie will release a live album, 'David Bowie, Live Santa Monica '72' on June 30 on CD and double vinyl.

The album is a recording from Bowie's gig at the Los Angeles Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 20, 1972. The gig was part of Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' US tour.

In a statement to NME.COM, Bowie said of the recording: "I can tell that I'm totally into being Ziggy by this stage of our touring. It's no longer an act; I am him.

"This would be around the tenth American show for us and you can hear that we are all pretty high on ourselves. We train wreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn’t know that pianist Mike Garson was onstage with us but overall I really treasure this bootleg. Mick Ronson is at his blistering best."

The track-listing for 'David Bowie, Live Santa Monica '72':

'Hang On To Yourself'
'Ziggy Stardust'
'The Supermen'
'Life On Mars?'
'Five Years'
'Space Oddity'
'Andy Warhol'
'My Death'
'The Width Of A Circle'
'Queen Bitch'
'Moonage Daydream'
'John, I'm Only Dancing'
'I'm Waiting For The Man'
'The Jean Genie'
'Suffragette City'
'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide'

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This Date In Music History- April 19

Happy Record Store Day!!

In 2003, Madonna's Web site was hacked, with the hacker making her entire new album American Life available as free MP3 downloads.

Mark Volman (Flo of the Turtles-- "Happy Together") turns 61.

The late Bobby Russell (sang "Saturday Morning Confusion" and wrote songs like "Honey" and "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia") was born in 1941.

Jackie Wilson made his debut at the Copacabana in New York in 1962.

In 1993, saxophonist Steve Douglas, 55, died of heart failure while in a recording session with guitarist Ry Cooder. He played on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Be My Baby," produced by his school chum Phil Spector.

1980- Women hold the top five positions on the country music chart for the first time ever: Crystal Gayle heads the list, followed by Dottie West, Debby Boone, Emmylou Harris, and Tammy Wynette (with George Jones).

In 1968, John and George follow Paul and Ringo's lead and leave the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh, India, two weeks before their studies are complete. Lennon later wrote "Sexy Sadie" about the yogi's attraction to fellow acolyte Mia Farrow. All four Beatles will later renounce their association with the Maharishi.

Animal’s organist Alan Price was born in County Durham, England in 1941. In addition to being an early advocate of Randy Newman, Price had a solo career that included writing the songs for O Lucky Man!

1986 - Prince became only the 5th songwriter to have two top ten hits at the same time. The songs were "Kiss" (Prince and the Revolution) and "Manic Monday" (Bangles).

Layne Staley (Alice in Chains) was found dead in his apartment in 2002. Drug overdose is listed as the probable cause. Coroner says he may have been dead for up to two weeks before his body was discovered.

In 1958, a 13 year old British teen named Laurie London had the best selling song in the US with an up-tempo version of the gospel song "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands". Although the song was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, none of London's follow-up releases cracked the US top 100.

In 1965, the film T.A.M.I. (Teen-Age Music International) Show featuring the Rolling Stones, the Supremes, the Four Tops, James Brown, The Beach Boys and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles opened in London under the title Teenage Command Performance.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited for a European tour in 1982 after the success of their New York Central Park concert the year before. Tensions between the pair cause them to split again before they can tour the US and by the time the album they were working on came out 18 months later, all traces of Garfunkel's contributions had been electronically removed. Now that is payback.

Pete Seeger left the Weavers in 1959 after they record a commercial for Lucky Strikes cigarettes over his objections.

Today in 1980, the song "Call Me" by Blondie topped the charts and stayed there for 6 weeks.

Also in 1980, Brian Johnson is now AC/DC’s new lead singer, replacing the deceased Bon Scott. “Back In Black” is the first album with Johnson.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Need That Record- part 1 & 2

Indie stores are alive and spinning

I asked for and recieved permission to reprint this wonderful article about Record Store Day; on April 19th. I want to thank the author and publication for allowing me this reprint.

Indie stores are alive and spinning

written by Jake Corbin

The experience of combing through stacks of records, searching for that one vinyl treasure sandwiched between decades of forgotten music may soon be a thing of the past.

As more and more consumers turn to their computers for new music - both legally and illegally - even the rhythmic sound of plastic CD covers being shuffled is disappearing.

Big-box retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart have taken a hit, but it's the independent music stores that are being driven to the brink of extinction.

The "indies," however, are not going down without a fight.

This Saturday marks the first ever "Record Store Day," an event that will unite hundreds of independently owned record stores across the country, all joining to celebrate their love of music and giving back to the community.

Part of the celebration includes merchandise that will be sold only at participating stores, including 7" releases from newcomers Vampire Weekend and blues-rockers the Black Keys. R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, Built to Spill and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks are also releasing limited edition discs.

The other part of the celebration involves live, in-store performances and tons of free giveaways.

"I think they should just come in and get the free stuff," said Dilyn Radakovitz, sales coordinator for Dimple Records. "Everybody will get the T-shirts and samplers; it's going to be really cool."

All six Dimple Records locations are participating in "Record Store Day," with each planning to hand out a plethora of goodies - ranging from magazines to CD box sets. Each store is also having a "Guess how many broken records" contest; winners will be awarded a $100 gift certificate.

Dimple isn't the only local shop getting in on the action.

R5 Records, owned by Russ Solomon of Tower Records fame, is planning a day full of events, including a rock 'n' roll garage sale in the parking lot, a record swap, free baked goods, live music and free goodie bags. Sacramento artist Paul Imagine will also be selling limited edition T-shirts.

While free swag and rare music is great, KSSU Station Manager Robert Young sees a larger issue at hand.

"The music industry, and art in general, thrives in free thought and independence," said Young. "You don't really get to see that with mainstream stores, because the music there is streamlined; it's limited."

Young says local indie stores are the place to go to break away from what the radio is playing and tap into different types of music. He is excited "that every independent store in the nation gets to showcase that" by participating in "Record Store Day."

"Independent record stores have stuff you can't find at regular music outlets," said Young. "When you go to a record store, it's like hitting a gold mine."

Radakovitz also sees local record stores as a convenient place to fulfill one's music shopping needs.

"Indies are on top of new things that are coming out and they have the information for customers," Radakovitz said. "I think people are going to find more in their local store just because they aren't going to find it on the radio."

Helping people realize the musical possibilities they are missing out on is one goal "Record Store Day" is hoping to accomplish; for Rob Fauble, however, he's hoping to catch the eye of the record labels.

"We would love not only the public to enjoy the physical product of the music, but to get the attention of record companies to show them this is what we should be doing," said Fauble, owner of The Beat in downtown Sacramento.

He admits record sales have been down in the last couple years, but he is growing tired of being written off by the major record labels.

"(Selling records) is our livelihood," said Fauble. "Most of us got into this...for the love of music."

Major label politics aside, "Record Store Day" participants are hoping the day's events will help consumers recapture the special feeling they once got at record stores; that feeling of wandering around, aisle after aisle, until they stumbled upon their new favorite CD.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Records Sales

Week Ending 04/12/2008

1) 45rpm - Ty Karim "You Just Don't Know" / "All In Vain" Romark - $4,300.00

2) 45rpm - Tolbert Rojac "Lucky Man" / "I've Got It" Rojac - $3,250.00

3) LP - The Beatles "White Album" Parlophone - $3,050.00

4) 45rpm - Nirvana "Love Buzz" Sub Pop - $2,901.50

5) 45rpm - Eddie Whitehead "Just Your Fool" / "Give This Fool Another Chance" Black Jack - $2,684.00

This Date In Music History- April 17

Producer Don Kirschner (who gave us the Monkees and TV's "Rock Concert") turns 73.

Rock and Roll pioneer Eddie Cochran was just 21 years old when he was killed in Bath, England; after the car in which he was riding blew a tire, then hit a lamp post on April 17th 1960. Cochran enjoyed hits with "Summertime Blues,” "C'mon Everybody" and "Sittin' in the Balcony.” Gene Vincent, who recorded "Be Bop A Lula" in 1956, and Cochran's fiancĂ©e, Sharon Sheeley survived the crash.

In 1998, Linda Eastman, wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, died while vacationing with her family near Tucson, AZ. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. Paul was at her bedside when she passed away.

In 1964, Washington's FBI lab reported it couldn’t determine the lyrics to "Louie Louie.” They remain a mystery to me as well.

The first solo concert by the Band was held in San Francisco in 1969.

Them (with Van Morrison) made their first concert appearance, at Belfast's Maritime Hotel in 1964.

In 1970, Paul McCartney released his first post-Beatles solo album appropriately named, “McCartney.” The versatile musician played every instrument of the wondrous lo-fi recording.

2004- Kurt Cobain's right-handed 1960's Mosrite Gospel Mark IV guitar sold at an auction for $117,500. At the same sale, the piano on which Elton John wrote "Your Song" sold for $164,500. I made a few bids.

In 2003, a British fan who claimed he caught the flu off of Beatle Paul McCartney, attempted to auction off the germ on eBay. I did not bid on that one.

In 1983, Felix Pappalardi died after being shot by his wife in their New York apartment. The producer worked on records by Cream, Hot Tuna, Mountain, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was 41.

Liz Phair was born in 1967. Her extraordinary Exile in Guyville album is one of the most celebrated indie rock discs of the nineties.

Jan Hammer was born in Prague in 1948. The keyboardist performed with Santana and Jeff Beck, but we love him for his immortal "Miami Vice Theme."

Billy Fury was born in Liverpool, England in 1941. Molded by his manager as a British Elvis, Fury, with his suggestive stage presence and raw delivery, he was an immeasurable influence on groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

In 1965, RCA and Lear Jet Corporation announced the development of the combination 8 track tape player and car radio that will be available in new cars the next fall. All hail the 8-track!

All four former Beatles had solo singles on the UK chart in 1971: Paul McCartney: "Another Day,” Ringo Starr: "It Don't Come Easy,” John Lennon, "Power To The People" and George Harrison: "My Sweet Lord.”

In 1973, Pink Floyd received a gold album for "The Dark Side of the Moon," one of Rock's landmark albums. The LP would remain on the charts for more than ten years and become the longest charting Rock record of all time.

Celebrate Record Store Day

This is a repost of an article I wrote several weeks ago and I wanted to remind everyone about this very unique and special day. Many music artists have signed on to help promote this and many record stores are also celebrating this day. Check with your local record store to see what kind of promotion they have!

Celebrate Record Store Day- April 19, 2008

By Robert Benson

When Neilsen Soundscan releases their sales data regarding vinyl records, did you know that they do not count hundreds of ‘indie’ vinyl record shops in their totals? So when you read ‘vinyl sales have risen….such and such a percentage,’ that these numbers woefully underestimate the true sales of vinyl.

But local independent and national record stores want to be counted and included in the vinyl sales figures because it is at these smaller record stores where vinyl records are selling the best.

So to help bring attention to this dilemma and to help celebrate the record store culture, hundreds of independently owned music stores across the country will celebrate the first annual “Record Store Day” on April 19th.

I spoke with Eric Levin, who owns Criminal Records ( a independent record store in Atlanta about the concept and celebratory plans of Record Store Day (

“We came up with the concept at the annual Noise in the Basement convention in Baltimore, a gathering of independent record stores hosted by the Music Monitor Network ( It is similar to “Free Comic Book Day (, in that we decided to help bring attention to our stores by saying- we are out here, enjoy what we have to offer,” said Eric. “So on this day, all of the stores that choose to participate will simultaneously link together and act as one with the purpose of celebrating the culture and unique place that they occupy both in their local communities and nationally.”

“We have over 200 independent record stores that have signed up for the event, with more signing on each day. Each store will be doing something different to celebrate Record Store Day. Some stores may opt to have an ‘in store’ performance, special sale events, demonstrations, dances, swap meets or ‘an afternoon at a record store’ promotion as well as provide a ‘goodie bag’ that promotes new formats, new releases and exciting information about music, theatrical and gaming releases. Everything that makes an indie store unique should be on display,” related Eric.

Music stores have been part of our culture for decades and it is important to note that, while there may not be as many of them as there used to be, there are still those unique music shops that continue to thrive and are still part of our local and national music culture.

In fact, many music related entities have signed on to be part of Record Store Day as Eric explains:

“We have many groups involved including the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (, the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (, Newbury Comics ( & The Music Monitor Network (, where one can find links to some of the best indie record shops around the country; with many more organizations signing up each day.”

“In fact, all indie record stores are invited to participate by making April 19th, 2008 a day of celebration at their place of business. Some music labels are getting involved as well by releasing special editions marking the day and the celebration of the music and the record store,” said Eric.

Moreover, many famous musicians are chiming in and doing their best to, not only promote Record Store Day, but the culture that encompasses it. Here are a few quotes:

Paul McCartney - “There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store. When I recently played Amoeba in LA, I realised what fantastic memories such a collection of music brings back when you see it all in one place. This is why I’m more than happy to support Record Store Day and I hope that these kinds of stores will be there for us all for many years to come. Cheers!"

Norah Jones - “It’s important to keep indie record stores alive because their unique environments introduce music lovers to things in a very personal way.”

John Doe - “The physical act of picking up a recording (CD, vinyl, cassette), checking it out, finding something unavailable, etc.; is an experience you will NEVER get online. And now it's becoming common knowledge that CDs have more digital information than most files, so they sound better. A great or even good record store is like no other."

Chuck Berry - "Music is an important part of our culture and record stores play a vital part in keeping the power of music alive."

Joan Jett - “The indie record stores are the backbone of the recorded music culture. It's where we go to network, browse around, and find new songs to love. The stores whose owners and staff live for music have spread the word about exciting new things faster and with more essence than either radio or the press. Any artist that doesn't support the wonderful ma and pa record stores across America is contributing to our own extinction.”

Ziggy Marley - "Record stores keep the human social contact alive it brings people together. Without the independent record stores the community breaks down with everyone sitting in front of their computers"

Ben Watt (Everything But The Girl) - "It is hard to underestimate the role of independent retail in the music industry. As the world continues to try and cram every purchase they make onto their computer, turning music into binary digits and artwork into pixelated packshots, we can only sit and wait for them to wake up from their dream and realize that ultimately human interaction in shops, with informed good people, handling cherishable artefacts is good for the soul. In the meantime we need to support the people who keep this world alive for the moment we all realize we need it again."

Sam Phillips (A&R/producer for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and many others) - “There would be no Elvis. There would be no Johnny Cash. There’d be no B.B King. There’d be no Roscoe Gordon. There’d be no Carl Perkins. There would be no Jerry Lee Lewis. There would be no Roy Orbison. I can just tell you. We owe all of that to the independents and the independent people that work so hard for us to have something that could be accepted through their efforts,hard work, and desire to keep a personal feeling in every record..”

Dean Wareham (Luna) - “We are drowning in a sea of Myspace, blather, and too much information. Music is everywhere and nowhere. The independent record store is the solution, a place staffed by friendly (or not) people who are actually paid to weed through this crap and help you find the good stuff.”

G. Love- “Independent record stores are where kids like me learned about the music that made them the musicians they are today. Independent record stores are about the love of records not the love of money!”

So as you have just read, the passion that these musicians have for the independent record shops is immeasurable. These are the professionals who know a little something about the music industry and embrace the concepts, culture and meaning of Record Store Day. Let’s make Record Store Day a national celebration of the independent record store, the musicians who love them and the historical culture that each individual store brings to each and every one of us.

Top 5 Vinyl Records eBay Sales

Week Ending 04/05/2008

1) 45rpm - Bruce Springsteen "Spirit In The Night" / "For You" Columbia - $4,000.00

2) LP - Stephen David Heitkotter (self titled) Private Press - $2,999.99

3) LP - Frank Ballard "Rhythm & Blues Party" Phillips - $2,950.00

4) 78rpm - Louie Bluie and Ted Bogan "State Street Blues" / "Ted's Stomp" Bluebird - $2,946.00

5) 45rpm - Hayes Cotton "Black Wing's Have My Angel" / "I'll Be Waiting" Resist - $2,750.00

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Vinyl Revival !

Compact Disk Market Shrinks as Listeners Want the Soulful Sound of Vinyl Recordings

LA JOLLA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vinyl records and turntables, once relegated to garage storage boxes are enjoying a strong resurgence according to online vinyl record seller, GEMM. “Sales of vinyl records have increased 20% since 2005,” said Roger Raffee, co-founder and company CEO. GEMM (Global E-commerce Mega Marketplace) began selling vinyl records online in 1994. Today GEMM’s consortium of sellers has over 20 million vinyl records available for sale. Considered by music aficionados to be the grandfather of online music sales, GEMM, functions purely as a marketplace where buyers and sellers transact deals for everything from classic rock albums to recordings from current indie bands. The site also offers CDs, DVDs, books, videos, turntables, musical instruments, collectibles and computer supplies. Unlike online auction sites, pricing is set by sellers, i.e., no bidding wars. Satisfied buyers complete performance ratings to assure reliability in dealings with online sellers. GEMM takes a small percentage of the final sales price. GEMM charges no set-up or maintenance fees and operates its own e-commerce and security assurance program entitled Green Shield.

Some suggest renewed interest in album sales is driven by the dance club DJ craze. Audiophiles claim that vinyl records produce a warmer, richer sound. Whatever the case, CD sales dropped 10% in 2006 and 20% in 2007 while sales of vinyl records have increased nearly 10% a year since the late nineties. Not just classic recordings, either. Elvis Costello recently announced that his new recording, Mokofuku set for release on April 22nd will only be available on vinyl and through digital download. Online purchasers, many, classic recording collectors from as far away as Great Britain and Asia, appreciate the depth of inventory found at GEMM as well as its ease of use. GEMM provides a look-back at previous searches and a filtering feature to help users refine their search. If a search is made for the early Fleetwood Mac LP, Bare Trees, “Fleetwood Mac” is the search query with a filter for “Vinyl Only.” Within seconds, several listings popped up on the screen. And just what are those Japanese collectors buying through GEMM? Remarkably, some of the popular vinyl LPs shipped to Japan by GEMM sellers include recordings by Telly Savalas, Andy Griffith and Ann Margaret.

Visit GEMM at

This Date In Music History- April 15

With the addition of drummer Dewey Martin, Buffalo Springfield made their stage debut in 1966 as the opening act for the Byrds, on a run of dates at colleges in Southern California.

Nick of Time, Bonnie Raitt's first album for Capitol Records, entered the album chart in 1989. Produced by Don Was, it is one of the major success stories of the year, rising to #1 and minor hits in "Have a Heart" and "Nick of Time."

Joey Ramone died of lymphatic cancer in New York in 2001.

Dave Edmunds ("I Hear You Knocking") is 64.

Roy Clark ("Yesteday, When I Was Young") turns 75.

John Fred ("Judy In Disguise") died in 2005 after being hospitalized with kidney problems.

Today in 1972, the song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack topped the charts and stayed there for 6 weeks.

Jerry Garcia's ashes are scattered near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in 1996. A portion of the remains of the Grateful Dead guitarist had already been deposited into the Ganges in India.

In 1971, Rolling Stone announced that the Illinois Crime Commission had compiled a list of "drug-oriented rock records." The list includes Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale."

Allan Clark, the lead singer with the Hollies, was born in Salford, England in 1942.

The Rolling Stones album “Aftermath” with “Mother’s Little Helper” and “Under My Thumb” was released in England in 1966.

Mitch Miller, music director of Columbia Records, engaged in a spirited debate with Allan Freed over the "potentially negative effects of Rock 'n' Roll on teenagers" on Eric Sevareid's news program on CBS-TV in 1956. Two psychiatrists also joined the discussion.

In 1966, UK music fans were treated to a concert by Jimi Hendrix, The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens and Englebert Humperdinck when they appeared live at the Blackpool Odeon. Tickets cost 5 and 10 shillings, ($0.70 and $1.40). What a weird list of entertainers, but would have loved to be there!

In 1967, Nancy and Frank Sinatra had the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, The Cashbox Best Sellers List and Britain's New Musical Express record chart with "Something Stupid.” To this day, they are the only father and daughter team to have a US chart topping single. ("Unforgettable" by Natalie Cole and Nat "King" Cole reached #14 in 1991)

Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen entered the Billboard Top 40 in 1972 for the first and only time with "Hot Rod Lincoln", a re-worked version of "Hot Rod Race", a #29 hit for Tiny Hill in 1951.

In 1989, Roy Orbison had his final top 10 single on the US chart with "You Got It", four months after he passed away. The song was written by Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty and appeared on Orbison's "Mystery Girl" album that was released posthumously.

Legendary crooner Don Ho, who entertained Hawaiian tourists for decades wearing raspberry-tinted sunglasses and singing his catchy signature tune "Tiny Bubbles", died of heart failure on April 15th 2007. He was 76.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This Date In Music History- April 13

Birthday wishes to Albert Greene, better known as soul singer Al Green, who was born in Forrest City, Arkansas in 1946.

Bill Conti ("Gonna Fly Now") turns 66.

David Crosby of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash was arrested for the second time in three weeks with drugs, this time in Dallas in 1982.

Polish police used tear gas to control a riot at a Rolling Stones concert in 1967.

The Beatles were named Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1965. Good call.

Today in 1957, the song "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley topped the charts and stayed there for 9 weeks.

In 1968, the song "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro topped the charts and stayed there for 5weeks. It made #2 on the UK chart and would eventually sell over three million copies world wide.

Rock 'n' roll pianist Johnnie Johnson died aged 80 in St. Louis in 2005. A member of Chuck Berry's band, Johnson co-composed many of Berry's seminal hits and was the inspiration for the anthem "Johnny B. Goode."

In 1995, folk singer Burl Ives died at age 85. He was the face of folk music in the late 1950s. As an actor he played Big Daddy in the 1958 movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and narrated the Christmas TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

The Star Club opened in Hamburg in 1962 with the Beatles as its house band. The association between the group and venue would later make the Star Club world famous.

Jack Cassady was born in Washington, D.C. in 1944. His jazz and blues inspired bass playing helped shape the character of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Cassady is also heard on the Jimi Hendrix album “Electric Ladyland.”

"The Grand Ole Opry" debuted on television in 1985.

Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) has a birthday today. The drummer and television personality (Late Night With Conan O'Brien) is a Newark, NJ native.

We Are The World" went to #1 in 1985. The song raised money for Africa relief and has performances (singing a line of the song) by Bob Geldof (organizer and member of Boomtown Rats), Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac), Steve Perry (Journey), Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder and many others.

"Surfin' USA" by the Beach Boys was released in the US in 1963, where it became the group's second Billboard chart-maker, reaching #3. The song was a note-for-note copy of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" with new lyrics. After Berry sued, he was granted royalties and all further issues of the song gave him writing credit.

Paul McCartney's LP "Band On The Run" topped the Billboard album chart in 1974. It went on to sell over 6 million copies world-wide.

Friday, April 11, 2008


U2 Back In Studio After Holiday Break

By: Don Kaye

U2 has returned to its Dublin studio to resume work on the band's next album, according to The group took a break for the Easter holiday and is now recording again, with a message at the official U2 web site saying, "Everyone (is) still hoping the new album will be out this year." The yet-to-be-titled disc will follow up 2004's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and will be supported by a world tour in 2009. The band is working on the new CD with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who together and separately have been involved with classic U2 records like The Unforgettable Fire, Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree.

Meanwhile, July 22nd will see the arrival of remastered, expanded editions of U2's first three albums, 1980's Boy, 1981's October and 1983's War. Each will be reissued in a two-CD package featuring rare studio tracks, B-sides and live material. A single-disc heavyweight vinyl edition will be available as well.

U2 guitarist The Edge is overseeing the reissues, which began last fall with The Joshua Tree.

U2 recently signed a 12-year worldwide contract to have Live Nation handle its merchandising, digital and branding rights. Live Nation, which has handled U2's tours for 20 years, will now also oversee its merchandising, sponsorships and other corporate partnerships, its fan club and other Web sites, plus other digital, marketing and creative ventures.

Info from:

The Magnetic Fields are readying the re-release of their catalog on full-length 12" vinyl albums. Merge Records will start the run with "The Charm of the Highway Strip," out on May 6 in the US. Nonesuch Records will follow this summer with a pressing of "Distortion," the band's January 2008 release. This fall, Merge Records will release the vinyl edition of "Get Lost."

Men, Women, and Children, the electro-punk outfit formed by former Glassjaw guitarist Todd Weinstock have announced plans to release a new 7-inch/digital single. The release is the follow up to their self-titled Warner/Reprise full length, and first since parting ways with the label.

The record is titled Ultra Hot Volcano [7-inch/digital] and is due out May 06, 2008. Along with a wide release on iTunes/eMusic, the single will be pressed as a limited-edition 7” vinyl (all hand-numbered, on red vinyl.

Baby Shakes’ defection from New York City to Atlanta was always intended to be a temporary move. In 2006, the black-miniskirt- and fishnet-flaunting trio of Mary Blount (vocals/guitar), Judy Hsu (guitar) and Claudia Gonzales (bass) migrated south to concentrate on playing music without worrying about the high price of the Big Apple.

The fruits of their labor are finally starting to take shape as the group’s third offering comes in the form of a red, vinyl, heart-shaped 10-inch EP via Rob’s House Records.

This Date In Music History- April 11

Today in 1970, the song "Let It Be" by the Beatles topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1967, on the way back from visiting the Beach Boys' Smile sessions, Paul McCartney dreams up the idea for the Beatles' film "Magical Mystery Tour."
June Pointer of the Pointer Sisters ("Yes We Can Can") died of cancer in 2006.

Paul McCartney gives a twenty-minute concert from the roof of a building he owns in London in 1997. Uh, that’s been done before, hasn’t it?

Elvis Presley's "Follow That Dream" movie premiered in Ocala, Florida (near where it was filmed-- it opened nationally six weeks later) in 1962.

Big Brother & the Holding Company made their national TV debut on ABC's "Hollywood Palace" in 1968.

In 1966, Frank Sinatra cut "Strangers in the Night," one of his biggest hits and renowned for its shooby-be-doo-be-doo-ing.

Bob Dylan mades his first live performance in New York, opening for John Lee Hooker in 1961. The venue was Gerde's Folk City. Dylan played some new material, including "Blowin' in the Wind."

Elvis Presley had his first No. 1 record with "Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956. On the same day, his plane almost crashed as it flies from Los Angeles to Nashville. The incident will leave him with a permanent fear of air travel.

The late Richard Berry was born in Extension, Louisiana in 1935. He originally wrote and recorded the controversial frat anthem "Louie Louie," which became one of the most-covered songs in rock.

1936 - The SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America) was founded. (I did not know that!)

In a rare joint appearance, both The Beatles and Rolling Stones performed at the New Musical Express concert in 1965. The show featured the magazine’s poll winners. Also on the bill are the Animals and Kinks, along with numerous pop acts.

In 1956, James Brown had his first chart entry when "Please, Please, Please" debuted on the Billboard R&B chart.

Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green left the group to do “what God will have me to do” in 1970. The group would carry on without him.

In 1970, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake added drummer Carl Palmer to create Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

In 1964, The Beatles set a music industry record which may never be equaled when they had 14 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. The songs ranged from "Can't Buy Me Love" at # 1 to "Love Me Do" at # 81.

In 1966, NBC broadcasts the last episode of the rock and roll TV show, Hullabaloo, which features Paul Anka, Lesley Gore, Peter and Gordon and The Cyrkle. The show had been on the air since January 1965, a year after ABC came up with Shindig!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Large Record Donation

Certainly a major donation, I found this while surfing the net and thought I would pass it along:

UK charity shop in a spin over record donation

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A British widow has given 4,000 vinyl records spanning every classical genre to her local Oxfam shop, the largest music donation in the charity's history, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The collection, worth an estimated 25,000 pounds ($49,260), ranges from Bach and Haydn to Stravinsky and Stockhausen and will keep the shop stocked for three years.

It was donated by an unnamed woman, in her 50s, to her local Oxfam store in the southern English town of Tavistock after the death of her husband.

"It is amazing. I can't think of a classical genre that is missing," said Oxfam volunteer Terry Hyde. "It is all there -- all your big figures from the 18th and 19th century, your 20th century unlistenable nightmares by Stockhausen, avant garde, opera, unaccompanied violin. Virtually every genre is covered."

Shop manager Jacky Theobald said the collection was too big to go on sale at the same time.

"It is a small shop," she said. "We will do a Chopin week, a Mozart week, that sort of thing."

Oxfam -- which says it seeks to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice in more than 100 countries -- makes around five million pounds each year from the sale of film and music. It recently received a rare Rolling Stones demo single and a Handel score.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Steve Addison and Paul Casciato)

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales

Week Ending 03/22/2008

1) 45rpm - The Limelights "Don't Leave Me Baby" / "(Time Has Passed) You Don't Love Me Anymore" Uncle - $6,889.10

2) LP - Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n Roll Trio Coral Mono - $2,495.00

3) 45rpm - Nirvana "Love Buzz" Sub Pop - $2,226.20

4) 45rpm - Trace Of Smoke "Treasure Mind" / "U.R." B.J. - $2,000.00

5) LP - Georges Enesco Bach Sonatas Continental CLP 105 - $1,999.99

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Record Store Day News

This latest news from about the upcoming celebration of Record Store Day:

Death Cab, R.E.M., Built to Spill, Black Keys Celebrate Record Store Day With Exclusive Singles

The sheer number of artists participating in Record Store Day-- including Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, and Vampire Weekend, to name just a few-- almost makes all these special events and exclusive releases seem a little less than extraordinary, like we should expect such goodies to come our way every day. That's not true, of course (record stores are an endangered species!), which means the announcement of four more participating bands still has us giddy.

The April 19 celebration of independent music retail now includes the release of exclusive limited edition 7"s by Built to Spill, R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, and the Black Keys. The tracklist for each one is after the jump.

The Black Keys:

01 Strange Times
02 Something on Your Mind [previously unreleased]

Built to Spill:

01 Don't Try [live, previously unreleased]
02 The Source [live, previously unreleased]

Death Cab for Cutie:

01 I Will Possess Your Heart (10" Mix)
02 I Will Possess Your Heart (7" Mix)


01 Supernatural Superserious
02 Airliner [non-LP B-side]

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales

Week Ending 03/15/2008

1) 45rpm- The Cure "A Forest" + Tourists, Midnight Oil Promo 7" - $5,211.00

2) LP - Art Pepper "Modern Art" - $3,350.00

3) LP - Lawrence Marable "Tenorman" - $3,049.99

4) 45rpm - Elvis Presley "That's All Right" / "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" Sun 209 Sample - $2,386.11

5) 45rpm - Soul Incorporated "My Proposal" / "Message To Michael" Coconut Groove - $2,325.00

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales

Week Ending 03/08/2008

1) 78rpm - The Beatles "I Saw Her Standing There" / "Don't Bother Me" Columbia 78 RPM - $6,000.00

2) 45rpm - Buddy Cantrell "You Ain't No Good" / "Why Did She Leave Me" Tuska 104 - $4,037.77

3) LP - Jimi Hendrix TMOQ LP - $3,350.00

4) LP - Lalo & Tchaikovsky, Leonid Kogan Columbia SAX 2329 UK - $3,339.99

5) LP - Night Shadow "Square Root Of Two" Private Press w/ 45 - $3,250.00

Monday, April 7, 2008

This Day In Music History- April 7

Eleanora Fagan Gough, a.k.a. Billie Holiday, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1915.

Chicago blues legend Willie Dixon returned to Chess Records in 1959 (after a three-year hiatus), during which he produced an impressive roster of blues artists – including Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam – for crosstown rival Cobra Records.

King Crimson was formed in 1969.

Crosby, Stills & Nash's double live album '4 Way Street' was released in 1971. Showcasing the group's range and versatility, it includes group performances and solo spots. I believe Neil Young also contributed as well.

Bobby Bare ("Detroit City" and the real singer of "All-American Boy") turns 73.

John Oates of Hall & Oates ("Sara Smile") is 59.

Janis Ian ("At Seventeen") is 57.

The late Percy Faith ("Theme From A Summer Place") was born in 1908.

Charlie Thomas of the Drifters ("There Goes My Baby") turns 71.

In 1988, Alice Cooper nearly hanged himself for real at a concert rehearsal when a safety rope breaks. Ahh the price of fame.

Today in 1962, the song "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1956, CBS Radio premiered Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party, hosted by DJ Alan Freed. It's the first nationally broadcast rock 'n' roll radio show.

In 1962, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first meet Brian Jones at an Alexis Korner gig in London.

John Lennon recorded "Give Peace a Chance" in his Toronto hotel room in 1969. It becomes his first solo single.

In 1987, after preacher Oral Roberts informed his TV congregation that God will kill him if he doesn't raise $1 million in donations, rock funnyman Ozzy Osbourne sent him a dollar to be put toward psychiatric treatment. (way to go Ozzie!)

1997 - An Amsterdam university began offering a course entitled "Madonna 101." Interesting….

The Knack’s drummer Bruce Gary was born in 1952.

Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann was born in 1946.

Jethro Tull’s original guitarist, Mick Abrahams, was born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England in 1943. In ’68, conflicts between Abrahams and frontman Ian Anderson over the group’s musical direction force Abrahams to depart.

In 1981, the Who's former manager, Kit Lambert died after falling down a flight of stairs in his mother's home in London, England. Along with his partner Chris Stamp, Lambert guided the Who from 1964 through 1967 and produced many of their albums including "The Who Sell Out" and "Tommy".

In 1985, Wham! became the first western rock group to play live in China.

In 1998, singer George Michael was arrested in a public restroom in Beverly Hills for lewd conduct. He acknowledges his homosexuality on CNN a few days later and was sentenced to community service for the incident.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

This Day In Music History- April 5

'Piper at the Gates of Dawn,' the debut album by Pink Floyd -- and the only one to feature Syd Barrett as bandleader -- was released in 1967.

"Instant Karma (We All Shine On)," credited to John Ono Lennon and produced by Phil Spector, hits #3 on the singles chart in 1970. The #1 album that week is "Let It Be," by the Beatles.

Crispian St. Peters ("Pied Piper") turns 64.

Billy Bland ("Let The Little Girl Dance") is 76.

Today in 1975, the song "Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton topped the charts and stayed there for a week. She began recording as part of The Gems and then later with Rotary Connection. She had retired from the music scene in 1970 to raise a family when Stevie Wonder persuaded her to join his back-up group, Wonderlove. Wonder later produced Riperton's first solo album, "Perfect Angel" along with four more albums before she died of cancer on July 12th, 1979.

The late Tony Williams of the Platters ("Smoke Gets In Your Eyes") was born in 1928.

Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA ("SOS") is 58.

Gene Pitney ("Only Love Can Break A Heart") died of a heart attack while on tour in Wales in 2006.

Danny Rapp of Danny & the Juniors ("Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay") died of a self-inflicted gunshot in 1983.

In 1968, James Brown made a nationally-televised appeal for calm in the wake of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. after riots had broken out in 30 US cities.

Elvis Presley's "Double Trouble" movie debuted in 1967.

Layne Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002, eight years to the day after Kurt Cobain committed suicide. The Alice in Chains singer's body is not found until several days later.

In 1981, Canned Heat vocalist Bob "the Bear" Hite died from a heart attack in Venice, Calif at the age of 36. He helped bring the sound of American blues to rock music.

In 1993, construction began on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

1994 - Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) killed himself with a shotgun. He was found three days later. (what a waste)

REM made its debut at an Athens, GA, party under the name Twisted Kite in 1980.

Hollies’ founding member and vocalist Allan Clarke was born in 1942.

Mike McCready, a founding member of Pearl Jam (along with Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard) was born in 1965.

Also in 1965- Sonny Bono and his 18 year old wife Cher were signed to Atco Records.

In 1998, Drummer, Cozy (Collin) Powell was killed in a car accident on April 5th, after bad weather forced him to lose control on a highway. He had worked with Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Peter Green, Jeff Beck and Emerson, Lake and Powell. He was 50 years old.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Putting A Value On Vinyl Records

As promised here is part two of my article about vinyl record appraisals. Remember, I have just opened up a new site called, so if you want to know what your old records may be worth, drop by for a visit!

Putting A Value On Vinyl Records

part two

By Robert Benson

In part one we discussed the most important element of vinyl record appraising, the condition of the record and LP jacket or sleeve and the methods used in grading a vinyl record. In this section we will explore other elements that factor into the value of a record.


Many, many millions of vinyl records are in circulation, with almost every household in the US, either having some vinyl records at one time or another. We even had a vinyl record ‘boon’ from around 1955-1980. But, how many of those records are still around and more importantly, what condition are they in?

For instance, rhythm and blues records from the 1950’s suffered from poor promotion and publicity, therefore there were fewer of these that were pressed. The record companies that produced these particular records were small and lacked the resources that the larger record companies enjoyed, some may have been limited to only one or two thousand being pressed, On the other hand, the Beatles records were massed produced and they benefited from much larger pressings and are a fairly common record (depending on the label) and some are not worth as much as one might think. This brings us to another element-demand.


Like any other commodity, vinyl records are subject to the old supply and demand adage that is prevalent in any free market society. Record values were affected by the Internet age, especially with the many online auction sites. Records that were thought to be rare and valuable suddenly came out of the closets and basements and were put up for sale and brought some prices down.

But, that has evened out at this time and the record guides and prices reflect that. If there is a demand for a certain genre or artist, chances are the price will go up, more people want these type of record and there is more competition for them. For instance, the music genre called Northern Soul (commonly known as Motown) enjoyed resurgence in sales in the past few years, driving up the prices. Conversely, there is not a lot of demand for classical music (in fact, there aren’t even any price guides for this genre of music); therefore you cannot expect to get much for the records.


This element of putting a value on a vinyl record goes hand in hand with the relative scarcity of the record. Many special musical genres in recorded music often command a higher price because of their place in music history. For instance, the early roots of country music from the early 1930s and 1940’s, early jazz recordings, the rock and roll ‘infancy’ recordings (including rockabilly, rhythm and blues, the ‘girl’ groups of the 60’s, ) are often highly sought after and therefore of more value. Some early Motown, psychedelic music, surf music, garage band rock and doo wop often command a higher price because these are records that have a prominent historical value in recorded sound.

Artist or Group

Obviously there are some musical icons that sell better than others and are in command. Early Elvis records, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix just to name a few all command top dollar because there is always a demand for these records. But that is not to say that some obscure bands or artists are precluded from being valuable, on the contrary, there may be an artist that you have never heard of and the record may be selling for thousands of dollars.

LP Jacket, Inserts, Picture Sleeves

When issued, some records came with an added incentive and that is also collected and can add value to a record. LP’s came with fantastic artwork, inner sleeves with liner notes, lyrics, posters, cut out and all these elements are included when establishing a resale price. Again, the condition of these ‘extras’ must be taken into account when ascertaining the value of the record. 45rpm records came with picture sleeves and some of them are even more valuable than the record that they may hold.

The Year of Release

First pressings may be of more value than a reissue of the same record ten years later. For instance, a Beatles record that was released in 1965 is of more value to a collector than a reissue that was released in 1980.

The Record Label

Some record labels are also more collectible than others. Old R & B or jazz on the record label Bluenote is generally worth more than if the same music and artist are released on another label. Another example is Beatles’ records released on the Capitol record label as opposed to the Vee Jay label. For instance, if you were to the record “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on the Capitol label, it will generally be worth more than the same record on the Apple label (which was formed after the record was issued). Certainly there are exceptions, but there are a lot of record labels that suffered from poor distribution and, quite frankly, there are not that many to be had.

Stereo vs. Mono

As a general statement, all 45’s manufactured by all record labels after 1970 were pressed in stereo. But there were labels that issued records between 1957-1970 that were issued in both formats, and you would have to check the catalog number of the record to find out which one you may have. Some mono versions may be worth more than there stereo counterparts, while some records in stereo may be worth more than mono; it all depends on the artist and label.

As we review this two part article, we see that there are many elements that can factor into ascertaining what a record may be worth. We have covered the basics of vinyl record appraisals, there are more like picture discs, colored vinyl, promotional releases, misprints, why even the color of the record label may affect the price; but this is a good starting point. One element we should highlight is what you get for a record can also be determined to who you are selling the record to, a dealer will probably give you only a portion of what the record may be worth, or you may be able to find a rare and valuable record at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar. And that is the fun part for record collectors!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Vinyl Record Appraisal Services Offered

Want to know what your old records may be worth? I have just opened up a new site and will appraise your classic records for a small fee.

There are many variables that go into ascertaining just what a particular record may be worth. I have written a two-part article about this and the first part is posted below. Look for part two tomorrow!

Putting A Value On Vinyl Records

part one

By Robert Benson

One element of the ever changing music industry is that the sale of vinyl records has increased and that these audio treasures are still in demand. In our age of digital products and downloads, there are still millions who prefer the sound and experience of vinyl records. In this two part article, let’s explore how a person can ascertain just how much a particular record is worth.

There are many factors and variables that come into play, whether buying or selling records. The ‘grading’ of a record is very subjective and because no two people grade the record the same, many problems arise when reselling new and used vinyl.

The value of a record is, and this is putting it in a very simplistic way, is what a person is willing to pay another person or business for the record. But there are many other variables that must be considered to put a value on a record, let’s look at them:

There is a common misconception that because a record is old, that it is valuable. On the contrary, some records that are just a few months old have more value than some that are 50 years old. And, while it is true that some bands and artists are more sought after and command a better resale price, the condition of the record is paramount, whether the record is a week old or seventy years old; age is not a determining factor, but condition is.

There are several different methods of grading records and unfortunately there is no ‘standard’ that everyone uses. But let’s look at one of the more widely accepted grading methods, which is in the “Rockin’ Records” price guide, written by the genre’s leading authority; Jerry Osborne. In this method, the record are given a certain ‘grade’ as to their condition, here are the grades:

Mint (M)- an absolutely perfect record in every way-to allow for a tiny blemish or flaw, this record would be considered Near Mint, which is the highest grade used the in the Osborne record price guides and what the prices in the record guides reflect.

Very Good (VG) - records in this condition should have a minimum of visual or audio imperfections that do not detract from your enjoyment and listening pleasure. You may see a plus or minus after this grade.

Good (G) - From a practical standpoint, this grade may mean the record is a good enough copy to fill a gap in your collection until you can secure a better copy. This record will show obvious signs of wear and tear and play all the way through without skipping.

Osborne explains what you can expect using the following formula. For very good condition, the record is worth 25-50% of the Near Mint price listed in his guides. For Good, figure 10-25% of the near mint price given in his guides. Another common mistake is that people take the price in the guides, grade the record and then do not ‘downgrade’ for the flaws and condition issues.

Another confusing aspect to this method is that some records might be listed as VG + or VG- or VG++ or NM-. But, what exactly is the person grading the record mean with these notations? Is it for the record, the sleeve, the LP jacket or the record itself? You can see why this way of grading can be very confusing to someone just starting a record collection.

Osborne also suggests a ten point grading scale and some feel that this system allows for a more precise description of the record than the mint, very good, good scale. Here is the scale:

9- Near Mint
8- better than VG but below NM
7- VG
6- better than Good but below VG
5- Good
4- better than Poor but below Good
3- Poor
2 and 1- why bother adding these to a collection?

I prefer the ten point scale, as it eliminates some of the confusion and provides a better description than VG_ or VG++ or G-. One important factor that Osborne stresses is to be honest about the condition and grade, meaning apply the same standard to the record you want to buy or sell as you would want the seller or buyer to give. But, and this goes along with Osborne’s recommendation, is a TRUST factor. You must assume and trust that the person giving the grade to the record is honest and will be held accountable for the grade.

But just because a record is visually acceptable may not mean it plays that way, so one must take that into consideration as well. So if you are buying a record you may also ask if it plays the grade that it was given. A long time ago, these two went together, but it seems that we have gotten away from this.

Another element in the grading process, and I have seen this done several ways, is the condition of the LP jacket, picture sleeve, inserts and liner notes. Some sellers may give you two ratings, one for the record and one for the other elements. There are some very valuable album covers and picture sleeves (from 45 rpm records) and these must also be accounted for in the selling price or the value of a vinyl record.

As you can see, this is a ‘gray area’ when buying and selling vinyl and one that is very subjective. Condition is the most important factor when buying and selling vinyl and when buying records you must be able to find a trustworthy seller and ascertain which method they are using to grade what they have for sale. And, as previously stated, the record price guides lists the prices for records in near mint condition, so that must be taken into account. Obviously, this all can be a bit confusing for a beginner, but a little common sense and education can help any buyer in their quest to add to their collection.

In part two, we will discuss some other important elements that go into finding what the value is for a vinyl record.

Look for part two in tomorrow's post!