Monday, July 26, 2010

Selling culture and history: Oroville radio station puts its record library up for sale to raise funds


OROVILLE, CA— An archive that reflects changes in music and cultures spanning several generations is up for sale, a sad but necessary move for members of Oroville radio station KRBS, a representative said.
The station is selling its collection of more than 7,000 long-playing, vinyl records.

Station Manager Salud Almaguel said in a phone interview Friday the collection includes all genres of music.

Almaguel and staff have extensively gone through each album to be sure of its value. She estimated the majority of albums are worth between $600 to $800 apiece, and some records are valued at $2,000. She did not give specific asking prices.

The reason for the sale is to raise money to build two badly needed sound rooms and upgrade some equipment.

"It's the only way for us to raise the funds," she said.

New sound rooms are necessary because with the recent move to its location on Oro-Quincy Highway, the KRBS disc jockeys are operating in an open room. Employees can't do any other work in the area because the sound will be heard over the radio.

The sound rooms alone will cost about $5,000. In addition, the station needs to upgrade its on-the-air emergency alert system.

Almaguel figured if the albums are sold individually, the station could raise as much as $50,000, which would cover the station's needs. She's willing to work with people on some prices, especially if anyone is interested in buying the entire stock at once.

Almaguel said there are a lot of record collectors looking for specific items. However, she warned that she has learned that the value of an album isn't just in who recorded it: It depends on the label and lettering on the label, which she said many people aren't aware of.

The records still play.

"I've been playing them and playing them," she said.

Almaguel indicated the choice to sell the records was difficult.

"I wish we didn't have to sell them and could have a special library," she said. "We have to build the sound rooms ... right now, that is more important than just hanging on to vinyl. I'm trying very hard to keep us up in the air."

The sale is ongoing. KRBS is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For information call 534-1200.

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