By Susan Sliwicki
If you ever wished more rarities and exotic lots would make it into Market Watch, this is your lucky day. We’ve got an autographed Rolling Stones record, a first-state Beatles Butcher Cover, two different copies of the same classical record selling for the same amount … heck, we’ve even got a full jukebox packed with 45s. Oddly enough, though, none of those lots managed to top our list.
10. $2,225 — Frank Ballard with Phillip Reynolds Band, Rhythm Blues Party, LP. This 1962 pressing on the Sun Records’ subsidiary Phillips International label sold for a song compared with what its seller originally expected. “Because of its extreme rarity, this record has a documented value between $5,000 and $6,000. One will be hard-pressed to find a better copy anywhere,” the seller wrote. This one was offered with its original inner sleeve and earned grades of NM and VG+ for the vinyl and cover respectively. Copies previously sold for $3,150 in September 2006 and $1,777 in August 2006, according to popsike.com.
9. $2,300.09 — The Beatles, “Yesterday and Today,” LP. A first-state Beatles Butcher Cover typically doesn’t require a fire-sale announcement like “looking to sell quickly” in order to bring a decent price. But that — along with unflattering photographs of the record on a drab sofa and vague condition descriptors like “the album was lightly used many years ago but is in perfect condition” — were the main thrusts of this seller’s pitch. Still, shoppers placed 25 bids before the auction closed, and the selling price compares favorably to those of similar copies, according to popsike. We wonder what better photography and a stronger description may have done for this lot.
8. $2,500 — Adolf Busch, 10-inch and 12-inch classical music records. A pair of 1922 Deutsche Grammophon pressings, which featured early recordings by violinist Adolph Busch, sold just minutes apart, on the same day, by the same seller and for the same amount had us seeing double. These records turned out to be fraternal twins rather than identical. Nonetheless, we’ll give both of them billing in the countdown because we love a good coincidence. The first lot, assigned catalog numbers B27511 and B2712, was described as a 12-inch 78 RPM shellac record that featured Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dance No. 7” and “Variations on a Theme of Corelli” in the style of Tartini, which graded as NM to NM-. The second record was listed as a German-pressed 10-inch shellac record featuring “Scherzo (K. v. Dittersdorf-Kresler)” and “Gavotte von Gossec-Burmester,” catalogued as B7509 and B7508 respectively. The seller graded the record as NM, but described it to be “in dreamy condition.”
7. $2,500 — Various artists, Rock Ola jukebox with 45s included. We don’t know exactly how many 45s were included with this lot, what condition they’re in or if there are any rarities, but we figure getting a working jukebox complete with records from artists including Frank Sinatra, Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, Berlin, Elvis, Dion, ZZ Top, Big Bopper and Meatloaf can’t possibly be a letdown.
6. $2,646 — The Combinations, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” b/w “The Goddess of Love,” 45. It was only a matter of time before a Northern Soul record joined the party, and this one is a rarity on Atlanta’s Kimtone label. The seller had little to share, other than to indicate that a Lyn Westbrook single also was issued on the label. A VG+ copy sold for $2,125 in 2005 and drew 49 bids; this one drew nine bids.
5. $3,005 — Nabay, “Believe It Or Not” b/w an instrumental, 45. This copy of Impact 1032 drew 19 bids before it found a new home. “Super rare Detroit northern soul — guaranteed original pressing — in really good condition too!” the seller raved. The vinyl earned a grade of Mint Minus, but the A side’s label sported pen marks. Copies of this record previously sold for $4,127 in 2007 and $3,050 in 2009, according to Popsike.
4. $4,600 — Hank Mobley, Hank Mobley, LP. “A superb copy of this most elusive Blue Note,” wrote the seller of this NM mono pressing of BLP 1568 with the West 63rd address on the label. Given the 25 bids this lot received before the auction’s end, we suspect prospective buyers agreed. A NM copy sold for $5,600 in November 2011, while Mint Minus copies brought $4,499 and $5,360 in 2008 and 2007 respectively.
3. $5,579.10— The Rolling Stones, “Rolling Stones” fully autographed 1969 promotional album. Both the sleeve and the disc for this 1969 Decca Records pressing (RSD-1 and RSM-1) are in VG+ condition. Of course, what matters more than the 14 tracks on the LP — and there are some classics, including “Under My Thumb,” “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Prodigal Son,” which was heavily “borrowed” from The Rev. Robert Wilkins (more on that in this issue’s Flashback column on page 66) — is the record’s rarity, and, of course, its autographs. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor all signed the back cover. “The Decca version is extremely rare,” the seller wrote. “The Decca letter issued at the time stated that 200 copies were made.”
2. $5,900 — Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2, C Minor, featuring the Orchestra Staatsoper Berlin with Gertrud Bindernagel and Emmi Leisner, 11-record, 78 RPM album. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it appears a gallery of 12 photos is worth about $6,000. Or, at least, that seems to be the exchange rate for this set of very rare 1924 pressings on the German Schallplatte Grammophon label, complete with the original album. Other than basic record grades, which ranged from a low of EX for 69681 up to EX+ for 69691, the seller had little to say. “Extremely rare, especially in original album and in such extraordinary good condition!” Eight bids were exchanged before the auction’s end.
1. $19,999 — Various artists, collection of roughly 25,000 records. It takes a lot to beat out a Beatles Butcher Cover, an autographed Stones promo record and an impeccable classical album with 11 impeccable records for Market Watch honors. Turns out if you put 230 boxes of R&B, rap, hip-hop, reggae and dance records from the personal collection of DJ B-Mello, that’ll probably do the trick. In addition to its sheer volume, this collection features a lot of underground, mainstream classics and obscure records. “If you tried to put this collection together from scratch, it would definitely cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the seller wrote. Thirteen bids were exchanged before a new owner acquired the equivalent of a record shop’s inventory.