Sound Advice: No ‘Gigi’ cover for U.S. ‘Ummagumma’

By  John Tefteller, Jim Cooper & Stephen M.H. Braitman

Answering this issue’s questions are John Tefteller of John Tefteller’s World’s Rarest Records, which has been buying and selling rare records for 30 years; Jim Cooper of Hip Cat Records in Wilmette, Ill; and veteran appraiser Stephen M.H. Braitman.

Question: I just purchased a sealed copy of  Lola Albright’s (she played Edie Hart on “Peter Gunn”) Dreamsville, circa 1959  on Columbia. 

I know this is around the time they started sealing LPs, but a couple of things are raising a yellow flag for me. It is sealed in a loose-fitting, slightly oversized soft plastic bag, which does look old. But I thought the early plastic used to seal records was the brittle, crinkly kind that by now would be yellowed and falling apart.

Secondly, there is a split in the seal on the open side of the cover. Since the wrap is loose, I can stick my finger inside the cover and, with a flashlight, look inside. I can’t quite see the label on the disk, but it looks to be the right color. More interesting is the fact that there is no sleeve on the record; it’s just laying there inside the cardboard cover. I’ve never seen a record that didn’t come with a sleeve. Are these things cause for concern or typical for the  time?

— John Weber

John Tefteller: The loose-fit plastic baggy is indeed an original. Tight shrink-wrap did not happen until the early 1960s … so anything you find from the 1950s in tight shrink is a re-sealed LP of some kind. To be original, they have to be in loose fit baggies.

Question: I have a question regarding Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma LP that I hope one of your editors can answer: Was this LP ever released in the U.S. (on vinyl) with the “Gigi” cover? The price guides indicate that it was; however, I contend that the Gigi cover was available as an import only.

In the U.S., I believe the first issue did not contain the wording “Special Buy Contains Two Complete LPs” on the top of the front cover. The second and subsequent issues did have this wording. However, with all the U.S. issues, the “Gigi” LP has been airbrushed white. Are the price guides correct?

— John Peluso

Jim Cooper:
To answer that question, in all my years of collecting Pink Floyd, and I do consider myself a Pink Floyd expert, ’cause we’re actually the unofficial Pink Floyd collectors headquarters here at Hip Cat Records, is that I have never, ever come across an Ummagumma U.S. pressing with the “Gigi” cover. And I think that’s something that got mixed up with the import copies, which do have the “Gigi” cover. With “Gigi,” it was on a different record label in the United States. Capitol did not want to advertise another label’s product, so they airbrushed it out. The British and the Europeans, for that matter, they didn’t have any issues with that, so they never did airbrush it out.

But I’ve never come across it in all my years of collecting, and I think had there been an actual version of that, I would have come across it by now. And I’ve done tables at record swaps for years. Never encountered it. I always had people looking out for it, just in case it did exist, but no one has ever come through. So I would pretty much have to say that unless someone could bring one to the surface and actually show it, it does not exist. But you’re is correct. The very first pressings did not have any writing on the cover indicating any kind of double LP special price. That was later issues that had that writing on there.

Question: I need your help regarding a 45 I discovered in my collection. Information regarding the 45 is as follows:

Title: “Shadows”/no flip side — blank
Artist: Electric Prunes
Label: Reprise PRO 287 — promo copy

The label states that this song is from a movie titled “The Name Of The Game Is Kill”/Fanfare Film release.

I have been collecting records for over 40 years, and I can’t trace this record to any record guides. Also I have been unable to find any information about this movie, or even if it exists.

Is this a rare 45? Does it have any value? It is in near-mint condition.

— Rich Schutz, Glenview, Ill.

Stephen M.H. Braitman:
According to the “Garage Records Price & Reference Guide” (Wickham & Richman), this is a very rare record from 1968.  The price they list it for is “Neg.” Which means, negotiable. Which means, “Indicates a record or picture sleeve that is both ultra rare and highly desirable, and will most likely sell for over $1,000 in a competitive auction.”

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