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Northern Soul gems on Kellmac label dominate online auctions

A mix of Northern Soul, classical and blues records get their turn to shine in Goldmine's Market Watch countdown of top-dollar online record auctions.

By Susan Sliwicki

A mix of Northern Soul, classical music and blues records get their turn to shine in Goldmine's Market Watch countdown.

5. $4,550 — Johanna Martzy, “Johann Sebastian Bach: The Unaccompanied Violin Sonatas, Vols. 1-3, 3-LP set. Deemed “the Holy Grail of Bach” by the seller, this set attracted seven bids. Its covers and records are in conditions ranging from EX to NM, with a few inaudible surface marks throughout. “The records are in their original inner sleeves. All three records play almost NM without any loud ticks, skips or jumps; on a mono system, it sounds probably even better,” the seller wrote. “Superb performance — ultra rare in any condition.”

Johanna Martzy Bach Violin Sonatas
Charley Patton High Water Everywhere

4. $5,000 — Charley Patton, “High Water Everywhere Part I”/“High Water Everywhere Part II,” 78. A favorite artist of record dealer John Tefteller and countless blues fans, Charley Patton’s account of the 1927 Mississippi River floods was snapped up by a bidder happy to get a V-condition copy of Paramount 12909. “If you’ve always wanted a Patton record that’s decent and playable, here’s your chance!” the seller wrote. “Record has a 1-inch hairline crack not affecting play, A side only.”

3. $7,726 — Hot Shot Love, “Wolf Call Boogie”/“Harmonica Jam,” 45. Termed a “stupidly rare 45 RPM original” by its seller, this shiny VG
copy of Sun 196 still attracted six bids before finding a new home. But, as good as it looks, the sound on this guitar and harmonica blues records is another matter. “Disc shows sings of play but is still shiny and without any scratches or marks, but is a noising pressing, as is common with many early Sun 45s,” the seller wrote.

Hot Shot Love Harmonica Jam
The C.O.D.'s It Must Be Love

2. $8,100 — The C.O.D.’s, “She’s Fire”/ “It Must Be Love,” 45. I hadn’t heard of the Chicago-based Kellmac label before this Market Watch countdown. But (spoiler alert), since two records from that label took the countdown’s top two slots, looks like it’s time to learn. The seller had little to say about this pressing of Kellmac 1010. “Grades VG. Plays better. Rare one,” was all the seller wrote. Guess this must be a case where if you don’t know what you need to from the listing, you probably shouldn’t be trying to buy it. This lot drew 22 bids before the auction closed.

1. $8,500 — The Combinations, “What ‘Cha Gonna Do” / “Like I Never Did Before” 45. This VG+ pressing (due to writing on the label and a sticker spot) of Kellmac 1011 drew 31 bids. “Insanely rare original copy,” the seller wrote. Northern Soul records have been a staple of collectors for years. So-named for the region in Britain where these songs were popular at dance clubs — rather the region in which they were recorded — these American soul songs were pressed by under-the-radar artists for equally-under-the-radar labels (at least, to uninitiated collectors). The music typically resembles Motown, Chicago or New York soul.

The Combinations What 'Cha Gonna Do