By Patrick Prince
Houston-based music auction house, Backstage Auctions, will begin a once-in-a-lifetime online auction on March 14. “The Southern Rock & Soul Auction” will contain unique memorabilia from Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, and Etta James (the ‘Soul’ part) to the likes of Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band (the ‘Southern Rock’ part).
The Soul portion of the auction consists of mid-‘60s to early-‘70s items that any collector of that time period will not want to miss out on. “The ‘60s standout for me is that we have a lot of Otis Redding stuff,” explains Backstage Auctions owner Jacques van Gool. The auction includes an overwhelming amount of vintage ephemera (paper goods) connected to Otis Redding, right down to the parking tickets he received while visiting New York City in 1966. The real grab, however, is a paperwork collection that includes the original documents for Otis Redding’s appearance at the famed Apollo Theatre in 1967 for two proposed one-week runs.
Then there’s Etta James’ letter from jail.
In 1968, vocalist Etta James had written to Capricorn Records exec Phil Walden from L.A. County Jail. James was incarcerated for nearly three months for violating terms of her probation. The handwritten letter asks Walden to schedule shows for her and produce a tour itinerary that she could present to the court and her probation officer.
The ‘Southern Rock’ part of the auction centers around artists on Capricorn Records from 1970-1978, before the record label claimed bankruptcy and became dormant for more than a decade.
There is an incredible amount of Allman Brothers Band items in this section of the auction. Over 130 recordings of band-related material, including the treasured Hour Glass demos, are featured. And the kind of items that will drive ‘gigography’ collectors wild: booking sheets — confirmations of concert dates — of every concert that was ever booked for the Allman Brothers Band (even the cancelled ones), including the last show band leader Duane Allman ever played.
“For anyone who has a warm heart for Southern Rock, this is perfect," says van Gool. “There are a lot of potentially forgotten stories and information that will now be out there.”
Other memorabilia from musical acts like Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Dixie Dregs, Charlie Daniels Band and Outlaws is also at auction. There will also be a reasonable number of Lynyrd Skynyrd recordings (including the related "Crawdad" demos recorded at Capricorn's studios), too. And even lesser known acts (unless you are very familiar with the genre) like Wet Willie, Stillwater, and Alex & Livingston Taylor will get their fair share of interest.
“From a historical point of view this is a once-in-a-lifetime auction. That’s what excites me,” says van Gool. “The historian in me really wants all of this to go to a good home.”
A preview of the Southern Rock & Soul Auction will beliveuntil its official opening. The auction will be open for bidding from March 14th-March 22nd. For more information or to bid, visit www.backstageauctions.com.
See Goldmine’s Guide To Southern Rock
A downloadable pdf guide that has articles, photos, discography details, an exciting Top 20 Southern Rock album list, and articles about legends including Molly Hatchet.