building a record collection one dollar at a time.
June 1, 2016 Hi.
June Christy, “Fair And Warmer” Capitol Records T833, 1957
Welcome to the first day of my blog! The goal is to feature an album a day for a year, with the goal of sharing what I’ve learned about collecting records for nearly 40 years. A year from now, a dedicated reader will know where to shop for records, what records to look for, hear music from artists that can only be heard on vintage vinyl, and end up with a record collection that will be the envy of all your friends.
If you can afford a turntable, you can afford to build a record collection. I don’t think it takes a lot of savvy to spend thousands of dollars on mint condition or super rare collectors items, but I hope to prove that anyone can fill a bookcase with records for not a lot of money. Therefore, I am setting a goal of featuring 365 albums and spending only $1000. That’s less than $2.75 a day, or about the price of a cup of coffee.
I don’t necessarily plan to review music, but rather the actual records I find. No one needs a blog to learn how to collect music, but with vinyl sales lately being the only real growth area for the music business, I think many people could use some help on how to find the best records. Obviously, brand new records from current artists won’t be within my budget for this blog, so unless I get lucky and find an Adele album in a Goodwill bin somewhere, the records I feature will be from the golden age of the 33 1/3 Long Playing album, approximately from 1955-1985.
The first album up is “Fair And Warmer”, a 1957 Capitol Records release from June Christy. Apparently, Miss Christy was so well known that her last name only appears on the spine and in the liner notes on the back. I would be surprised if 5% of people under 40 today have ever heard of her. She came along as a big band girl singer in the 1940s, just as that genre was dying out. She left the Stan Kenton band for a solo career, and despite never really having a hit single or selling many albums, Capitol kept releasing her albums into the mid 1960s. “Fair And Warmer” was the follow-up to perhaps her best known album “Something Cool, and this one has the same smooth west coast jazz feel that will be a hit at any cocktail party.
Original owner Judy Terhune took decent care of this record, carefully stamping her name in the upper right corner the back side. There is for sure some bad ring wear on the back, along with a mysterious brown stain, but the worst part is the total deterioration of the top seam.
Some of this wear obviously comes from the 59 year old paper and cardboard, but this kind of damage usually is cause by pulling out the inner sleeve with the record every time it was played, and then shoved back in improperly. I know some people swear that the inner sleeve should be put in with the slit facing to the top to keep the record from sliding out, but I’ve never had that happen to me since buying my first album in grade school in 1975! To keep the cardboard seams intact, I always keep the inner sleeve inside the cover with the slit facing the opening so I can simply slide the record in and out easily.
The original turquoise Capitol label from the mid 1950s was used through 1958. Original label records are generally more interesting than re-issues (Hard Core Beatles collectors look for every issued variant, but, really). Artists like June Christy barely warrant a “greatest hits” package, let alone a re-issue of a non-selling album, so you’re usually getting an original when you find a record like this. And this record is a real find.