October 13, 2016 Can’t Buy Me Love On Sale


Various Artists, Current Hits Volume #14, Hit Records 414, 1964

We’ve also had a run in with the offerings of the Hit Recording Company of Nashville Tennessee.  They we’re probably the most famous (egregious?) of the discount record companies.  Their cover versions, though, we’re just so bad that they’re oddly compelling.  The musicians were all Nashville Cats with some downtime and looking for a quick buck.


The one is really great.  The liner notes are all dedicated to the rise of The Beatles, but they run 400 words without mentioning them.  They did work in the War Of 1812 though.  Covering The Beatles is always an expensive proposition, but there are ways around that.  Naturally Can’t Buy Me Love was a Beatles tune, but one of their biggest hits of 1964 was their cover of The Isley Brother’s Twist And Shout.  And those are much cheaper rights to have to pay for.


They did their best to cover the rest of the early hits of the year too, but ooh, there’s a lot of jumping around the various popular genres of the day.  I mean, no self respecting mixed tape would ever go from the R&B grooves of Betty Everett and into the folk sounds of The Serendipity Singers.  Still, I will always buy these kinds of records.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $713 Remaining

September 28, 2016 Tollie Ho!


Don & Alleyne Cole, Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go, Tollie 56001, 1964

I have to be honest, this is not the most exciting performance I’ve ever heard.  Actually, I know some high school bands that are more exciting.  They do get some points for trying, but Don & Alleyne Cole just aren’t all that good.  I don’t even hear a female vocalist at all, so I don’t really know what Alleyne did for the act.


No, what really is among the most exciting thing about this record is the label it came out on.  Like yesterday’s Vee-Jay record, this album came out on the short lived Tollie Records subsidiary.  In fact, in its 15 months in operation, Tollie only issued two albums!  It’s always a good day to pick up half of a label’s discography for $5.


There were many different label variations for Tollie, most likely because different pressing plants used different label stock, and, really, who would have cared?  This is the basic yellow variation and not the “official” purple Tollie label.  Vee Jay probably only started the label to get as much airplay and sales as they could from The Beatles records they had under contract, and as long as the money kept coming in, they could take a chance on releasing poorly recorded live albums like this to see if they could get another hit.  Of course, they didn’t.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $5, $743 Remaining

September 23, 2016 The Last Time I Saw Paris I Was On LSD


Jane Morgan, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Colpix 469, 1964

I never mean to pick on a 94 year old woman, but wow, Jane, this album of yours isn’t that good.  It came about in the last moment when Rock N Roll was just one type of popular music.  When people who had made a career recording professionally written songs by some of the great names of the American Songbook could still have a big selling album just because.  It was a time when tastes were changing so fast that a psychedelic album cover could be used to try to sell a “good” music album, not one of those long haired records recorded by hooligans who recorded their own material.


Miss Morgan even explains her predicament, beginning her liner notes with the phrase “Although ‘good music’ is making comeback inroads on the popular music scene today…”, it never quite materialized for her…or anyone else of her genre outside of The Rat Pack or Bobby Vinton.


Instead of “Good Music” the buyers of Colpix 469 were subjected to the most banal recordings of French standards, needlessly and overly arranged by Nick Perito (whoever he was).  They may have called their album “Meh, French Style”.  I only really could find the strength to listen to side one, but I doubt side two would give me any desire to eat snails any more than side one had.  Really, this record is only something to get for the cover, it kinda feels like Tammy Faye Bakker and Grace Slick meet Doris Day.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $763 Remaining

July 15, 2016 It’s Raining In My Heart


Michel Legrand & Various Artists, The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, Phillips PCC-616, 1964

I hinted yesterday at a new theme week involving TV related records.  Turning on the TV today though, I was hit with the news from France of yet another human caused tragedy there.  I’m just knocked out at how this can keep happening in this day and age, and I actually needed to go record shopping to distract myself.  Luckily, and don’t ask me why this is, but my local Oregon record shops have huge collections of international records for very little money.  I bought all of the French related albums I could find, and I found a few real gems.  I couldn’t wait to get home and listen to this one.


It may be the nicest album package I’ve ever seen, and it’s in amazing shape for being 52 years old.  The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg was a landmark French film, and it made an international star out of Catherine Deneuve.  Michel Legrand’s musical score was also well renowned and even though I haven’t seen the film in years, I remembered the music.


 Phillips Records released the soundtrack on their high end Connoisseur Collection, and the original owners really took care of it.  The still scenes from the movie are like real photographs attached in the gatefold cover.  Also included is an eight page lyrics guide in French with an English translation.  This must have been a very expensive album in 1964, and despite the movie’s international success, I doubt this was the kind of record that would have sold in any kind of numbers.


There’s even a mint condition insert that features other albums from the same series.  It dawned on me that somewhere I have a copy of the Singing Nun album, and I recall that it came with a set of imitation watercolors of nuns sitting around a group of young girls and singing.  In any event, there must have been a short lived market for records that gave the listener something to ponder beyond the music.  For me, it’s an unbelievable deal to have found today for $1.  I’d have paid much more to feel a positive connection to France today.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $1, $912 Remaining

June 20, 2016 His Name Was Sam Cooke


Sam Cooke, At The Copa, RCA LSP-2970, 1964

Sometimes you think you have the discovery of the ages in your hand, only to realize you’ve found some fool’s gold.  Sam Cooke At The Copa, like Ella In Berlin, Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall, or James Brown At The Apollo is one of the few essential live albums any collector would snap up in a heartbeat.  To find one in a bargain bin still in it’s original shrink wrap would be the sort of discovery you’d be telling your record friends about for years.

It was recorded in July, 1964, released that October,  two short months before Sam was killed in a very bizarre shooting incident.  He was at the top of his game when he died, and the single he followed this album up with (Shake/A Change Is Gonna Come) may have been his best.  Soul Music wouldn’t be the same without the foundation Sam Cooke laid down, and we can only guess at all the great music he would have continued to create.


While this album wasn’t revolutionary when it was released, his too soon after death made it an instant collectible and finding an original issue of this record would be amazing at any price.  Getting it home, I quickly realized I shouldn’t have been so excited.


The record inside was in deplorable shape, and to make matters worse, it’s a bad 70s re-issue of the 1964 original.  Yesterday, we talked about original vs. re-issued records, but it takes time to learn what label each company was issuing when.  Because John Denver’s early 70s albums originally came out with this label, I can date the manufacturing date of this record to that era.  It may actually have been overpriced at $2.


I tried my best to clean it up with my pre-moistened wipe trick, but it failed to make the record very playable.   The problem with 70’s and later records is that they found ways to make records more flexible and lighter, but to me, they just don’t hold up as well as records made before.  This record is very thin and bendable and I really think that it affects the durability of the grooves.  The cover on this record was very good by any rating scale, but the record was virtually unplayable.  It’s especially jarring on a live album, with all the background noise they naturally have already on them.

My quest for a VG copy at descent price continues…

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $968 Remaining

June 19, 2016 Everybody Loves Choosing


Dean Martin, Everybody Loves Somebody, Reprise R-6130, 1964

Sometimes,you just get lucky.  At a church run thrift store, I found TWO copies of this classic Dean Martin album, both still in their original shrink wrap.  At $1 each, it was worthy to get both, but which one would be the best one to keep and which one would I re-gift?

The one on the left is a stereo copy, which would normally be the simple, easy answer.  Stereo copies are usually more rare and since they were more expensive, they were played fewer times by their more affluent original owners.  There are some color variations in the sleeves, but Reprise, like a most independent labels, used different manufacturing plants. Finding the same album made in different places has slight variants.

But there are some other things to look for though.


The back covers are both very clean, but original owner Les Goff made sure his John Hancock was plainly visible.  Again, that would tend to make me favor the album on the left.


The inner sleeves are also in excellent shape, but the left hand one is just a plain white sleeve, while the right is a 1964 era Reprise sleeve featuring the adult music stars that made up the bulk of their roster then. Score one for the right hand side record!


The final decision, though comes down to the actual records.  The one on the left is the Reprise label from the late 60s, while the one on the right has the three colored 1964 label.  The record on the left is not the first pressing, and you always want to add an original record over a re-issue.  Even if that reissue is a clean, 48 year old stereo copy

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $1, $970 Remaing

June 10, 2016 Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound?

soundeffects3Authentic Sound Effects, Volume 2, Electra 7252, 1964

Another reason to shop at Goodwill is because of the records there can’t be found anywhere else.  For $1 I was able to listen to 26 minutes of trains and typewriters and clocks and animals.  This is literally a record that has all the bells and whistles.

I have no idea what I’ll do with it, but I’m glad I have it.  I don’t own a TV station or make any industrial presentations, what the cover tells me the record is perfect for, but I do thank whomever Jac Holzman was for compiling this album.  And it is fun to hear what Grand Central Station sounded like in 1964.


Maybe I’ll blast “Steam Locomotive” when my niece comes for a visit and won’t get up in the morning.  I could sound the “Gong Seven Strokes” at dinner time, or put on the horse effects while I call someone and pretend I’m out riding.  I’m only limited by my imagination.soundeffects

The album came out on Electra Records, an odd choice because they were a Folk label in the early 1960s.  It obviously never charted, but it really must have sold, because when I got it home I saw that the label is the Elektra version from the late 70s until the mid 80s.  Keeping an album active in a catalog only make sense if the record sells, so maybe this record could be a sleeper million seller.  And that’s something to really make some noise about.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $1, $979 Remaining