Elmo & Patsy, Will You Be Ready?, Oink 8021, 1980
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again today. You never know what you’re going to find when you look through a bargain bin of records. It’s unknown how long this essentially homemade bluegrass record sat around in Al & Joanne’s house before they dropped it off with a bunch of other records in order to clean out their basement or move. It ended up at a fairly decent local record store with a really large $1 bin.
At first glance, this record would seem to be a prime candidate for a $1 bin. Homemade bluegrass records, whether brand new or 36 years old, generally don’t have much value. What drew me to this record though was that it was recorded by Elmo & Patsy. Virtually everyone on this planet knows Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, but a much smaller subset of that group know that it was recorded by a Bay Area veterinarian called Dr. Elmo and his then wife Patsy. It’s just that no one bought Grandma for the incomparable artistry of Elmo & Patsy anymore than people watch The Godfather because Al Martino plays the wedding singer.
So, I can easily see how a bored record clerk would not recognize the name or even bother to turn the record over to see that Elmo & Patsy signed this copy “with every best wishes” to Al & Joanne. While Elmo & Patsy aren’t exactly John & Yoko to an autograph collector, it’s still a pretty neat thing to find. Especially since they haven’t signed anything together since their 1985 divorce decree. This record came out the year after Grandma was recorded, but three years before it was championed by Dr Dimento and became a worldwide sensation. I think they just seem to be a couple with day jobs that played bluegrass at night, blissful in their lack of success. They never made another non-Christmas record, and probably not just because Al & Joanne stopped being fans.
Cost: $1, $649 Remaining