The Dixie Cups, Chapel Of Love, Red Bird RBS 20-100, 1964
I really couldn’t believe my luck when I found this record in a $2 bin. Not only is it the landmark debut of both The Dixie Cups and Red Bird Records, it’s also a rare Stereo copy that in mint condition is valued at $80. This album is prized for being a true masterpiece of the 60s Girl Group sound, and there are songs written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Lieber & Stoller, and Phil Spector. Any Red Bird release is very collectable, and this was the label’s first album release. True, this isn’t a mint copy, but it still plays well and this is an amazing record without a bad track on it.
The only reason I didn’t immediately feature it was because it also another landmark album of a more dubious fame. This is one of the more famous record jackets from an African American group that feature white people (in this case represented by wedding cake figurines). There is no picture of the group anywhere on the record, supposedly so as not to offend white record buyers in certain parts of the country. It’s hard to imagine that as late as 1964 that this would still be a thing, but here it is. I wanted to have a theme week of these covers, perhaps for Black History Month, but as luck would have it, this was the only affordable one I ever found.
It stands to reason too. These records are usually by Motown or Soul artists and came out in a time where the single was the preferred commercial format for music geared to younger buyers. Albums of the 50s and 60s usually sold to adults and the pre-Beatles album charts are usually filled with soundtracks, broadway titles and adult themed music. Original Motown records and other Soul classics didn’t sell in the same numbers and they are all very pricey to buy today. You’ll just have to imagine the drawing of the mailbox on The Marvelettes’ Please Mr. Postman and the smiling white couple on a beach on The Isley Brothers’ This Old Heart Of Mine or be prepared to shell out $200 each for a copy of them.
Cost: $2, $170 Remaining