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Here’s an example of a very valuable “promo” record by the Beatles. Released on Vee-Jay Records in 1964 the 45 with “Anna” on one side and “Ask Me Why” on the other side can now sell for $25,000.00.
Gladys Knight & the Pips began their rise to stardom in 1953 and for the next 35 years the hits just kept on comin’. The first hit was “Every Beat of my Heart.” Next up was “Letter Full of Tears.” Then the flood gates opened with smashes like “Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Among the records sought by collectors is the 1964 album on Waxx Records called “Gladys Knight & the Pips.” A copy is worth up to $125.00 today.
In 1996 Isaac Hayes, who wrote the classic “I’m a Soul Man” for Sam and Dave sent presidential candidate Bob Dole a letter requesting Dole supporters stop using the phrase “I’m a Dole Man.” The Sam and Dave album “Soul Men,” released on Stax Records in 1967 can fetch $50.00 today. Isaac Hayes’ first single of “C.C. Rider” on Youngstown Records is now worth up to $100.00. As far as we know Bob Dole has no vinyl record, just a political one. And we thank him for his service.
Jack Kerouac was a writer and poet who came to be the idol of the “Beat Generation.” A deep Catholic faith as a child led him to think of himself as a saint. Later in his life, Buddhism would also be a major influence. Among his most famous novels was “On the Road,” which was about his continuous search for God. In 1959 Hanover Records released his album “Poetry for the Beat Generation.” An original copy is worth up to $400.00 today.
In February of 1974 Casablanca records released the first Kiss album. First issues do not contain the song “Kissin’Time.” In July the album was re issued and this time with “Kissin’ Time.” The Kiss album containing “Kissin’ Time” is worth no more than $20.00, but copies without “Kissin’ Time” can get you $750.00 today.
In September of 1971 the Grateful Dead have their ex-manager arrested for embezzling $70,000.00. Peace and love is nice, brother, but let’s face it; it is all about the money. Instead of stealing, maybe their manager should have scooped up some of the Dead’s records, like the single “Dark Star” from 1968. Released on Warner Brothers Records, the 45 is now worth up to $200.00. Add another $200.00 for the picture sleeve.
In October of 1972 Michael Jackson made a rat a star when he hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Ben.” It was his third time in Billboard’s top spot. He was 13. The rat was a little younger. The album, released on Motown, featured two different covers. The version showing just Michael Jackson on the cover is worth up to $20.00. But a cover showing Michael and a rat can sell for $75.00 today.
A song first recorded in 1939 in the Zulu language in South Africa as “Mbube” was number one for 4 weeks in the early 1960’s when a doo-wop group known as the Tokens makes “Mbube” a true classic that everyone knows as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The 45, released on RCA, is worth up to $25.00 while a stereo copy of the album can sell for over $100.00 today.
Here’s a bit of Rock and Roll trivia. What month and year did the Beatles first appear on the Billboard charts? And what was the name of the record? Well, it happened in August of 1963 when “From Me to You” debuts at #116. The 45, released by Vee-Jay Records in the U.S, is now worth up to $700.00. It was also released that same year in Canada on Capitol Records and can now sell for $600.00.
“The Way You Look Tonight” was a Doo Wop classic for the Jaguars in 1956. The song was originally done in 1936 by Fred Astaire in the movie “Swing Time.” It won an Academy Award for best original song. In 1961 the song was the first hit for the Lettermen and has been recorded by many over the years. But the big money belongs to the Jaguars. A black vinyl copy with “Moonlight and You” on the flip side, released on R-Dell Records, is worth up to $450.00. A red vinyl copy can sell for $1,200.00 today.