Not all record collectibles are all that old. In 2006 Classic records released a Led Zeppelin set called “Classic Records”-the Road Case Edition.” The set consists of 44 single-sided 12-inch 45s, all taken from Led Zeppelin’s first 9 studio LPs. Released in a custom suitcase carrier, it is worth up to $3,000.00.
Many of the biggest music stars began their careers under names they are not known by today. In 1963 Frank Zappa, recording under the name Bobby Guy, released the 45 “Dear Jeepers” on Donna records. A copy can get you $700.00 today. In 1964 the Supremes, then calling themselves the Primettes, recorded “Tears of Sorrow” for Lupine records. A copy is now worth up to $2,000.00
Rolling Stone magazine ranks “We Will Rock You” by Queen at #330 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2009 the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Released on Elektra records in 1977 with “We Are the Champions” on the flip side, the 45 is worth no more than $20.00 with its picture sleeve. However, the 12-inch single, as seen here, can get you $400.00 today.
On this day March 17, 1957 Elvis Presley outbids the YMCA’s offer of $35,000 and buys the Graceland mansion from Mrs. Ruth Brown-Moore for $102,500. The 23 room, 10,000 square foot home comes with 13.8 acres of land. The king makes some upgrades expanding the living space to 17,552 square feet before moving in. At one time Graceland had been a place of worship used by the Graceland Christian Church named after the builder’s daughter, Grace Toof. Sales from Elvis’ first album help make the purchase possible. Copies of the album, as seen here with front and back cover, can sell for over $500.00 today.
The “Two Virgins” album was the first John Lennon recorded void of any influence from any of the other Beatles. But it is best known for the cover, featuring a completely naked John and Yoko. Like a dirty magazine, it was distributed in a brown paper wrapper. The album with wrapper, as seen here, was released by Apple records in 1968 and can get you $150.00 today.
The title of “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues” goes to Johnny Otis. Born Greek, he said, “I prefer to be black.” He not only discovered Jackie Wilson, Big Mama Thornton, and Hank Ballard; he also recorded one of the biggest hits of 1958 with “Willie and the Hand Jive,” which can now sell for $25.00. In 1957, Dig records issued the Johnny Otis album “Rock and Roll Hit Parade.” An original copy can get you $500.00 today. Beware: counterfeits exist. The discs on original copies are rigid and noticeably thicker than the more flexible ones found on fakes. All known counterfeit records are listed and described on the Mighty John Record Appraisal Guide on CD in Microsoft word, available in the left hand column on this page.
“Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ” was the debut album for Bruce Springsteen. The album, released on Columbia records in 1973, is not a big collectible; no more than $20.00. However, the single from the album, “Spirit in the Night,” is another story. A copy can get you $4,000.00 today.
The big money in Rockabilly records has been that way for years and there is no reason to believe the values won’t continue to climb. In 1958 Bobby Lollar recorded “Bad Bad Boy” for Benton records. A copy is worth up to $2,500.00. In 1957 Chess records released the 45 “Cool Off Baby” by Billy Barrix. That can get you $10,000.00 today.
In 1954 Elvis Presley recorded “Baby Let’s Play House” on Sun records in Memphis. It was his first single to make it on the national charts, reaching # 5 on the Country charts. An original copy, whether on a 45 or 78, can get you $1,200.00 today.
Art Pepper was a saxophonist who began his career in the late 1940s with Stan Kenton. Like many other Jazz greats he found himself addicted to heroin and was locked up several times in prison. Nonetheless, his music lived at a high level until his death in 1982, the result of a brain hemorrhage. In 1956 Intro Records released the Art Pepper album “Modern Art.” An original copy can get you $2,500.00 today.