In 1956 Robert Spencer of the popular Doo Wop group, the Cadillacs, wrote “My Boy Lollypop” and had it recorded by singer Barbie Gaye. As a 78 on Darl Records it’s now worth up to $75.00. It never became a big hit until alleged underworld record producer Morris Levy took the “y” out of Lollypop and then took credit for writing “My Boy Lollipop” with an “i” instead of “y.” In 1964 it became a smash on the Smash record label, selling over 6 million copies for songstress Millie Small. A mono copy of the “My Boy Lollipop” album can get you $50.00 today, a stereo copy $75.00.
On this day May 12, 1951 the # 1 record on America’s Rhythm & Blues Chart is “Rocket 88,” the song most rock historians consider to be the first rock and roll record. Sam Phillips, the man who discovered Elvis, records this classic at the Memphis Recording Studios, which would soon become Sun Records. Sax player and lead singer Jackie Brenston and his band the Delta Cats are given all the credit. But in reality the band is the Kings of Rhythm with Ike Turner who would later discover and marry Tina Turner. Released on the Chess label, the 78 is worth up to $750.00 while the 45 can sell for as much as $5,000.00 today.
Pete Seeger, one time member of the Weavers who hit #1 in 1950 with “Goodnight Irene” was a leader of the anti-establishment movement longer than any other recording artist. He wrote many songs on disarmament such as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “If I Had a Hammer.” As much as anyone else he is noted for making “We Shall Overcome” the anthem for his cause. His 1956 album “Darling Corey,” released on Folkways Records, is now worth up to $100.00.
It seems like everyone was trying to capitalize on the “Twist” as soon as Chubby Checker exploded onto the charts in 1960. There was Joey Dee with the “Peppermint Twist.” Motown was on board with “Twistin Postman” by the Marvelettes. Gary U.S Bonds scored with “Twist, Twist Senora.” RCA even promoted the Elvis single of “Rock-A-Hula Baby” as a “twist” special. And the Godfather of Soul gave the dance- craze homage with “Good Good Twistin with James Brown.” The album released on King Records can sell for $200.00 today.
Black Sabbath came out with “Master of Reality” in 1971. Released by Warner Brothers, the album was issued with two different covers. Covers with “Master of Reality” in grey letters are worth up to $50.00. But first issues had the title embossed in black as seen here in the middle. It also came with a poster as seen on the right making that album version worth up to $200.00 today.
Jimmy Soul had a #1 hit in 1963 with a song that Rush Limbaugh said feminists would probably protest if it were on the radio today. “If You Want to be Happy (For the Rest of Your Life, Make a Ugly Woman Your Wife)” was Jimmy Soul’s second hit. A copy can sell up to $50.00 with its picture sleeve. In 1962 he charted with “Twistin’ Matilda.” Both songs had been turned down by the record label’s hottest star, Gary U.S. Bonds. The “If You Want to be Happy” album, released on S.P.Q.R records, can sell for $100.00 today.
Robert Mitchum was one of the greatest actors of his generation. In 1955 he starred in the movie “Night of the Hunter” where he played the proverbial sheep in wolf’s clothing. A minister turned serial killer; he plans to steal the fortune from a widow with small children. The music was provided by Walter Schumann. The original soundtrack album, released by RCA, can get you $200.00 today. “Night of the Hunter” is just one of the 10,000 soundtracks listed on our Soundtracks CD, covering movies, TV shows, and Broadway shows. It’s available in the left hand column.
Although “Dirty Water” by the Standells broke out first as a regional hit in Florida, it will forever be an anthem in Boston where it’s played following victories by the Red Sox and Bruins. With its references to the Charles river, the Boston Strangler, and the frustration of the city’s coeds for having to be in “by 12 o’clock,” “Dirty Water” is ranked by Rolling Stone magazine among its list of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.” The “Dirty Water” album, released by Tower records in 1966, is worth up to $100.00 in mono and $150.00 in stereo. In 1965 Vee Jay Records released the 45 “The Boy Next Door” by the Standells. A copy with picture sleeve, as seen here, can sell for $200.00 today.
On this day in 1997 Governor George W. Bush declares May 5th as ZZ Top day in Texas. ZZ Top’s first album was called “First Album.” Released in 1971 on London records, a copy is worth up to $200.00 today. Their first 45 “Salt Lick” was released on Scat Records in 1969 and can now sell for $125.00.
Mickey Dolenz has done it all in his professional career as an actor, Rock N Roll singer, director, and radio personality. It all started in 1956 when he starred in the TV show “Circus Boy.” But it’s his fame as a member of the Monkees that he will always be known for best. In 1967 Challenge Records released the Mickey Dolenz single “Huff Puff.” A copy with picture sleeve is worth up to $100.00. In 1972, long after the end of the Monkees’ TV show, Mickey recorded with Michael Lloyd as a member of Starship. They had a 45 in 1972 called “It’s Amazing to Me.” Released on Lion records, a copy can get you $150.00 today.