Treasures of the Collection

Treasures of the Collection

Explore!! There are so many great finds within this library.

R. Crumb Bean "Needs" a Certain Record

Within the collection of well over 650,000 LPs, 78s, 45s, cylinders and related ephemera, there are a helluva lot of very precious musical artifacts we’re gonna call treasures of the archive, ’cause they are.

Of course, all of the “Perfect Record” award winners are audio treasures too, but some of this bountiful booty needs to be seen to be believed. It’s all real, and all part of the collection and none of it is borrowed or taken from the world weird web or the internettles. We recommend that you try your best not to “need” treasures like these or you may end up like R. Crumb’s bean in desparate “need,” quite likely for the rest of your life.

From time to time, we’ll be sharing some of the best of this eye candy right here.

Acid Test Poster (late 1965)

Poster mostly drawn by Norm Hartweg (with a little bit of
help from his fellow traveling Prankster pal, Paul Foster).

Woody Guthrie

This rare Ethnic Folkways 78 album was part of a collection belonging to an older bohemian woman who decided by 1969 that her gypsy lifestyle wasn’t conducive to taking care of her collection of 78s, a few of which were breaking every time she moved.

Glenn bought the collection and spent the rest of the day listening to her stories about Woody and the glory days of NYC during the infancy of the post-war folk music underground that had just moved into overdrive with the success of the Weavers. She had lived with the Guthries starting in the late 40s. Woody inscribed this to her for Christmas of 1949. Woody’s wife Marjorie, inserted a little comment referring to the birth of her own daughter.Read More…

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe records were pouring into the collection by the mid-60s and have always been a priority ever since. This scarce 78 album is her first, from 1945. Like Memphis Minnie, this woman could not only sing up a pre-Aretha storm but then tear it up, down and over on the guitar. She soon acquired and electric and continued to record well into the LP era.Read More…

Lonnie Johnson

This rare mint copy of the first (78rpm) album by the great blues singer and guitarist Lonnie Johnson. It was recorded by Moses Asch of Folkways Records, who recorded so much great music for his highly original little labels. Incidentaly, the music writers in the media, the web and Wikipedia constantly refer to Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and the like as have been recorded or worse yet “taped” by “Smithsonian Folkways.” Read More…

Tom Lehrer Revisited - Introduction (1960)

Collecting is creepy. Record collectors put each other down for their various fixations. Everybody is convinced that his way of collecting is superior. They look down on casual collectors, who are just accumulators ” the kind who ‘ll just pick up anything and let it pile up. A true collector is more of a connoisseur, and that’s the good thing about collecting. It creates a connoisseurship to sort out what’s worthwhile in the culture and what isn’t. Wealthy art collectors in this country have sorted out who the great artists are. If you’re collecting a lot of objects of one particular kind, you develop a very acute sense of discrimination. “- Robert Crumb quote taken from the book, “Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting” by Brett Milano.

A Tom Lehrer Record You’ve Never Heard Before…

3 Responses to Treasures of the Collection

  1. DJ RADIONIC says:

    Great article, just the reason I try to preserve many old 78 discs. look forward to seeing more articles like this one, cheers

    • 78s are the last frontier of record collecting, simply because most of the stores don’t have the knowledge and / or can’t afford to take the space to even try to sell them, so they are the most likely records to have not been picked through. Even still, collectors view anything outside of their own interests as junk, and most are looking only for blues, jazz and rock so they often pass up many interesting records of other genres. Wonderful old pop, post-war country, big bands and especially foreign 78s can still be found left behind by collectors who don’t believe they are rare enough to bother with, which of course, is a very WRONG opinion.

  2. No matter how many records a record store has, it you are still looking at what is left over after the collectors made off with the really good stuff which is now stashed away in their individual caves like they are some kind of hunting trophies, which they are. You can always find something to spend your money on, but this is a record library / museum that includes the best copy of every record of some 14 million that I pawed through since I started collecting 78s at 12. I had an visionary epiphany in 1968 that the future might not be tolerant of worn and scratchy records and that continually upgrading toward mint copies (or at least the best copy) of everything was how to accomplish that. I used to blow out the duplicate records every year out of my mother’s garage and backyard in Palo Alto for decades. Stores are also limited by the knowledge of the owners and employees who usually specialize in rock or a very few genres and often miss little treasures from non-collectible record reject especially if they aren’t in the price guides. They buy records that they are pretty sure they can turn into the old cash-ola and consequently reject or throw out records of cultural or historic value because they believe that no one wants to buy them. I’m quite delighted to see young people, especially women, collecting records and we will be selling more duplicates in the future as soon as we can find someone with a garage / backyard to stage a sale. I also have nearly a thousand LPs on Amazon under glennallenhoward, mostly top condition original pressings.

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