In 1927 Perfect records released the 78rpm single “Babe & Lou” (the Homerun Twins) by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. They don’t sing but instead do a comedy routine. The record may have a different value to a collector of Yankees or sports memorabilia but to a record collector the value is up to $250.00 today.
Dwight Yoakam was first rejected by Nashville for being “too Country.” So he headed to California where his hero Buck Owens lived. His 1984 EP on Oak records “Guitar, Cadillacs, etc.” helped him get that Nashville deal after all. Reprise records added four songs. The LP version on Reprise from 1986 is worth no more than $10.00 but the Oak records original from 1984 is worth up to $1,000.00 today.
Pledging My Love” by Johnny Ace is one of Rock N Roll’s early classics. With the mystery surrounding the death of Johnny Ace, supposedly from playing Russian Roulette, the song has become legendary. A 78 or 45 rpm version on Duke records from 1955 has two separate values. Copies with added background voices are worth up to $40.00. But copies without background voices are up to $150.00 today. Both 45 and 78 are shown here.
Some say he’s a visionary. Some say he’s flaky. One thing everyone can agree on is that Neil Young is a Rock icon. His third album “After the Gold Rush” features seventeen-year-old Nils Lofgren on guitar. The value of the album, released by Reprise records in 1970, all depends on the cover. If the title is in yellow lettering the value is no more than $10.00 but if the title is in red lettering the value is up to $250.00.
The Chiffons was one of the best known girl-groups of the sixties with hits like “One Fine Day” and “A Love So Fine.” Their biggest hit “He’s So Fine” was released on Laurie records in 1963 and is worth up to $40.00 today. But their first single “Tonight’s The Night,” issued by Big Deal records, is now worth up to $150.00.
All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley shot up the Billboard charts in March of 1957. It stayed at number 1 for eight weeks in a row. It was also Elvis’ first number 1 song on the British charts. With sales of two million copies, Billboard listed it as the number 1 song for all of 1957. The 45 with picture sleeve, released by RCA, is worth up to $150.00 today.
Diane Renay was another Philadelphia success story along with the city’s other stars like Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell. She had her one big hit when she was seventeen. “Navy Blue” hit Billboards’ top 10 in February of 1964. The single can get you up to $35.00. The album “Navy Blue” was released by 20th Century Fox the same year. A mono copy is worth up to $150.00. A stereo copy can get you up to $300.00 today
Rare Earth was Motown’s first successful all-white band and recorded on Motown’s Rare Earth record label. They had a run of hits in the early 1970s like “I Just Want To Celebrate” and a cover version of the Temptations’ “Get Ready.” Their 1970 album “Rare Earth Generation” is their most valuable. It’s worth up to $600.00 today.
“Strutter” is a song written by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Released as a single by Kiss in 1974 with “100,000 Years” on the flip side, it failed to make the charts. Peter Criss, the original drummer for Kiss, said “Strutter” is his favorite Kiss song. Issued on Casablanca records, the 45 is worth up to $400.00 today.
“Plains, Trains, and Automobiles” is one of those movies that has become a Thanksgiving tradition to watch. It’s the story of Steve Martin trying to get home in time for the holiday while traveling with John Candy. In one part of the film, Candy lip-syncs to the Ray Charles classic “Mess Around.” A 78 rpm version from 1953 on a red and black Atlantic record label is worth up to $150.00. An original 45 rpm version on a yellow and black Atlantic record label is worth up to $300.00 today.
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas was Motown’s second most popular and successful girl-group of the sixties. Martha Reeves states in her autobiography that she and the Vandellas could have been more successful but were held back because Barry Gordy was obsessed with showcasing Diana Ross & the Supremes. As a result, bad feelings developed between Reeves and Ross. The 1963 album “Come and Get These Memories” by Martha and The Vandellas, released on Gordy records, is worth up to $400.00 in mono. Stereo versions are worth up to $600.00 today.
What’s the most valuable Christmas record of all time? It’s the 1957 “Elvis Christmas Album” on RCA identified by the catalog number LOC-1035 that appears on the cover. The common black vinyl copies are worth up to $600.00. The gold gift-giving sticker that appeared on some of the covers (as shown here) adds another $200.00 to the value. The rare red vinyl copies are valued up to $18,000.00. The album includes Elvis’ most popular Christmas song, “Blue Christmas.”
Vee Jay records issued most of the Beatles’ hits before they signed with Capitol Records. Those Vee Jay hits include “Please Please Me,” “Do You Want to Know a Secret,” and “From Me to You.” In 1964 Vee Jay printed the Beatles’ faces and the words “We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” on record sleeves and issued them with various Vee Jay singles throughout the holiday season. A copy of the sleeve is worth up to $350.00 today.
Linda Scott hit the charts twelve times in the early to mid-1960s. Her biggest hit came in 1961 with “I’ve Told Every Little Star.” It sold over a million copies. An original 45 on Canadian American records is worth up to $40.00. More hits followed like “I Don’t Know Why” and “I Left My Heart in the Balcony.” In 1962 Congress records released the album “Linda.” A mono copy is worth up to $75.00, up to $150.00 in stereo.
The Marvelettes was one of Motown’s most successful girl groups with hits like “Please Mr. Postman” and “Beechwood 45789.” But in 1962 they released an album where they covered the hits of other stars of the day. There are two different covers as shown here, both released by Tamla records. The one titled “The Marveletts Sing” is worth up to $300.00.(Note the last “e” is left off the spelling of their name). The same album but with the title “Marvelettes Sing Smash Hits of ’62” is worth up to $450.00.
In 1965 Mel Carter had one of the biggest hits of the year with “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.” The album on Imperial records is worth up to $25.00. Two years earlier Sam Cooke signed him to Derby records. The result was Mel’s first hit “When a Boy Falls in Love.” The 45 is worth up to $50.00 but the album of “When a Boy Falls in Love,” released on Derby records in 1963, is worth up to $300.00 today.
The “Beatles Second Album,” released on Capitol records in 1964, made it to number one by knocking their first album for Capitol “Meet the Beatles” out of first place. Critics say it’s the best pure Rock N Roll album the Beatles ever made. A 1964 original stereo copy is worth up to $150.00 and up to $400.00 in mono. It featured their only hit for Swan records, “She Loves You.” An original copy on a white label with red print can fetch $500.00 today.
Directed by Otto Preminger, “River Of No Return,” was a 1954 movie starring Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe. Problems like frequent rain, Monroe’s ankle injury, and Mitchum’s heavy drinking added weeks to the shooting schedule. Monroe has been quoted as saying it was her worse movie. A 1962 release of the 45 on 20TH Century Fox can sell up to $100.00. The 78 of “River Of No Return” with “I’m Gonna File My Claim” on the flip side was released to radio in 1954 by RCA. With Marilyn Monroe’s picture on the label, it’s worth up to $300.00 today.
In 1979 George Harrison released the single “Love Comes to Everyone.” It was the second single released that year from the album “George Harrison.” The single never made the charts and because of its rarity it can be quite valuable today. Issued by Dark Horse records, the 45 with its picture sleeve, is worth up to $500.00.
In 1963, with the release of the album “The Freewheelin Bob Dylan,” Columbia records sent radio stations promo copies of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Any copy is worth up to $300.00. Also included was a sleeve, blank on front and a “Rebel with a Cause” description of Dylan on the back, which begins with the words “Twenty-one-year old Bob Dylan has become in one short year the most talked about folk music talent in more than a decade.” The sleeve, as shown here, is worth up to $700.00 by itself.