The next time you find a little stash of vinyl 45 RPM singles in a resale shop somewhere, it might be worth taking the time to dig through them. That's how I found two copies of this record one day. If you know the song, no matter how good it is, chances are that record isn't worth very much. If it was a big hit, there are probably far too many copies in circulation for it to be rare. It's the ones that you don't recognize that demand special attention.
But most of the ones you don't know aren't worth much either. That's because they're not very good. The best way to prospect for gold in the vinyl record bins is to bring along a portable record player and play the obscure ones you find. If they sound really good, you may have found something valuable. But it's not always possible to play them.
If you can't play them, try reading the labels carefully. First thing to consider, what label is it on? If you find one on Chance or Grand, it could be a valuable Doo-Wop record. If you find one on Orlyn, it could be a valuable Garage Rocker. Anything on Shrine is probably a very expensive Northern Soul record. I'm now playing records from 7,660 different labels on MusicMaster Oldies. The most common are RCA, Columbia, Capitol, and Decca, but those four only account for about ten percent of the total archive. This record is on Columbia, so it might not have been that interesting. Then again, there are some very valuable Columbia singles out there, so you can't just assume it's worthless. If it's an obscure label, see if it tells you where it was made. That's another valuable clue. Look at the publishing company names. Some companies specialized in a certain genre of music. The name of the producer or arranger, if listed, can also tell you something about what kind of song it is.
Don't forget to look at the names of the composers. On this particular record, you would have seen the names Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere under the title You Better Run. Those guys are better known as The Young Rascals, who later shortened their name to just The Rascals. In fact, You Better Run is a cover version of a top 20 Young Rascals hit from 1966. A cover of a rock hit is usually very promising.
But there's something even more interesting on the other side of this record. Under Everybody's Gonna Say, you would have found the name Robert Plant among the composer credits. Yeah, THAT Robert Plant! This is early work from Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Oh, and by the way, he's singing lead on both sides of this record! The record number tells you it came from 1966, which is a full two years before The New Yardbirds were formed, which evolved into Led Zeppelin in 1969. The words "Recorded In England" on the label now make it necessary to buy this little piece of plastic. This record was first issued in England on the CBS label. It was pressed on Columbia for distribution in the United States, but it never made it on the charts. The store stock copies had a red label. The ones with a white label were promotional copies pressed for free distribution to radio stations.
I got my two copies of this record, both in like-new condition, for a quarter each! I still have one of them, but I sold the other one for $300. I probably could have held out for more. Almost makes you want to run out to the Goodwill Store and start diving into the used record bins, doesn't it?
Here's Everybody's Gonna Say by Listen on Columbia 43967 from 1966:
And here's the flip side, a cover of the Young Rascals hit, You Better Run:
I call these records Future Superstars, and you'll hear a whole lot of them when you "listen" to MusicMaster Oldies. I'll feature some more of them in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
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