Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

9

Amanda Petrusich – Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78 rpm Records

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
That said, I do own a few 78s, nothing special and nothing rare. I have a Glenn Miller set (on Bluebird and a single Victor ("In the Mood" 20-1565-B, black label) from the '40s, something my parents would have listened to when first married before World War II. They saw him live in Houston, where they were living at the time. My dad love Glenn Miller. He represented what popular music was to my dad in that tumultuous period. I also have a copy of Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys' "San Antonio Rose" on Okeh (04755 (DAL615), purple label), but I am, in no way obsessed as Petrusich and her subjects are. Bob Wills was taking jazz West in 1930, when this was recorded (with a B- side of "The Convict and The Rose." I failed to mention my MGM copy of Hank Williams with his Drifting Cowboys' "Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (11283-A, metrolite yellow label). But there is nothing special about it. Williams recorded this June 13, 1952 at the Castle Studio, Tulane Hotel, Nashville Tennessee. "Jambalaya" was also released in the relatively new format of the 7-inch 45 rpm record. And I did not spend all of my child's college tuition on the ones I have, nor am I as detail crazy as this bunch of lunatics.

Nor would I do something truly crazy like scuba dive the Milwaukee River where someone 80 years ago might have tossed old masters and discs for sport, as the author claims to. I was told of a farmer in Northwest Arkansas who had a barn full of 78 records still in the original boxes fill a 25' x 25' x 25' room. Said it was from overflow at the pressing plants up North. Said he would sell the whole lot for $450.00. I only had $100.00. I did forget to mention one of my favorite 78s, Brinkley Arkansas' own Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five's "Saturday Night Fish Fry" on Decca (75123, black label). And, for that matter I will do these know-it-alls in Petrusich's book, I own not only a 1930s vintage Victrola, but an Edison Amberola also. These guys believe that this music sounds best played from these deteriorating shellacs on modern equipment. I say listen on the equipment for which the discs were intended...that is truly "period practice." But who cares anyway. It's just a bunch of old- timey music on inferior media.

As a closing note, backing out of this Ms Petrusich's case study on this unique brand of madness, if there is any reader with an original copy of Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues" on Okeh (8597, red label... not the blue or black labels (I have them), the red label, damnit!), I would appreciate you contacting me via email. I must have the original recording of the ground zero of jazz. I am not obsessed. Also, I am looking for a copy of Jimmie Rodger's "T.B. Blues" on Victor (23535- A, blac...

Collecting old 78s is a mental illness in search of its DSM designation. Oh, such sweet madness.

Shop

More Articles

Read Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge Book Reviews Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2017
Read Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie Book Reviews Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 25, 2016
Read Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth Book Reviews Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 25, 2016
Read Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert Book Reviews Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2016
Read Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight Book Reviews Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight
by Chuck Koton
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "50 Summers of Music: Montreux Jazz Festival" Book Reviews 50 Summers of Music: Montreux Jazz Festival
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "The Band Photographs 1968-1969" Book Reviews The Band Photographs 1968-1969
by Doug Collette
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities" Book Reviews Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Jazz Festival: Jim Marshall" Book Reviews Jazz Festival: Jim Marshall
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Whisper Not: The Autobiography Of Benny Golson" Book Reviews Whisper Not: The Autobiography Of Benny Golson
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!