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The Greatest Record Finds Of All Time 2008

The Greatest Record Finds Of All Time 2008 cover

Following on from the Graham Warr thread, I figured that this is the time to start collating some of those UNBELIEVABLE U.S. Northern finds. Or unbelievable disappointments too.

From experience, it's quite often the unexpected ones which turn out to be killers!

So here's an example from me, just to kick things off....

In 1988 I was stuck in a pretty boring job in between my more exciting jobs when I got a phone call from my ex boss who used to own the Warehouse in Leeds. He'd recently moved out to Denver, Colorado and was thinking about opening a club out there, so he invited me over for 10 days and offered to send the plane tickets!

Which was perfect! Anything to get out of the MCPS in Streatham which was slowly killing me.....

Also, at the back of my mind, I figured that Denver is in the middle of nowhere so the chances of any Northern collectors actually CHOOSING to go to Denver or even Colorado was remote - they'd have to go roughly 1000 miles from anywhere else to the middle of cowboy country to look for Northern. Unlikely.....

So I got there, got settled in at my bosses pad and then began a week of trawling every store in Denver whilst looking at potential club premises.

And.......nothing!

A complete bust.

Crap.

I couldn't believe it. Quite often there'd be promising situations, i.e., plenty of the right labels from the right era and cheap. But somehow there were never the right artists or smaller labels and WAAAY too much Country & Western for my liking.....

It got to day 9 - the day before I was due to fly back and there was one store about 15 miles out of Denver which I hadn't tried yet. The only problem was that my ex-boss was busy that day and wouldn't be able to run me over there. I'd have to get there via about three buses which would be a pain in the ass.

Anyway, I set off. It took me almost 2 hours to get there but when I got there my heart started pounding! The shop looked FANTASTIC with 100ft long racks of 45's from floor to ceiling. So I got digging....

And nothing! Tons of the right labels, lots of the right artists but NO NORTHERN!!

The shop owner even let me in the back room to go through the unsorted stuff so I got covered in cobwebs, rat shit and dust going through hundred-count boxes of Luther Ingram, Staple Singers and Bar-Kays records but still NO NORTHERN!

After a couple of hours and covered in shit from head-to-toe, I called it a day and headed back to the bus stop for the trek back. And dammit, I just missed a bus and the next one was in an hour. So I had an hour to kill in the middle of Buttfuck, Denver with no records!

Great.

So I went into a burger bar and got a burger and coffee and went to sit at the window booth. As I was chomping my burger I was casually looking out of the window looking across a parking lot and, beyond that a dual carriageway, when in the distance, at the other side of the dual carriageway, I saw a sign which said "1940 Jukebox Co".

I wasn't that excited but I had a bit more time to kill and I like those early Wurlitzer jukeboxes anyway, so I thought I'd have a wander over there and have a look. Nothing better to do.....

So I crossed the dual carriageway and walked up to a huge building which had a shop front with a couple of Wurlitzer jukeboxes in the window. I looked at 'em for a while and then casually wandered into the shop.

As I went through the door into the shop, I noticed an alcove on the right-hand side which was roped-off but which was full of racks of records in what looked to be strict alphabetical order.

I still wasn't that excited - I thought they'd all be ex-jukebox records, 'oldies but goodies' or the dreaded Ferlin Husky or Merle Haggard stuff which Denver was filled with.

There was a long-haired bearded native Indian bloke at the counter, so I wandered up and said "Wow. Love these jukeboxes man. What do you play on 'em"?

He said: "I've got over a million records in there (pointing at the alcove), so we ain't gonna run out anytime soon son".

I said: "Wow. A million ay? Are they for sale"?

He said: "Yep. As a matter of fact it's your lucky day son. I'm having a sale, so anything you want is 25 cents each."

And with that, he walked around the counter, down to the alcove, unhooked the rope to the entrance and ushered me in.

I took a deep breath. This actually looked promising. The alphabetizing of his stock was incredible with the 'A' section starting off with A, AA, AB, ABE, etc, etc. Far too intricate for just ex-juke-box titles. But it could still all be Country and Western though so I still wasn't getting too excited....

So, I thought what record have I never managed to find in all my previous trips to the U.S.? One I really like preferably.....? And it had always bugged me that I'd never managed to find a Stanley Mitchell "Get It Baby" one of my favourite records of all time.

So I went to the 'M' section, scrolled along - M..., MA..., ME..., MI...., MIT..., MITCH.........

And found 2 mint white promo copies of "Get It Baby" on Dynamo!

That was when my heart started pounding!

Everything was in there! All the major label stuff, lots of tiny indie labels, tons of New York, L.A., Detroit and Chicago goodies.

I ended up staying there until 12.00pm that night. The owner even locked me up in the shop so he could get some dinner. I bought 2,800 records for $700 and made close to £30,000 and massively increased my Northern collection at the time. It was easily the best hit I've ever had in my entire life. The 'Holy Grail' in fact.

But only around 10-11 hours to cover a million records? I had to go back to the UK the next day, so the only thing I could do was target things I could remember and adopt a kind of 'scattergun' approach which is absolutely the worst way to clear a warehouse.

And to this day, I wake up in a cold sweat every so often, dreaming of what I left behind at the 1940 Jukebox Company.

A few months after my visit, Dave Raistrick found the place and had a hell of a hit himself. But he couldn't understand why a lot of the obvious titles weren't there until he asked the guy whether anyone else from England had been there and the guy said. "Well there was this tall, dark-haired guy here a couple of months ago...........".

I caught up with Dave a year or two later at a record fair and he said "Denver, Colorado. Was that you"?

And I said "Yep"!

Got loads more but I thought I'd kick off with a monster. I know Tim, Johnny, Ady, Kev and most U.S. crate-diggers have their own great tales, so let's hear 'em. It doesn't have to be a successful story. I've had some monumental disappointments too. But it's always good to share the tales LOL.....

Ian D :thumbup:




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Following on from the Graham Warr thread, I figured that this is the time to start collating some of those UNBELIEVABLE U.S. Northern finds. Or unbelievable disappointments too.

From experience, it's quite often the unexpected ones which turn out to be killers!

So here's an example from me, just to kick things off....

In 1988 I was stuck in a pretty boring job in between my more exciting jobs when I got a phone call from my ex boss who used to own the Warehouse in Leeds. He'd recently moved out to Denver, Colorado and was thinking about opening a club out there, so he invited me over for 10 days and offered to send the plane tickets!

Which was perfect! Anything to get out of the MCPS in Streatham which was slowly killing me.....

Also, at the back of my mind, I figured that Denver is in the middle of nowhere so the chances of any Northern collectors actually CHOOSING to go to Denver or even Colorado was remote - they'd have to go roughly 1000 miles from anywhere else to the middle of cowboy country to look for Northern. Unlikely.....

So I got there, got settled in at my bosses pad and then began a week of trawling every store in Denver whilst looking at potential club premises.

And.......nothing!

A complete bust.

Crap.

I couldn't believe it. Quite often there'd be promising situations, i.e., plenty of the right labels from the right era and cheap. But somehow there were never the right artists or smaller labels and WAAAY too much Country & Western for my liking.....

It got to day 9 - the day before I was due to fly back and there was one store about 15 miles out of Denver which I hadn't tried yet. The only problem was that my ex-boss was busy that day and wouldn't be able to run me over there. I'd have to get there via about three buses which would be a pain in the ass.

Anyway, I set off. It took me almost 2 hours to get there but when I got there my heart started pounding! The shop looked FANTASTIC with 100ft long racks of 45's from floor to ceiling. So I got digging....

And nothing! Tons of the right labels, lots of the right artists but NO NORTHERN!!

The shop owner even let me in the back room to go through the unsorted stuff so I got covered in cobwebs, rat shit and dust going through hundred-count boxes of Luther Ingram, Staple Singers and Bar-Kays records but still NO NORTHERN!

After a couple of hours and covered in shit from head-to-toe, I called it a day and headed back to the bus stop for the trek back. And dammit, I just missed a bus and the next one was in an hour. So I had an hour to kill in the middle of Buttfuck, Denver with no records!

Great.

So I went into a burger bar and got a burger and coffee and went to sit at the window booth. As I was chomping my burger I was casually looking out of the window looking across a parking lot and, beyond that a dual carriageway, when in the distance, at the other side of the dual carriageway, I saw a sign which said "1940 Jukebox Co".

I wasn't that excited but I had a bit more time to kill and I like those early Wurlitzer jukeboxes anyway, so I thought I'd have a wander over there and have a look. Nothing better to do.....

So I crossed the dual carriageway and walked up to a huge building which had a shop front with a couple of Wurlitzer jukeboxes in the window. I looked at 'em for a while and then casually wandered into the shop.

As I went through the door into the shop, I noticed an alcove on the right-hand side which was roped-off but which was full of racks of records in what looked to be strict alphabetical order.

I still wasn't that excited - I thought they'd all be ex-jukebox records, 'oldies but goodies' or the dreaded Ferlin Husky or Merle Haggard stuff which Denver was filled with.

There was a long-haired bearded native Indian bloke at the counter, so I wandered up and said "Wow. Love these jukeboxes man. What do you play on 'em"?

He said: "I've got over a million records in there (pointing at the alcove), so we ain't gonna run out anytime soon son".

I said: "Wow. A million ay? Are they for sale"?

He said: "Yep. As a matter of fact it's your lucky day son. I'm having a sale, so anything you want is 25 cents each."

And with that, he walked around the counter, down to the alcove, unhooked the rope to the entrance and ushered me in.

I took a deep breath. This actually looked promising. The alphabetizing of his stock was incredible with the 'A' section starting off with A, AA, AB, ABE, etc, etc. Far too intricate for just ex-juke-box titles. But it could still all be Country and Western though so I still wasn't getting too excited....

So, I thought what record have I never managed to find in all my previous trips to the U.S.? One I really like preferably.....? And it had always bugged me that I'd never managed to find a Stanley Mitchell "Get It Baby" one of my favourite records of all time.

So I went to the 'M' section, scrolled along - M..., MA..., ME..., MI...., MIT..., MITCH.........

And found 2 mint white promo copies of "Get It Baby" on Dynamo!

That was when my heart started pounding!

Everything was in there! All the major label stuff, lots of tiny indie labels, tons of New York, L.A., Detroit and Chicago goodies.

I ended up staying there until 12.00pm that night. The owner even locked me up in the shop so he could get some dinner. I bought 2,800 records for $700 and made close to £30,000 and massively increased my Northern collection at the time. It was easily the best hit I've ever had in my entire life. The 'Holy Grail' in fact.

But only around 10-11 hours to cover a million records? I had to go back to the UK the next day, so the only thing I could do was target things I could remember and adopt a kind of 'scattergun' approach which is absolutely the worst way to clear a warehouse.

And to this day, I wake up in a cold sweat every so often, dreaming of what I left behind at the 1940 Jukebox Company.

A few months after my visit, Dave Raistrick found the place and had a hell of a hit himself. But he couldn't understand why a lot of the obvious titles weren't there until he asked the guy whether anyone else from England had been there and the guy said. "Well there was this tall, dark-haired guy here a couple of months ago...........".

I caught up with Dave a year or two later at a record fair and he said "Denver, Colorado. Was that you"?

And I said "Yep"!

Got loads more but I thought I'd kick off with a monster. I know Tim, Johnny, Ady, Kev and most U.S. crate-diggers have their own great tales, so let's hear 'em. It doesn't have to be a successful story. I've had some monumental disappointments too. But it's always good to share the tales LOL.....

Ian D :thumbsup:

hell of a story that but why did you not reschedule your flights knowing what was there. i was in the states in the 70s quite a bit in the royal navy and i hate to think how close i was to a fortune , but women and beer were the order of the day then

kev

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Very simple Kevin...

A word begining with a 'c' and ending with a 't' mate.

Commitment.

Had other stuff going on that I had to get back for. Plus the basis of the trip wasn't actually to find records but to scout potential club sites and then I had to get back to mundane reality back home.

If I'd have found the place at the beginning of the trip that would've been a different story and you'd probably be reading my price guides now LOL....

Just the rich tapestry of life again...........

Ian D :thumbsup:

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Hi Ian , tell everyone about the find you had in LA under the tarpaulin , you found loads of Sements of time on Sussex etc .First read this story in Pat Brady's " Talk of the north " fanzine years ago , sure it could do with a re -telling now .Cheers ,Eddie

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Very simple Kevin...

A word begining with a 'c' and ending with a 't' mate.

Commitment.

Ian D :rolleyes:

Bet you felt a bit of a "Commitment" for not having MADE the time Ian. :thumbsup:

Brilliant story by the way!........makes my 10 pence Chubby Checker look expensive :rolleyes::

Edited by Steve Lane

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As this was a first hit what about all the crossover (which was quite a new genre back in 88!) and deep stuff that must have been there, the mind bogles :thumbsup::rolleyes: .

Makes my Grassroots Records (Arizona) hit very tame.

What about the pizza (via Concord) story Ian?

BH

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Hi Ian , tell everyone about the find you had in LA under the tarpaulin , you found loads of Sements of time on Sussex etc .First read this story in Pat Brady's " Talk of the north " fanzine years ago , sure it could do with a re -telling now .Cheers ,Eddie

Haha LOL. That was another great accident.

I was in east L.A. driving around looking for a Saturday morning 'swap-meet' (or flea market) and somehow I just couldn't find the place where the swap meet was meant to be. I was driving mile after mile along all these roads with heavy industrial complexes and factories as far as the eye could see but no sign of any swap meet.

As I was driving along one of these bleak, endless roads I noticed a hamburger stall coming up on the roadside with quite a few people milling around, so I slowed down, figuring I could ask someone where the swap meet might be. It was then that I noticed that there was a sort of household goods market right next to the hamburger van.

So I parked up, 'cos I fancied a coffee and there were a couple of coffee type stalls within the market. So I got a coffee and had a mooch around the market. It was all stepladders, dusters, cleaning fluids, tool kits, buckets, bowls and thousands of other household goods. I'd pretty much covered the whole market when I noticed a stall nearest the road which had a couple of boxes of 45's in amongst all the household shit....

I wandered over, set my coffee down and started flicking through the 45's. It really wasn't very promising - I expected lots of junk and some of the records looked beaten up.......but.......

Bingo!

I found "We Were Made For Each Other" - Terrible Tom on Maverick.......and then another one!

And then I found "You Don't Love Me Anymore" - Johnny Caswell on a pink Decca demo several records later. Things were looking up suddenly. After I'd gone through both boxes I'd found a few more so-so's - Candace Love, Fred Hughes and a couple of others, I asked the guy how much they were and he said, "Oh, just gimme 25 cents each man". So I gave him a couple of bucks and said, "Wow. I found a few things here. It's a shame you don't have any more."

The guy looked at me and said "You want more 45's"?

I said, "Yeah, that's what I'm looking for".

And the guy said, "Yo, come around here" and waved me round to the back of his stall where there was a huge rain-soaked tarpulin covering an area about 20' x 20'...

He then grabbed hold of one side of the tarpulin and threw it back to reveal......

about 20,000 45's!

He laughed and said "Help yourself. Good luck."

They were in a right state! Some of 'em were warped from the sun, others had been wet at some time and were water-damaged and most of the sleeves were falling apart or rotting.

But everything away from the edges of the tarpulin and in the middle of all this plastic was fine!

I found 50 x "Love Factory" - Eloise Laws on Music Merchant, 50 x "Memories" by the Segments Of Time on Sussex and at least a couple of hundred other goodies which were all in decent nick considering the circumstances.

I also found the rarest record ever on the Belgium scene at the time - "Heartless Lover" by the Dick Baker Combo on Kool Kat (the L.A. Kool Kat, not the Detroit one). I sold it a week later for £1500 (a huge amount of money in '76 - the guy flew in from Belgium to collect it personally).

So a shit day turned into a good one in the end.

Whilst I figured I'd pretty much cleared everything on that visit, a couple of years later I was back in L.A. and tried to find the place again but just couldn't remember where it was. But later that day I ended up in Redondo Beach and went into a furniture store/junk shop and found a whole bunch of great stuff from New York and Philly labels - the Superlatives, Del-Larks, Lou Courtney etc, etc. It turns out the guy had just re-located there from the East Coast!

All this was great, but I also remember Arthur Fenn having a fantastic hit several years later from a pressing plant I'd been to about 30 times - I think it was Monarch! He somehow got shown a back room that was packed with killers and came back loaded to the gills with Joe Hicks, Larry Atkins and bundles of other L.A. pressed goodies.

Ya win some, ya lose some.....

But what I'm doing here is trying to encourage Graham Warr and everyone else to share some tales with us. When he got to the U.S. it was Virgin territory for hunting Northern, so he had some great finds (see other thread). Also Kev Roberts hit in Baltimore was historic and the tales of Soussan's antics and Colony Records in New York are legendary...........

Ian D :thumbsup:

Edited by Ian Dewhirst

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Bet you felt a bit of a "Commitment" for not having MADE the time Ian. :thumbsup:

Brilliant story by the way!........makes my 10 pence Chubby Checker look expensive :lol: :

Yep 'Commitment' was my middle name when I realised what I probably left there!

Ian D :no:

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As this was a first hit what about all the crossover (which was quite a new genre back in 88!) and deep stuff that must have been there, the mind bogles :lol::lol: .

Makes my Grassroots Records (Arizona) hit very tame.

What about the pizza (via Concord) story Ian?

BH

I need a break now Blake, but I'll be back mate. And I've probably left more than I ever brought back. I used to be too choosy back then! :no:

Ian D :thumbsup:

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Great story Ian , you have a fantastic memory , hope some other vinyl diggers will come up with some equal tales ,Best ,Eddie

never went to the states! so no stories there i'm afraid! but one day i bought from a uk warehouse 150 copies of your my mellow edwin starr for 12/6 pence each! yes old money so that dates that find! on another occasion i bought 98 copies of the vonettes touch my heart for 33p each! thats when vat was 10% did somebody mention telford!! or wellinton as we knew it!well they had a bucketfull of shrine records which i never got to see! but i did get 18 major lance you don't want me no more issues for 18/6pence each! another good buy at the time. i used to write to a shop called randys in gallatin tennessee back in the day, he got very angry with me cause i kept ordering the same records! he told me to stop ardering them as he couldn't get em! so i said but i want them! i don't care if they are radio station copys, demo's anything i just want them! well imagine my suprise when i open a small packet from him to find 6 white demos of the satisfactions take it or leave it! he had inked out the prom not for sale bit, spoilt the look of em! but at least i had got em! by the way pop singer stephen stills used to shop there!!

max..

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never went to the states! so no stories there i'm afraid! but one day i bought from a uk warehouse 150 copies of your my mellow edwin starr for 12/6 pence each! yes old money so that dates that find! on another occasion i bought 98 copies of the vonettes touch my heart for 33p each! thats when vat was 10% did somebody mention telford!! or wellinton as we knew it!well they had a bucketfull of shrine records which i never got to see! but i did get 18 major lance you don't want me no more issues for 18/6pence each! another good buy at the time. i used to write to a shop called randys in gallatin tennessee back in the day, he got very angry with me cause i kept ordering the same records! he told me to stop ardering them as he couldn't get em! so i said but i want them! i don't care if they are radio station copys, demo's anything i just want them! well imagine my suprise when i open a small packet from him to find 6 white demos of the satisfactions take it or leave it! he had inked out the prom not for sale bit, spoilt the look of em! but at least i had got em! by the way pop singer stephen stills used to shop there!!

max..

God, I hate to sound like an old bastard Max, but really those were the days LOL.........

I had Bradford Market, Leeds Market, Wakefield Market and Huddersfield Market right on my doorstep with a chain called Bostocks which had bought a few million 'cut-out' records from a US bulk wholesaler. Tons of MGM/Verve/Columbia stuff which is where the Tymes, the Shalamars, Dottie Cambridge, the Triumphs, the Charades, Alice Clark, the Righteous Brothers Band, Clara Ward etc, etc all came from.

Manchester had Global which always turned out stuff - Rick Scott found some beauts there and didn't they have the Edwin Starr's and Vonettes LOL.......?

Nottingham had places (that's where all the Ila Vann's came from).

And that place in Telford, I didn't get to until after you guys had plundered it LOL...

I even found Northern records at travelling fun-fairs back then ("I Can't Help Myself" - Don Gardner).

Do you remember Steve Glover - a massive UK collector back then. He was from your way wasn't he?

And what was it with white demos with you guys? I once went through Pep's box and EVERYTHING was a white demo.........

Ian D :thumbsup:

It was phenomenal. Every day

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It was phenomenal. Every day

Agree Ian, but, we both know that for the open minded, it can still be phenomenal every day!

Most of the 'Big Finds' were of records that were only 5-6 years old when found.

Nobody ever thought it was any really great shakes at the time... cos, frankly, it wasn't!

Its only in hindsight that everyone gets so lathered up. In the 70's every man and his dog was turning stuff up... thick and fast because stuff was all so plentiful... and available!

I'm off next month, Record hunting, and will probably bring back a pile of 5-6 year old Southern 45's that most people wouldn't pay ten bob for...

...YET!

The fact is, history is repeating itself every single day. You've only got to look at what's changing hands for big bucks on eBay these days... its as much the rare 70's and 80's stuff as it is the 60's 'Trad Northern'.

That little number on the other thread by Clifford Curry might well be another "Will Collins" or "Prince Phillip" in 3-4 years time (and, incidentally, where were they when we were all getting turned on by copies of Clara Ward and Dottie Cambridge etc.).

In another 10 years, I reckon that people will be willing to pay more for a copy of the contents of your laptop than they will for a copy of Frank Wilson! (Tongue firmly in cheek).

:thumbsup:

Sean

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Agree Ian, but, we both know that for the open minded, it can still be phenomenal every day!

Most of the 'Big Finds' were of records that were only 5-6 years old when found.

Nobody ever thought it was any really great shakes at the time... cos, frankly, it wasn't!

Its only in hindsight that everyone gets so lathered up. In the 70's every man and his dog was turning stuff up... thick and fast because stuff was all so plentiful... and available!

I'm off next month, Record hunting, and will probably bring back a pile of 5-6 year old Southern 45's that most people wouldn't pay ten bob for...

...YET!

The fact is, history is repeating itself every single day. You've only got to look at what's changing hands for big bucks on eBay these days... its as much the rare 70's and 80's stuff as it is the 60's 'Trad Northern'.

That little number on the other thread by Clifford Curry might well be another "Will Collins" or "Prince Phillip" in 3-4 years time (and, incidentally, where were they when we were all getting turned on by copies of Clara Ward and Dottie Cambridge etc.).

In another 10 years, I reckon that people will be willing to pay more for a copy of the contents of your laptop than they will for a copy of Frank Wilson! (Tongue firmly in cheek).

:no:

Sean

Oh shit. I know what's happened here! I never actually said 'it was phenomenal every day'. Somehow that combination of words got dumped at the bottom of the page by mistake, so it was a sort of typo LOL.

How weird is that?

Anyway, I agree LOL...

Ian D :thumbsup:

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Oh shit. I know what's happened here! I never actually said 'it was phenomenal every day'. Somehow that combination of words got dumped at the bottom of the page by mistake, so it was a sort of typo LOL.

How weird is that?

Anyway, I agree LOL...

Ian D :thumbsup:

:no:

Well it is waaaaaaaaaay past your bedtime!

:lol:

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:thumbsup:

Well it is waaaaaaaaaay past your bedtime!

:no:

Yep. Night, night.

Wasn't kidding though. Check the thread. They're words I use for sure from time to time but not in that order....

Anyway, time for one more "Curb Your Enthusiasm" then crash....

Ian D :lol:

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never went to the states! so no stories there i'm afraid! but one day i bought from a uk warehouse 150 copies of your my mellow edwin starr for 12/6 pence each! yes old money so that dates that find! on another occasion i bought 98 copies of the vonettes touch my heart for 33p each! thats when vat was 10% did somebody mention telford!! or wellinton as we knew it!well they had a bucketfull of shrine records which i never got to see! but i did get 18 major lance you don't want me no more issues for 18/6pence each! another good buy at the time. i used to write to a shop called randys in gallatin tennessee back in the day, he got very angry with me cause i kept ordering the same records! he told me to stop ardering them as he couldn't get em! so i said but i want them! i don't care if they are radio station copys, demo's anything i just want them! well imagine my suprise when i open a small packet from him to find 6 white demos of the satisfactions take it or leave it! he had inked out the prom not for sale bit, spoilt the look of em! but at least i had got em! by the way pop singer stephen stills used to shop there!!

max..

Another great story Max , it makes you wonder where all those Edwin Starr's are now , as it's considered to be one of the harder Ric Tic's , some of the prices must amaze you now ? I remember when The Vonettes were everywhere for £2 , had to pay £60 to get it back a couple of years back - great eh ? !! Best ,Eddie

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God, I hate to sound like an old bastard Max, but really those were the days LOL.........

I had Bradford Market, Leeds Market, Wakefield Market and Huddersfield Market right on my doorstep with a chain called Bostocks which had bought a few million 'cut-out' records from a US bulk wholesaler. Tons of MGM/Verve/Columbia stuff which is where the Tymes, the Shalamars, Dottie Cambridge, the Triumphs, the Charades, Alice Clark, the Righteous Brothers Band, Clara Ward etc, etc all came from.

Manchester had Global which always turned out stuff - Rick Scott found some beauts there and didn't they have the Edwin Starr's and Vonettes LOL.......?

Nottingham had places (that's where all the Ila Vann's came from).

And that place in Telford, I didn't get to until after you guys had plundered it LOL...

I even found Northern records at travelling fun-fairs back then ("I Can't Help Myself" - Don Gardner).

Do you remember Steve Glover - a massive UK collector back then. He was from your way wasn't he?

And what was it with white demos with you guys? I once went through Pep's box and EVERYTHING was a white demo.........

Ian D :thumbsup:

It was phenomenal. Every day

Steve Glover certainly was the man , back in the day , ran Soul Galore in Oasis market B'ham , he would take wants lists ,when you next turned up , there would be a brown bag with your wants in !! Awesome UK collection and loads of imports - he's still got them as well , so I'm told .Graham Warr records was downstairs in the same indoor market , great for all the [ then ] new releases etc , remember buying Ruby Andrews " I got a bone to pick with you on import ABC ,and Jean Carne " If you wanna go back " when they were hot , great days .Reddingtons records also made a few mistakes in the pricing , got Rick Sheppard " Can we share it " Columbia issue for £1 when it was still covered by Richard at The Casino as " Ronnie Love " .Best ,Eddie

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Hi Ian, big finds small hits we all had them at the time.

But i like the background stories and experiances.

Heres one that sticks with me.

I had been to see Kops in Toronto and we had been to Detroit and arranged to go to a store that was closing down. So that night on arriving in Detroit we found a motel that unusually was not offering, like most others "Rooms with Waterbed, for hire by the hour" and went out for a bite. As a 18 year old i was gobsmacked as we drove along West Grand Blvd past the old Motown building (not Hitsville) and i noticed a advertisement with Walter Jackson appearing live in Jefferson "Wow, we can go and see him tonight" Kops gave me a sort of look as if to say "you want your f..... head blowin off" and i assumed it was a local beer before bed. Not even that! As soon as night fell we were fed and locked in the motel room. As i lay in bed outside sirens were going on all night and couldnt help but thinking "what the f....in hell have we come to here?" Anyway daybreak and after a visit to a "Wendys" we were off to the appointment. We arrived at the store in a obvious Black area and parked up in a "safe" filling station sensibly bang outside the window of the attendant awaiting our courier to arrive. We could have been doing drugs but we were doing something more addictive "Northern Soul". As we sat their waiting a couple of Pimp style Buicks with some decidedly iffy looking dudes drove past a couple of times giving us white guys the once over and i was beggining to believe this is it and we are about to be rolled. Now albeit a tender 18 years of age i had my moments with life and even the boys from Moss Side at the Casino but i was now seriously crapping myself. "Dont worry he will be here at 10.00" Kops reassuringly murmered. He, punctually arrived and was a huge black man and i was introduced to Aarron Coachman of what i later became known for the renowned Coachmen's records in Detroit. A open white shirt with a black jacket that had seen better days and a loose pair of black trousers was held up by a big leather belt. It was not only holding up the trousers but also a huge Revolver simply tucked under the belt. "Hey, hi Martin how ya doin" and a clench fist handshake was exchanged.

"Who's the Limey?" he joked. "Alan, from England" "Hey England, do you know Benny Hill ?" This along with "do you know the Queen" was not the first time i was asked this.

Well, off we went and followed Aarrons old continental a short drive and pulled up outide a parade of typical yank shops on a plaza. Most were boarded up, 2 were burnt out the rest had steel shutters which was the first time i had seen these some 30 odd years

ago. I could'nt help thinkin that if we ever had guns on the street and shops with metal shutters outside it would be a sure sign that anarchy had arrived in Britain.....

A 4x4 Chevvy was parked outside, big wheels i remeber and we went in. All the records were still in the racks in order-ish and i dug in. Smith Brothers "Better Way", about 5 in rack and i pulled them out first find "Look underneath, the box is their" came a voice from Martha, the store owner who presented me with a coffee. Theirs more stuff under their but its not been moved for years, and oh mind the waterbugs n' roach's"

Sure enough underneath a box of opened Smith Brothers, and 3 more "count" box's of 25 each. Pure Soul Band x 50 (not a popular seller in Detroit) and just about everything.

Joe Mathews, Deena Barnes, Jack Montgomery by the handfull. Martha announced "If you want anymore of those tell me and i will phone Ruddy. Ruddy turned out to be the guy at MSK who owned the labels. Martin went along and i believe this led to the Don Davis connection subsequently. The phone went and Martha says "Hey, its Harry Bass, wants to know if you want to drop by?" The word had certainly got around! The Chevvy outside was now on bricks with the wheels missing........time to f..... off i thought.

The van was filled with box after box and we made away before sunset and dropped off by Aarron at the motel. We had covered the retail area but the basement had not been touched. Martin returned some time later and from the cellar came moe of the same and a number of Eddie Parker's on Awake which he let me have one and i sold to Tim Ashibende for what i thought was a lot of money £100! That night i was in the hotel and tried to find the number for MSK but it wasnt their. I did notice a advert for Artie Fields and a phone call was made re Kris Peterson. "Yeah remember the record how many do you want?" It was all too easy and sureal. Next morning and after a "Dennys" Martin wanted to go and try his luck at getting in the closed Motown building, he had found just about everything else, but no Frank Wilson, and we arrived on our way over to see "coach" at his store.

To be continued.......Copyright Reserved!

Anyhow, back with you all.

Having pulled up at the Motown building we approached the guard and he seemed a nice bloke, but he said he was new to the job and was'nt prepaired to let us in and in any event he had no idea where if any archive might be stored, despite a substantial bung being offered. Time was moving on and we had arranged to see "coach" so off we went. It later transpired that the archive, along with Berry Gordy had relocated to LA. Martin later extracted a copy from a Detroit collector that ended up with Kenny Burrell, via Tim Brown.

At "coachmans" store i thought i had stumbled across a records store version of a Parrots Cage.

No order, rhyme or reason but i did get handed a fabulous pack of photos with Edward Hamilton, Lorraine Chandler, Yvonne Vernee, Geminis, Willie Kendricks etc etc who had all visited the shop from time to time to plug their records. I later used these on my record list cover.

I had the night before made a call back home and our kid said Richard from Bolton was playing a fab record on a Detroit label apparently of the Masqueraders ilk and also a new release by Carol Anderson. "Coach" has a few copies of this that had been dropped off from the One Stop service. If i wanted more no problem, just call the one stop up, which he did, but none their, no demand in Detroit! "Coach" said no worries he would phone up producer Woody Wilson and back came the answer "How many do you want, he says he can do a deal as they are due for cutout" and we took the lot and put it out on the list that week and in Black Echoes at £3 and sold out before arriving in UK. So thanked "Coach" and made off back as i had the plane to catch back home to Manchester to get the plane back to JFK NY to travel to Buffalo NY to make another meet. I only later realised that Buffalo was less than 200 miles from Detroit!

Managed to arrive back in US at JFK on a Bank Holiday Sunday and having picked up the car made our way onto main interstate north bound, which everone else was doing in NY having been to the Beach at Jamaica. Always reminds me of the time when i hear Tom Browne. A major Funk Up in Jaimaca, a Englishman in New York slightly unaccustomed to driving on the right and four lanes of traffic slowly heading one way on a hot summers evening and a couple of thousand traffic jammed Native (mostly black) New Yorkers for company.Ahead and a 500 mile hike to Buffalo to meet the guy at Best & Gold Distributors. With the Aircon on full blast we edged along trying not to look anything else than locals with nothing to look foward to than a long traipse to Buffalo through the night. I was beggining to be aware sheer size of the US and this was only one state!

Well i must say driving to a Allnighter through the night will never match dodging Armadillo's, Porcupine (at least two killed) and muskrats dazzled by our lights that night before we pulled off and called it a day, bollocksed you could say. Still i had a good report about this place so on we went first thing to find it, eventually.... closed...US public holiday.

As i peeped through a window in this huge building in the middle of nowhere i cursed as i saw records in heaps and tantalisng white Atlantic demos in the glare. I phoned the contact on landline but no joy. Aaaaaargh!!!!

To be continued.....Copyright!

Edited by Alan Senior

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Hi Ian, big finds small hits we all had them at the time.

But i like the background stories and experiances.

Heres one that sticks with me.

I had been to see Kops in Toronto and we had been to Detroit and arranged to go to a store that was closing down. So that night on arriving in Detroit we found a motel that unusually was not offering, like most others "Rooms with Waterbed, for hire by the hour" and went out for a bite. As a 18 year old i was gobsmacked as we drove along West Grand Blvd past the old Motown building (not Hitsville) and i noticed a advertisement with Walter Jackson appearing live in Jefferson "Wow, we can go and see him tonight" Kops gave me a sort of look as if to say "you want your f..... head blowin off" and i assumed it was a local beer before bed. Not even that! As soon as night fell we were fed and locked in the motel room. As i lay in bed outside sirens were going on all night and couldnt help but thinking "what the f....in hell have we come to here?" Anyway daybreak and after a visit to a "Wendys" we were off to the appointment. We arrived at the store in a obvious Black area and parked up in a "safe" filling station sensibly bang outside the window of the attendant awaiting our courier to arrive. We could have been doing drugs but we were doing something more addictive "Northern Soul". As we sat their waiting a couple of Pimp style Buicks with some decidedly iffy looking dudes drove past a couple of times giving us white guys the once over and i was beggining to believe this is it and we are about to be rolled. Now albeit a tender 18 years of age i had my moments with life and even the boys from Moss Side at the Casino but i was now seriously crapping myself. "Dont worry he will be here at 10.00" Kops reassuringly murmered. He, punctually arrived and was a huge black man and i was introduced to Aarron Coachman of what i later became known for the renowned Coachmen's records in Detroit. A open white shirt with a black jacket that had seen better days and a loose pair of black trousers was held up by a big leather belt. It was not only holding up the trousers but also a huge Revolver simply tucked under the belt. "Hey, hi Martin how ya doin" and a clench fist handshake was exchanged.

"Who's the Limey?" he joked. "Alan, from England" "Hey England, do you know Benny Hill ?" This along with "do you know the Queen" was not the first time i was asked this.

Well, off we went and followed Aarrons old continental a short drive and pulled up outide a parade of typical yank shops on a plaza. Most were boarded up, 2 were burnt out the rest had steel shutters which was the first time i had seen these some 30 odd years

ago. I could'nt help thinkin that if we ever had guns on the street and shops with metal shutters outside it would be a sure sign that anarchy had arrived in Britain.....

A 4x4 Chevvy was parked outside, big wheels i remeber and we went in. All the records were still in the racks in order-ish and i dug in. Smith Brothers "Better Way", about 5 in rack and i pulled them out first find "Look underneath, the box is their" came a voice from Martha, the store owner who presented me with a coffee. Theirs more stuff under their but its not been moved for years, and oh mind the waterbugs n' roach's"

Sure enough underneath a box of opened Smith Brothers, and 3 more "count" box's of 25 each. Pure Soul Band x 50 (not a popular seller in Detroit) and just about everything.

Joe Mathews, Deena Barnes, Jack Montgomery by the handfull. Martha announced "If you want anymore of those tell me and i will phone Ruddy. Ruddy turned out to be the guy at MSK who owned the labels. Martin went along and i believe this led to the Don Davis connection subsequently. The phone went and Martha says "Hey, its Harry Bass, wants to know if you want to drop by?" The word had certainly got around! The Chevvy outside was now on bricks with the wheels missing........time to f..... off i thought.

The van was filled with box after box and we made away before sunset and dropped off by Aarron at the motel. We had covered the retail area but the basement had not been touched. Martin returned some time later and from the cellar came moe of the same and a number of Eddie Parker's on Awake which he let me have one and i sold to Tim Ashibende for what i thought was a lot of money £100! That night i was in the hotel and tried to find the number for MSK but it wasnt their. I did notice a advert for Artie Fields and a phone call was made re Kris Peterson. "Yeah remember the record how many do you want?" It was all too easy and sureal. Next morning and after a "Dennys" Martin wanted to go and try his luck at getting in the closed Motown building, he had found just about everything else, but no Frank Wilson, and we arrived on our way over to see "coach" at his store.

To be continued.......Copyright Reserved!

I was going through the contents of a store in Alberquerque , NM , in 1979 , when the owner asked me if I knew Ringo Starr ..........

Malc Burton

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Dammit!

The good Mr Manship has just pointed out a slight factual error in my work of art. As Johnny quite rightly points out:

"Heartless Lover" by the Dick Baker Combo is not on Kool Kat (the L.A. Kool Kat, not the Detroit one)

Before some smart-arse pulls you up on it, It was on Kit Kat (and not the Roundtrees one)"

Doh.....! But pretty funny and a l'il embarassing 'cos I've been spealing that info out for years!

But whilst Johnny's in factual mode, I'm hoping he can unveil a couple of his own tales along the line..

As he points out, the greatest record find of all time was Ray Dobard's Music City Load out of Oakland in 2004 - 250,000 mint 45s 95% SOUL and 50% Northern Soul.. there has never been and never will be anything to get anywhere near those piles of 45s.

Now THAT must be heart-stopping stuff. And could there ever be another hit as good as that?????

Also he had a Fort Worth hit when he found mutliples of all the Dover distributed Northern Soul New Orleans 45s which I'd love to hear about plus I'm sure there were some goodies he found in Fresno and California way back.

All great stuff and this thread makes interesting reading on a lazy bank holiday weekend for some of us!

Ian D :thumbsup:

Edited by Ian Dewhirst

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Hi Ian, big finds small hits we all had them at the time.

But i like the background stories and experiances.

Heres one that sticks with me.

I had been to see Kops in Toronto and we had been to Detroit and arranged to go to a store that was closing down. So that night on arriving in Detroit we found a motel that unusually was not offering, like most others "Rooms with Waterbed, for hire by the hour" and went out for a bite. As a 18 year old i was gobsmacked as we drove along West Grand Blvd past the old Motown building (not Hitsville) and i noticed a advertisement with Walter Jackson appearing live in Jefferson "Wow, we can go and see him tonight" Kops gave me a sort of look as if to say "you want your f..... head blowin off" and i assumed it was a local beer before bed. Not even that! As soon as night fell we were fed and locked in the motel room. As i lay in bed outside sirens were going on all night and couldnt help but thinking "what the f....in hell have we come to here?" Anyway daybreak and after a visit to a "Wendys" we were off to the appointment. We arrived at the store in a obvious Black area and parked up in a "safe" filling station sensibly bang outside the window of the attendant awaiting our courier to arrive. We could have been doing drugs but we were doing something more addictive "Northern Soul". As we sat their waiting a couple of Pimp style Buicks with some decidedly iffy looking dudes drove past a couple of times giving us white guys the once over and i was beggining to believe this is it and we are about to be rolled. Now albeit a tender 18 years of age i had my moments with life and even the boys from Moss Side at the Casino but i was now seriously crapping myself. "Dont worry he will be here at 10.00" Kops reassuringly murmered. He, punctually arrived and was a huge black man and i was introduced to Aarron Coachman of what i later became known for the renowned Coachmen's records in Detroit. A open white shirt with a black jacket that had seen better days and a loose pair of black trousers was held up by a big leather belt. It was not only holding up the trousers but also a huge Revolver simply tucked under the belt. "Hey, hi Martin how ya doin" and a clench fist handshake was exchanged.

"Who's the Limey?" he joked. "Alan, from England" "Hey England, do you know Benny Hill ?" This along with "do you know the Queen" was not the first time i was asked this.

Well, off we went and followed Aarrons old continental a short drive and pulled up outide a parade of typical yank shops on a plaza. Most were boarded up, 2 were burnt out the rest had steel shutters which was the first time i had seen these some 30 odd years

ago. I could'nt help thinkin that if we ever had guns on the street and shops with metal shutters outside it would be a sure sign that anarchy had arrived in Britain.....

A 4x4 Chevvy was parked outside, big wheels i remeber and we went in. All the records were still in the racks in order-ish and i dug in. Smith Brothers "Better Way", about 5 in rack and i pulled them out first find "Look underneath, the box is their" came a voice from Martha, the store owner who presented me with a coffee. Theirs more stuff under their but its not been moved for years, and oh mind the waterbugs n' roach's"

Sure enough underneath a box of opened Smith Brothers, and 3 more "count" box's of 25 each. Pure Soul Band x 50 (not a popular seller in Detroit) and just about everything.

Joe Mathews, Deena Barnes, Jack Montgomery by the handfull. Martha announced "If you want anymore of those tell me and i will phone Ruddy. Ruddy turned out to be the guy at MSK who owned the labels. Martin went along and i believe this led to the Don Davis connection subsequently. The phone went and Martha says "Hey, its Harry Bass, wants to know if you want to drop by?" The word had certainly got around! The Chevvy outside was now on bricks with the wheels missing........time to f..... off i thought.

The van was filled with box after box and we made away before sunset and dropped off by Aarron at the motel. We had covered the retail area but the basement had not been touched. Martin returned some time later and from the cellar came moe of the same and a number of Eddie Parker's on Awake which he let me have one and i sold to Tim Ashibende for what i thought was a lot of money £100! That night i was in the hotel and tried to find the number for MSK but it wasnt their. I did notice a advert for Artie Fields and a phone call was made re Kris Peterson. "Yeah remember the record how many do you want?" It was all too easy and sureal. Next morning and after a "Dennys" Martin wanted to go and try his luck at getting in the closed Motown building, he had found just about everything else, but no Frank Wilson, and we arrived on our way over to see "coach" at his store.

To be continued.......Copyright Reserved!

Haha LOL! Cheers Alan.

GREAT story and like you say, totally surreal.

I once went to see a guy that was an ex-promo man for Bell/Amy/Mala and was also Lou Ragland's manager at some point. He was in hock to the mob and paying such a huge amount of vig that he was having to sell-off his personal collection. Naturally everything on those labels was there plus more........

And I don't blame you for holding the copyright! There some great stories around and they should be collated. It is a bit of a fairy tale after all - lads from the working-class 70's North of the UK going to America to find their seam of gold - rare Northern Soul records!

And it's all true!

I could read this shit all day......

Ian D :thumbsup:

Edited by Ian Dewhirst

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PS:

Were the Terrible Toms issues or Demos?

:thumbsup:

Blimey, that's pushing it Sean - it was only 30+ years ago! I think they were demos. Someone told me a while back that the 'b' side was OK on TT. Wasn't it called 'Mojo Hannah' or something......?

Ian D :thumbup:

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I was going through the contents of a store in Alberquerque , NM , in 1979 , when the owner asked me if I knew Ringo Starr ..........

Malc Burton

:thumbsup::thumbup::lol:

I used to get it all the time! Don't forget that a massive 93% of all Americans never leave their own shores LOL.....

Young Foggy :D

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Posted (edited)

:thumbsup::thumbup::lol:

I used to get it all the time! Don't forget that a massive 93% of all Americans never leave their own shores LOL.....

Young Foggy :D

I also used to get asked " is it foggy in London " ..........

One thing which will always stay with me - even after all these years - is the smell of those backrooms and warehouses , which , as you well know , had their own distictive " special " odour ........

One thing that I forgot to include .......

I was in one place in Chicago , when I asked the owner where I could get something to eat , to which he told me , and added ......

" You're not thinking of bringing it back here to eat , are you boy ? The rats will take the motherf****r out of your hand " .....

Malc Burton

Edited by Malc Burton

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I also used to get asked " is it foggy in London " ..........

One thing which will always stay with me - even after all these years - is the smell of those backrooms and warehouses , which , as you well know , had their own distictive " special " odour ........

One thing that I forgot to include .......

I was in one place in Chicago , when I asked the owner where I could get something to eat , to which he told me , and added ......

" You're not thinking of bringing it back here to eat , are you boy ? The rats will take the motherf****r out of your hand " .....

Malc Burton

"I love the smell of rat piss, damp vinyl and rotting paper in the morning"!

Ian D :thumbsup:

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That is an amazing story, one of the best "miracle finds" I've heard of! But this...

As I was chomping my burger I was casually looking out of the window looking across a parking lot and, beyond that a dual carriageway, when in the distance, at the other side of the dual carriageway, I saw a sign which said "1940 Jukebox Co".

...this might be even more rare. I've lived in the States for nearly half a century, and have never seen a "dual carriageway". What is it? A place where two "carriages" (like, for a horse and buggy combo?) could sit side by side? It sounds like you had positively stepped back in time!

Edited by hrtshpdbox

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Haha LOL! Cheers Alan.

GREAT story and like you say, totally surreal.

yeah, surreal in the sense that it was just normal people going about doing their business and to Alan it was a post-apocalyptic wasteland where everyone was there just to kill him.

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Following on from the Graham Warr thread, I figured that this is the time to start collating some of those UNBELIEVABLE U.S. Northern finds. Or unbelievable disappointments too.

From experience, it's quite often the unexpected ones which turn out to be killers!

Ian D :thumbup:

As a young lad in the early 70T's I was desperately jealous of those people who could

afford to get the US and buy records, I really was. However I got older and Northern Soul

became just a distant memory. In 1991 I joined a large US company and from 1993

onwards I started to regulary visit the US. At that time it never interested me to go

a huntin' for vinyl but after being tracked down for SWONS I decided to give it a go.

I wrote an article for This Old Soul fanzine about my first trip :

http://www.thisoldsoul.com/chrl1.html

However the real gem find came curiously enough via an Ebay seller. I'd just won a

demo of the Younghearts (it was the year 2000 BTW) and the seller said "If there's

anything else you're looking for I've got 85.000 old records in new condition and I

might just have it"....................well.....................I replied that I was going to be

in the US a month later could I come along and take a look at what he had. I wasn't

really but decided this had be about the best chance of getting me hands on anything.

Anyway the wife and I took a holiday in New York, after a week I dropped her off at Newark airport for the flight back to Brussels, I hired a car and drove to New Kensington in the

grimy state of Pennsylvania. I found the place....oh oh oh talk about white trash, yikes.

The blokes house was a filthy tip, he didn't work, he lived on a phoney union organsied

disability allowance, his wife had left him some 5 years earlier, why was I not surprised!

Anyway the deal was that his best mate had just died, he had been a juke-box repair man

he changed all the records on the juke boxes in the area. This bloke had lived thru the

Great Despression and had learned never to throw anything away, including all the 45

records that had passed thru his hands. All the records were stewn around this mans house

(I referred to him as Dirty Eddie :-). I spent 2 days there and went thru about 75% of what he

had. Arriving at 8.30 in the morning and leaving at 10.30pm at night. It really was quite a

dodgy area, on the 2nd night I heard a gun fire, 5 shots, I clung to my hard found vinyl

no badboy was gonna take 'em away without a fight.....................

What did I leave with, 3 copies of the Trends, 2 Willie Kendricks, 2 Art Freeman, 1 Major Lance,

2 Jerry Cooks, 3 Emanuel Laskys - Peace loving, plus loads of other oldies worth about £25 - £75 a go. I paid the guy 470 dollars for 480 records, I didn't sell them all but the ones I did sell I

got nearly £5000 for. Whilst I was there Dirty Eddie kept telling me that he'd made contact with someone I knew (it turned out to be Pete Smith).

I do remember walking from Eddies house on the 2nd day heading back to Newark and counting

the steps from his front door to the car thinking 2 things - will I have time to duck when I hear the gun shot and things like this don't happen to me I don't normally get this lucky.

Well I understand that Mick Smith went there abut 2 weeks after I'd been and in Northern Soul record terms I had only left a Lee Roye.

I still smile a small smile when I think about it, wonder how many other Dirty Edies are out there ?

Chris L :thumbsup:

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That is an amazing story, one of the best "miracle finds" I've heard of! But this...

...this might be even more rare. I've lived in the States for nearly half a century, and have never seen a "dual carriageway". What is it? A place where two "carriages" (like, for a horse and buggy combo?) could sit side by side? It sounds like you had positively stepped back in time!

Oi! I'm 53 so I have an excuse LOL. :thumbup:

In the UK we used to call 2 lanes in each direction a 'dual carriageway'. Plus we invented the language so that's what it's called OK?

OK, time for a fag..........

Ian D :thumbsup:

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As a young lad in the early 70T's I was desperately jealous of those people who could

afford to get the US and buy records, I really was. However I got older and Northern Soul

became just a distant memory. In 1991 I joined a large US company and from 1993

onwards I started to regulary visit the US. At that time it never interested me to go

a huntin' for vinyl but after being tracked down for SWONS I decided to give it a go.

I wrote an article for This Old Soul fanzine about my first trip :

http://www.thisoldsoul.com/chrl1.html

However the real gem find came curiously enough via an Ebay seller. I'd just won a

demo of the Younghearts (it was the year 2000 BTW) and the seller said "If there's

anything else you're looking for I've got 85.000 old records in new condition and I

might just have it"....................well.....................I replied that I was going to be

in the US a month later could I come along and take a look at what he had. I wasn't

really but decided this had be about the best chance of getting me hands on anything.

Anyway the wife and I took a holiday in New York, after a week I dropped her off at Newark airport for the flight back to Brussels, I hired a car and drove to New Kensington in the

grimy state of Pennsylvania. I found the place....oh oh oh talk about white trash, yikes.

The blokes house was a filthy tip, he didn't work, he lived on a phoney union organsied

disability allowance, his wife had left him some 5 years earlier, why was I not surprised!

Anyway the deal was that his best mate had just died, he had been a juke-box repair man

he changed all the records on the juke boxes in the area. This bloke had lived thru the

Great Despression and had learned never to throw anything away, including all the 45

records that had passed thru his hands. All the records were stewn around this mans house

(I referred to him as Dirty Eddie :-). I spent 2 days there and went thru about 75% of what he

had. Arriving at 8.30 in the morning and leaving at 10.30pm at night. It really was quite a

dodgy area, on the 2nd night I heard a gun fire, 5 shots, I clung to my hard found vinyl

no badboy was gonna take 'em away without a fight.....................

What did I leave with, 3 copies of the Trends, 2 Willie Kendricks, 2 Art Freeman, 1 Major Lance,

2 Jerry Cooks, 3 Emanuel Laskys - Peace loving, plus loads of other oldies worth about £25 - £75 a go. I paid the guy 470 dollars for 480 records, I didn't sell them all but the ones I did sell I

got nearly £5000 for. Whilst I was there Dirty Eddie kept telling me that he'd made contact with someone I knew (it turned out to be Pete Smith).

I do remember walking from Eddies house on the 2nd day heading back to Newark and counting

the steps from his front door to the car thinking 2 things - will I have time to duck when I hear the gun shot and things like this don't happen to me I don't normally get this lucky.

Well I understand that Mick Smith went there abut 2 weeks after I'd been and in Northern Soul record terms I had only left a Lee Roye.

I still smile a small smile when I think about it, wonder how many other Dirty Edies are out there ?

Chris L :thumbsup:

Brilliant story Chris.

I bumped into a Charles Manson lookalike called Chris Peake in L.A. who was similar to Eddie. His whole bungalow was filled to the brim with records - even his fridge and larder had records in 'em.

However, in amongst all that junk, I found the first copy of Willie Hutch "The Duck"/"Love Runs Out" outside of Soussan's, so it was worth it for that alone.

Keep 'em coming lads......

Ian D :thumbup:

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yeah, surreal in the sense that it was just normal people going about doing their business and to Alan it was a post-apocalyptic wasteland where everyone was there just to kill him.

:thumbsup::thumbup::D:lol::lol::(

Ian D

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Blimey, that's pushing it Sean - it was only 30+ years ago! I think they were demos. Someone told me a while back that the 'b' side was OK on TT. Wasn't it called 'Mojo Hannah' or something......?

Ian D :thumbup:

Ian,

thats Don Varner B side "Mojo Mamma" which i sold today to nice Japaenese chap.

B side to Terrible Tom (Issue ONLY) is "Lovin' Cup", which i sold a copy to a nice chap in Beverley, last month.

Just goes to show what a nice chap scene it is, and always has, and will be.

ALAN :thumbsup:

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Oi! I'm 53 so I have an excuse LOL. :lol:

In the UK we used to call 2 lanes in each direction a 'dual carriageway'. Plus we invented the language so that's what it's called OK?

OK, time for a fag..........

Ian D :D

Right now Ian, explain Time for a fag,to our American cousins :lol:

Great storys by the way,I now the police picked up some record hounds up,they knew they where tourists because of the colours they had got on in a Gang area :thumbup:

Kev :thumbsup:

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Plus we invented the language so that's what it's called OK?

I can't argue with that. :thumbup:

OK, time for a fag..........

I'd heard about all that Borstal-type unpleasantness.... :thumbsup:

:D

Edited by hrtshpdbox

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I can't argue with that. :D

I'd heard about all that Borstal-type unpleasantness.... :thumbsup:

:lol:

LOL. I can't tell you how many times I've been invited to go into a basement of a junk shop to look for records and had flashbacks of the 'gimp' scene from 'Pulp Fiction'.

I spooked my mate out last year when we we were invited into the basement of some leather-attired freak record collector in Buffalo. My mate actually rang his parents and gave them the address in case we were abducted!

Mind you it didn't help when I asked the freak, "where can I get a fag round here mate?"

Ian D :thumbup:

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Ian,

thats Don Varner B side "Mojo Mamma" which i sold today to nice Japaenese chap.

B side to Terrible Tom (Issue ONLY) is "Lovin' Cup", which i sold a copy to a nice chap in Beverley, last month.

Just goes to show what a nice chap scene it is, and always has, and will be.

ALAN :thumbsup:

Yep, yer right Alan. We've always been nice chaps haven't we?

Maybe a little obsessed with bits of plastic though......

Which reminds me, from this month's Manifesto:-

"In years to come there will a booming business in 'Vinyl Therapy' dealing with a new breed of illness which will be primarily known as 'CVD' or Compulsive Vinyl Disorder. The prime patients will generally be aging, stubborn men, predominantly from the North of England who seem to have an unhealthy interest in pieces of 7" radius vinyl with badly printed labels. Most of these patients will have been submitted by their long-suffering female partners who are fed up with dusting several yards of dust-attracting plastic every week".

Ian D :thumbup:

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LOL. I can't tell you how many times I've been invited to go into a basement of a junk shop to look for records and had flashbacks of the 'gimp' scene from 'Pulp Fiction'.

I spooked my mate out last year when we we were invited into the basement of some leather-attired freak record collector in Buffalo. My mate actually rang his parents and gave them the address in case we were abducted!

Mind you it didn't help when I asked the freak, "where can I get a fag round here mate?"

Ian D :thumbup:

This is a fantastic thread & really good reading :thumbsup: .

Your post brought memories of Dave McCadden`s[RIP] piece in Manifesto mag a few years ago

" have you got a girlfriend" :D & his story of finding loads of stuff in Granada television studios.

I hope Rod will tell it one more time.

These stories would make a great book......................... anyone?

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Guest Daddy

Posted (edited)

Not in your league, or nearly as much fun, but I read a thread on SS about the Gogate label, this would be going back two years odd, and then thought I'd have a wee look on Gemm. A seller in San Fran had listed a copy of The Trent Sisters "Letter a day" for the princely sum of $200. I bought it, crossed my fingers, and it turned up mint as the day it was born a week letter.

Another month down the line and I had £4K to smile about, which paid the stamp duty and fees on the house that I'm now sitting in as I write this post.

According to the listing it had been on Gemm for a full week before I bought it :thumbsup:

Edited by Daddy

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I love these old record-finding stories, even before i ever went to the States this is what i loved hearing/ reading about in fanzines etc.

I have a few stories myself but i think stories fall into 2 catagories, before JMs book/ ebay and after the book and ebay...because it became a whole different ball game after the Americans got wise to it.

In the new world i have a few stories i may have told before, 3x Paul Thompsons, 13 x Brown sugar (when it was hot!), 10x Kings of soul, on my last trip i found the Chandlers at 25cents!!

In the old world...well, Al Williams, Johnnie mae Matthews, Johnny Maestro, Holidays, Melvin Moore etc it was much so easier back then.....

Chris

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This is a fantastic thread & really good reading :thumbsup: .

Your post brought memories of Dave McCadden`s[RIP] piece in Manifesto mag a few years ago

" have you got a girlfriend" laugh.gif & his story of finding loads of stuff in Granada television studios.

I hope Rod will tell it one more time.

These stories would make a great book......................... anyone?

I think it would be a great read because the whole crate-digging thing has theoretically been going for nearly 50 years now. The Jazz, Blues and Doo-Wop collectors were at it in the 50's, Alexis Korner, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were picking up rare Blues stuff in the early 60's, I guess the Rock & Roll/Rockabilly collectors and Soul boys took the baton from the mid 60's and Northern guys from the 70's give or take a year or two. So it's very much instilled in UK culture anyway. Could also be to do with our colonial past and the fact we're an island which has always been pretty plugged in to other cultures.

Plus. there's always that incredible buzz of excitement 'cos you never know what's gonna be around the next corner or what you might find next....

And once it's in your blood it seldom goes away.....

C.V.D. - Compulsive Vinyl Disorder.

I'll be opening the clinics shortly..........

Ian D :huh:

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I think it would be a great read because the whole crate-digging thing has theoretically been going for nearly 50 years now. The Jazz, Blues and Doo-Wop collectors were at it in the 50's, Alexis Korner, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were picking up rare Blues stuff in the early 60's, I guess the Rock & Roll/Rockabilly collectors and Soul boys took the baton from the mid 60's and Northern guys from the 70's give or take a year or two. So it's very much instilled in UK culture anyway. Could also be to do with our colonial past and the fact we're an island which has always been pretty plugged in to other cultures.

Plus. there's always that incredible buzz of excitement 'cos you never know what's gonna be around the next corner or what you might find next....

And once it's in your blood it seldom goes away.....

C.V.D. - Compulsive Vinyl Disorder.

I'll be opening the clinics shortly..........

Ian D :thumbsup:

Its the personal stories that i value. Without trying to be rude,i think we all know the history of black music & its influence in this country. We never hear the serious record collectors side & there experience's`s .

I`d love to read of record collectors of the 50`s to the present day. Clubs, dancers etc etc ........ its well covered, but you guys have stories to tell & that should be documented

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Its the personal stories that i value. Without trying to be rude,i think we all know the history of black music & its influence in this country. We never hear the serious record collectors side & there experience's`s .

I`d love to read of record collectors of the 50`s to the present day. Clubs, dancers etc etc ........ its well covered, but you guys have stories to tell & that should be documented

Never a truer word .....

But one of the problems with doing such a project on the NS scene - involvements , capers , scams , whatever - is that quite a few people would insist on their names being changed , in order to protect the professional standing and image they have today ..........

What is the fun in that ? if it is going to be told , let it be told - publish and be damned !! ........

Malc Burton

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I bumped into a Charles Manson lookalike called Chris Peake in L.A. who was similar to Eddie. His whole bungalow was filled to the brim with records - even his fridge and larder had records in 'em.

However, in amongst all that junk, I found the first copy of Willie Hutch "The Duck"/"Love Runs Out" outside of Soussan's, so it was worth it for that alone.

Keep 'em coming lads......

Ian D :thumbsup:

Edited by Russ Smith

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I bumped into a Charles Manson lookalike called Chris Peake in L.A. who was similar to Eddie. His whole bungalow was filled to the brim with records - even his fridge and larder had records in 'em.

However, in amongst all that junk, I found the first copy of Willie Hutch "The Duck"/"Love Runs Out" outside of Soussan's, so it was worth it for that alone.

Keep 'em coming lads......

Ian D biggrin.gif

I met Chris Peake in Texas where he'd moved to with a ton of 45s in the late 90s. A real oddball character to say the least, got a few bits off him.

His stock was thoroughly picked over by Dave Raistrick and Carl Fortnum.. (Handfuls of still stapled together Seven Souls, lots of LA stuff spring to mind)

I spent an absolutely fascinating afternoon at the last Prestatyn listening to some of Dave's tales of digging in the USA.. I hope he reads this and posts.. hes got some great ones...The story about the massive albino cockroach in the bottom of a skip in New Orleans that he found after all its young had run out all over him will stick in my mind ...

My personal best find was at Bob Catteneo's garage in Daly City , early 80s.. Not as awesome as the above mentioned but..

This was a relatively quiet time for the scene and not too many people were out on the west coast. JM was into his video retail at the time so there was still plenty to find.

Over a few weeks i bought about 20+ copies of Ruby Andrews 10+ Soul Communicators; Flash McKinley and Cookie Jackson (which i played covered up at 100 club on my return), Johnny James, Masquaders(Soul Town), Little John( Martay) stacks of Larry Atkins on Highland and Bobby Hutton on phillips, the whole of the Early bird label releases, Gracie Dumas, Natural 4. Boola Boola, Chico Lamarr ,Magicians, Celeste Hardy and loads of things that were cheap-ish at the time that are now big bucks. I was also not being too greedy and only taking 3 or 4 of things instead of the whole box !!!????

I was working all week and returning at weekends with my wages to hand over to Bob, gratefully, he didnt give the 45s away but they were still really fair,

He also had these limited edition Elvis clay figurines filled with bourbon that he'd bought as investments but had later discovered were worth the same empty as full; so we regularly sat there getting sauced while talking about various soul matters. Bob was a great guy and told me how he put on The Magicians and the Performers and possibly Oz and the Spurlings at his high school in the 60s as the Villa revue.

The mans knowledge is phenomenal as he had been collecting , dealing and radio DJing soul since the 60s .

Sadly he was dissillusioned with it all and wanted to sell all his stock; offered it all to me a few times, saying it would be a good business in the UK for me. I couldnt bear to think of this guy who i'd really got to like without his 45s so declined, and years later heard from JM that he'd got a problem with the Peruvian gear and outed the lot.. Very Sad as so many great 45s found their way over here via this legend.

I tried to contact him again in 1990 but he had moved and i lost contact.

I found great west coast stuff all over SF in the 80s but the best 45s were from this garage and i often kick myself for not being a ruthless dealer and buying the lot.. Oh well.

Hi Russ,

Wow. I wondered whatever happened to Chris Peake. He was actually one of Soussan's great sources in the early 70's along with another guy called Darryl Stolper (?) who had a collection to die for but wasn't selling when I bumped into him. Chris Peake actually told me that the word 'punk' was invented at his school when an unruly pupil got asked to leave the classroom and, as he left, he took a piss into a wastepaper basket by the teachers desk. This kind of behaviour was labelled punk thereafter.

Chris was into early to mid 60's 'Garage' or 'Punk' bands from L.A. e.g. The Seeds etc, so he had tons of small indie west coast labels in the hundreds of thousands of 45's in his 3 bedroom bungalow in L.A. We used to go crate-digging together on the basis that he'd keep all the 'Garage/Punk' stuff and I'd keep the Soul gear. I used to like hitting places with him 'cos he scared the shit out of most people, so when I spoke in my polite English accent people would bend over backwards to sell us the records just to get away from him LOL...

He was one scary guy and when I say he had records in his larder and fridge I really wasn't kidding. I think I found the Willie Hutch in his loo...........

I shudder to think of what Dave and Carl got from him 'cos the last time I saw him was '76 and so much stuff came through after then. I can clearly remember leaving tons of future small L.A. label biggies because they were either too slow or considered too R'n'B at the time!

Also I spent a few days in Frisco with Disco Bob in Daly City in '76. As you say an incredibly nice guy with a ton of great stories about local acts. One of the abiding memories of that trip was me going to what was then the hottest club in the world, San Francisco's 'Dance Your Ass Off' (as made famous by the Pop-A-Groove record) and realising very quickly that it was a gay club (I was just 21 and 'hot' apparently). I managed to get out with my ass intact LOL.....

Also, I remember deciding to go to San Jose purely because I've always loved the Dionne Warwicke record "Do You Know The Way To San Jose". It was a lousy drive, it pissed down all the way there and all the way back and I didn't find jack!

Win some, lose some! ph34r.gif

Keep 'em coming guys.......

Lovely thread.....

Ian D biggrin.gif

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Following on from the Graham Warr thread, I figured that this is the time to start collating some of those UNBELIEVABLE U.S. Northern finds. Or unbelievable disappointments too.

From experience, it's quite often the unexpected ones which turn out to be killers!

So here's an example from me, just to kick things off....

In 1988 I was stuck in a pretty boring job in between my more exciting jobs when I got a phone call from my ex boss who used to own the Warehouse in Leeds. He'd recently moved out to Denver, Colorado and was thinking about opening a club out there, so he invited me over for 10 days and offered to send the plane tickets!

Which was perfect! Anything to get out of the MCPS in Streatham which was slowly killing me.....

Also, at the back of my mind, I figured that Denver is in the middle of nowhere so the chances of any Northern collectors actually CHOOSING to go to Denver or even Colorado was remote - they'd have to go roughly 1000 miles from anywhere else to the middle of cowboy country to look for Northern. Unlikely.....

So I got there, got settled in at my bosses pad and then began a week of trawling every store in Denver whilst looking at potential club premises.

And.......nothing!

A complete bust.

Crap.

I couldn't believe it. Quite often there'd be promising situations, i.e., plenty of the right labels from the right era and cheap. But somehow there were never the right artists or smaller labels and WAAAY too much Country & Western for my liking.....

It got to day 9 - the day before I was due to fly back and there was one store about 15 miles out of Denver which I hadn't tried yet. The only problem was that my ex-boss was busy that day and wouldn't be able to run me over there. I'd have to get there via about three buses which would be a pain in the ass.

Anyway, I set off. It took me almost 2 hours to get there but when I got there my heart started pounding! The shop looked FANTASTIC with 100ft long racks of 45's from floor to ceiling. So I got digging....

And nothing! Tons of the right labels, lots of the right artists but NO NORTHERN!!

The shop owner even let me in the back room to go through the unsorted stuff so I got covered in cobwebs, rat shit and dust going through hundred-count boxes of Luther Ingram, Staple Singers and Bar-Kays records but still NO NORTHERN!

After a couple of hours and covered in shit from head-to-toe, I called it a day and headed back to the bus stop for the trek back. And dammit, I just missed a bus and the next one was in an hour. So I had an hour to kill in the middle of Buttfuck, Denver with no records!

Great.

So I went into a burger bar and got a burger and coffee and went to sit at the window booth. As I was chomping my burger I was casually looking out of the window looking across a parking lot and, beyond that a dual carriageway, when in the distance, at the other side of the dual carriageway, I saw a sign which said "1940 Jukebox Co".

I wasn't that excited but I had a bit more time to kill and I like those early Wurlitzer jukeboxes anyway, so I thought I'd have a wander over there and have a look. Nothing better to do.....

So I crossed the dual carriageway and walked up to a huge building which had a shop front with a couple of Wurlitzer jukeboxes in the window. I looked at 'em for a while and then casually wandered into the shop.

As I went through the door into the shop, I noticed an alcove on the right-hand side which was roped-off but which was full of racks of records in what looked to be strict alphabetical order.

I still wasn't that excited - I thought they'd all be ex-jukebox records, 'oldies but goodies' or the dreaded Ferlin Husky or Merle Haggard stuff which Denver was filled with.

There was a long-haired bearded native Indian bloke at the counter, so I wandered up and said "Wow. Love these jukeboxes man. What do you play on 'em"?

He said: "I've got over a million records in there (pointing at the alcove), so we ain't gonna run out anytime soon son".

I said: "Wow. A million ay? Are they for sale"?

He said: "Yep. As a matter of fact it's your lucky day son. I'm having a sale, so anything you want is 25 cents each."

And with that, he walked around the counter, down to the alcove, unhooked the rope to the entrance and ushered me in.

I took a deep breath. This actually looked promising. The alphabetizing of his stock was incredible with the 'A' section starting off with A, AA, AB, ABE, etc, etc. Far too intricate for just ex-juke-box titles. But it could still all be Country and Western though so I still wasn't getting too excited....

So, I thought what record have I never managed to find in all my previous trips to the U.S.? One I really like preferably.....? And it had always bugged me that I'd never managed to find a Stanley Mitchell "Get It Baby" one of my favourite records of all time.

So I went to the 'M' section, scrolled along - M..., MA..., ME..., MI...., MIT..., MITCH.........

And found 2 mint white promo copies of "Get It Baby" on Dynamo!

That was when my heart started pounding!

Everything was in there! All the major label stuff, lots of tiny indie labels, tons of New York, L.A., Detroit and Chicago goodies.

I ended up staying there until 12.00pm that night. The owner even locked me up in the shop so he could get some dinner. I bought 2,800 records for $700 and made close to £30,000 and massively increased my Northern collection at the time. It was easily the best hit I've ever had in my entire life. The 'Holy Grail' in fact.

But only around 10-11 hours to cover a million records? I had to go back to the UK the next day, so the only thing I could do was target things I could remember and adopt a kind of 'scattergun' approach which is absolutely the worst way to clear a warehouse.

And to this day, I wake up in a cold sweat every so often, dreaming of what I left behind at the 1940 Jukebox Company.

A few months after my visit, Dave Raistrick found the place and had a hell of a hit himself. But he couldn't understand why a lot of the obvious titles weren't there until he asked the guy whether anyone else from England had been there and the guy said. "Well there was this tall, dark-haired guy here a couple of months ago...........".

I caught up with Dave a year or two later at a record fair and he said "Denver, Colorado. Was that you"?

And I said "Yep"!

Got loads more but I thought I'd kick off with a monster. I know Tim, Johnny, Ady, Kev and most U.S. crate-diggers have their own great tales, so let's hear 'em. It doesn't have to be a successful story. I've had some monumental disappointments too. But it's always good to share the tales LOL.....

Ian D biggrin.gif

Great story and lucky sod.... biggrin.gif

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Brilliant stories and for me helps me understand even more the passion and dedication made by so many to make this scenes music just what it is today, bloody awsome thumbup.gif

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From 1990 to 94 I visited the US once a month travelling round mainly New York and New Jersey. I was not into Northern or Modern then, I was picking up Soul and Funk and started picking up CDs, US dealers threw them at me because this stuff did not sell over there but did back in the UK. I then started up a CD mail order business, another story.

I had a very good friend who lived in Totowa, New Jersey, he was a hustler and made a fortune buying and selling records and CDs, he had a nose for the stuff and would always know what was being sold and where. He had a tip off that there was a Western Union Telegraph Office in a little Town in up state New York that had a record store in and it was nearly all soul. So we made the long drive from New Jersey to this little Town (can’t remember the name). When we got there it was like being in a time warp all the stores had boardwalks, it looked like nothing had changed since the 20s. The sort of town that if you went in to a diner everything would stop and folks would turn round and you would not make the county line.

Anyway we found this Telegraph Office, I will never forget the name it was called Sulco Radio and TV. We walked in and there was this little old man sitting behind this counter, half way down the store there was a record shop with all the browser racks, everything was covered in dust and here were records still sealed from the 60s, the newest record was from the late 70s. It looked like people stopped buying there back in the 70s. After a quick look we decided that it was worth taking everything so we asked the owner how much he wanted for the lot, he then said the prices are on the records and would not budge on the price at all, we remonstrated that we were probably the first people to want to buy records for years, we spend a good hour trying to do a deal to no avail. I remember buying some stuff but cannot remember how much. I bet if that guy is still alive those records are still there today.

New York and New Jersey is a well-trodden path for UK dealers and I would always bump into the name Mark from Honest John or Ray from Solutions. There were loads of little cut out warehouses splattered around and can remember going into one and there was all this Gospel stuff but tucked away there were racks of good stuff that had sat there for years.

I knew a guy in Levittown NJ who had a record store and he always looked out for stuff for me. He called me one day and asked me when I was coming over because he had just bought out an old warehouse and had tons of stuff. To cut along story short it was nearly all crap but my friend took about 50000 of the worst cassettes you have ever seen and sold them to a guy in Chicago over the phone while we were there. I remember there was boxes and boxes of 3 titles Geater Davis on Orange, The Ambassadors and the worst soul music I have ever heard by a group called Mokie JJ and Rob on Sun, Moon and Stars label we took them all and sold them to a Jap dealer, apparently the Mokie JJ and Rob Lp was very collectable out there. I think I still have a copy.

I believe there is still plenty of stuff out there tucked away if you don’t mind looking. I can recall going out to a farm in Pennsylvania near where the Amish are and this guy had a barn full of sealed records, he acquired them back in the 70s and they had been there since. Another time were coming back from Princeton NJ and went through this town called Plainsfield and screeched to a halt when we saw a record store. Going in the owner (called Steve) thought it was a raid, while my friend was enquiring about old records I noticed a massive rack at the back of the store with all old records in, a magnet for me, I was there in a flash, took me about 3 hours to go through them all. I did not notice what was going on in the store behind me but could hear all this rap music coming from downstairs. There was some rare stuff in the rack and will always remember finding a Che Che and Pepe LP. When it was time to pay I noticed that the store had filled up with the boyz from the hood, all these guys with big chains round their necks, It must have gone round that there were a couple of white guys buying old records and I nearly wet myself. I always kept a few hundred bucks in my wallet but had a money belt under my arm with more in. When the owner totalled it up I did not have enough in my wallet to pay and so I asked my friend if he could lend me some money, in a very loud voice he said, “I have not got any money” So I had to put some records back. I was not going to get my money belt out. We got out of Town very fast.

There was one time my friend found a Latino store in a bad town and it had a million 45s, he said he wanted to buy them all and they showed him the basement that had the cream. When I went there the stuff in the store was common stuff and was not worth buying, I asked about down stairs and they said that I did not buy anything upstairs so there was no point. Had to walk away.

I did some business with this absolute nut case who I later found out was a Vietnam vet who kept having flashbacks, but he always had great stuff. You just had to get him on a good day.

There are plenty of more tales to tell but the stories of the ones that got away are the best. A guy called Lester faxed me a massive list of 45s, all the same label. It was a Philly label (can't remember Name) that had gone bust many moons ago. Anyway I did not know any of the titles so a friend of mine in England showed them to a well-known Northern dealer who said there were some monsters in quantity on the list and advised me to take them all. I told Lester to send them and I would square up when I saw him in a few weeks when I was over, he only wanted about a dollar per 45, when I got the shipment all the monster titles were not there, Lester had showed the list to someone else who had probably paid him 2 dollars. If you are reading this Lester, up yours pal.

By 94 I had had about enough of buying and selling, I was working full time in the printing industry and working shifts that afforded me the time to go over to the US. I liked finding the stuff but hated selling it. My wife worked full time on our mail order business and we were doing very well. I had to make a decision whether to pack up my job and go at the mail order business full time. The decision was made for me when my wife became seriously ill so we packed it all in and sold about 10000 Cds to a guy in London. Now I had someone in LA who was also keeping an eye out for stuff for me and a week after I decided to pack it all in he called me and said he had found about 2 million 45s. He had gone down to China Town to get some dry cleaning done and when he went into the store the guy who was serving opened a door behind him and my friend noticed all these 45s, he asked why they were there. He was informed that the building used to be a Juke Box record distributors and he never had the time to get rid of them all, when asked if they were for sale the answer was yes. Tempted I told him to go back and just pick a few 45s out here and there and call me with the titles, some I knew and the others I asked a Northern dealer, they were all pretty good. After a few days thinking about it I realised I would have to go over there and decided that I could not so I let it go. To this day I always wonder what was in there and is it still there today?

I am into Northern and Modern now but would not get back into buying and selling again. I was a Motown collector and during my trips always picked up sealed stuff from the 60s.

Edited by mcleanmuir

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