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Best Collection Ever? In Your Opinion


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Posted (edited)

Here's one to get your teeth into. Forgive me if there has been a similar thread in the past.

What is the best Soul collection you have either seen or had definite knowledge of (not just rumours)?

I am thinking of content and quality rather than capacity.

I'll start the ball rolling with the amazing collection of 'Leeds Central' DJ legend and collector 'Tony Banks'

Tony had every demo on Motown (red and white and Green and white) Stateside, Columbia, Parlaphone, Fontana etc. etc. plus thousands of quality UK releases not regularly seen.

What collection do you know of??

Edited by Steve Luigi
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Surely this a subjective view with no right or wrong answer and biggest doesn't always mean best. Someone who likes Sweet Soul will say someone with a Sweet leaning is the best same with Northern, De

wrong, all countries that are not the US are the UK

And some quality shirts




Posted

John Anderson had the best aggregation of Soul records I've ever seen. I guess an aggregation could also be termed a "collection". Val Shively was similar with 1953-1970 records. Of course, as he cared mainly about vocal group harmony from 1950-64, his NS records would have been few and far between in his "core collection".

Most of the big record collectors I knew in USA (my generation) collected R&B/Blues/Gospel AND Soul from the early '50s through at least the early to mid '60s. most of them (also like me) liked the early R&B/Soul transition period of the early '60s, but NOT the very late '60s, and DEFINITELY NOT the 1970s. From that group, I've seen some collections that would blow any African-American Music collector away including label runs of the King/Federal/DeLuxe/Bethlehem, Modern/RPM/Flair/Crown, Bobby/Danny Robinson labels, Chess/Checker/Argo/Check-Mate, VJ/Falcon/Abner/Tollie/Vivid/Exodus, George Goldner labels, Jubilee/Josie, Gotham, Rainbow, Mercury/Wing/EmArCey/Smash/Philips/Blue Rock/Fontana, One-Der-Ful/Mar-V-Lus/M-pac/Kellmac, and on and on....with ALMOST every number. John Raino is one that comes to mind. His brother was a DJ with KDIA in San Francisco.

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Posted

the person with the definitive 1950s Chicago R&B collection is Robert Stallworth.

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Funny you should mention John Raino Rob, i was just reading this the other day...... https://princesscornf...ord-collecting/

Ha! Ha! I remember Steve Propes very well. We used to meet in thrift stores and fight over records (when I moved to L.A. to attend UCLA in 1966-70). He had the upper hand, as he used to deliver pies, and he "gave" pies to the workers in those stores, and they would hold out 45s and albums from the shelves, to let him have first look at them. I remember him being very angry one time, when I found an original VG++ copy of "Money" by Barrett Strong on striped Tamla, right from under his nose at the Downtown Long Beach Goodwill Store. He went on about that for years. John Raino had a record shop in Venice. I used to meet him all over the L.A. area in record shops, distributorships, warehouses, etc. We became pretty friendly. I got a lot of obscure records from him. He gave me the inspiration to run labels. Yeah. Bob Stallworth has a great collection. I don't think most Soulies would appreciate how great his records are. I also saw Art Mariano's and Henry Mariano's, and Bob Cattaneo's, and Rip Lay's collections (all from San Francisco Bay Area), as well as Dave Antrell (Antrobus)'s, and The Stolper Brothers' collections.

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Posted (edited)

Surely this a subjective view with no right or wrong answer and biggest doesn't always mean best. Someone who likes Sweet Soul will say someone with a Sweet leaning is the best same with Northern, Deep, Funk or any other genre.

Personally I think mine is the best because its mine.

Edited by John Reed
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Surely this a subjective view with no right or wrong answer and biggest doesn't always mean best. Someone who likes Sweet Soul will say someone with a Sweet leaning is the best same with Northern, Deep, Funk or any other genre.

Personally I think mine is the best because its mine.

true, I think a better thread title that conveys what the OP was saying was "most complete collection". That still is subjective but not as subjective.

I think the most disciplined collectors will pick one or a few very specific things to have a laser focus on such that they get really deep into something rather than sort of knowledgeable about many things. There are enough records in almost any subgenre of R&B that you can collect pretty much forever. If you just randomly buy all types of records you usually end up relying on other people to tell you what to buy and put on your want list. When people ask me why I don't buy doowop, gospel, etc. I tell them that I like a lot of different kinds of music but am perfectly happy to listen to mp3s of that music -- for me collecting is a different act than just "buying music you like".

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Posted (edited)

Surely this a subjective view with no right or wrong answer and biggest doesn't always mean best. Someone who likes Sweet Soul will say someone with a Sweet leaning is the best same with Northern, Deep, Funk or any other genre.

Personally I think mine is the best because its mine.

Very true John.

And I think it's funny how the 'soul police' have vetted everyone's collection and are able to make definitive calls. Plenty of folk keep quiet, under the radar etc. For British I do know people like Mick Smith, and Pete Widd have had great collections in the past amongst a host of others, US it's anyone's guess. Robb K is also right though back in the early 80s Soul Bowl barn was a phenomenal place to be. But for collectors perm any 10 from 100 and you'll find some names that are not the usually banded around in the cafeteria at the police station. :thumbsup:

Edited by Steve G
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agree Butch

but theres been a lot of people who i admired for the stuff they had

gary spencer - pete lowrie - hammie - etc

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Agreed Toad.

All very "insular world of northern soul" too.

Butch, and others collect a far wider spectrum of soul music than just rare 60s uptempo.

:thumbsup:

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Posted

no ones seen my collection :) no point in willy waving

Very good point Tim. There are hundreds of collectors who don't play out and / or remain under the radar. Several times when I've sold collections for people, they've been people I knew, but never suspected what they had.

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Posted (edited)

Surely this a subjective view with no right or wrong answer and biggest doesn't always mean best. Someone who likes Sweet Soul will say someone with a Sweet leaning is the best same with Northern, Deep, Funk or any other genre.

Personally I think mine is the best because its mine.

Yes I agree, that is why I tried to narrow the spectrum by adding 'I am thinking of content and quality rather than capacity'

I also mentioned that the late great Tony Bank's collection included many demos (Motown etc), so as not to narrow it down to just Northern, Tony's collection included a lot of reggae, Ska, Rockabilly and Jazz.

I suppose the thread title may have been more appropriate if "In your opinion" was added.

Edited by Steve Luigi
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Very good point Tim. There are hundreds of collectors who don't play out and / or remain under the radar. Several times when I've sold collections for people, they've been people I knew, but never suspected what they had.

even my close friends dont know yet ive done dj ing since 1983 and never play the same spot. A lot of wanabee djs today havnt got a collection just a box of records and some with a 50 box.
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Yes I agree, that is why I tried to narrow the spectrum by adding 'I am thinking of content and quality rather than capacity'

I also mentioned that the late great Tony Bank's collection included many demos (Motown etc), so as not to narrow it down to just Northern, Tony's collection included a lot of reggae, Ska, Rockabilly and Jazz.

I suppose the thread title may have been more appropriate if "In your opinion" was added.

With respect to Tony Steve, doesn,t the inclusion of Ska, Reggae and Rockabilly etc detract from a soul collection

Kev

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With respect to Tony Steve, doesn,t the inclusion of Ska, Reggae and Rockabilly etc detract from a soul collection

Kev

I suppose it does really, but Tony had the collection from Heaven as far as Soul is concerned too.
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Posted

I suppose it does really, but Tony had the collection from Heaven as far as Soul is concerned too.

Steve he may have had a good British collection, but I doubt he had a good rare soul collection. Sorry to rain on your parade but this thread is meaningless.

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Guest gordon russell
Posted

on a dj perspective ...........ted massey..awesome tuneage

:glare:
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Guest gordon russell
Posted (edited)

dickie wattutsie......and a fella very few know about....we,ll just call him the detroit wimbledon taxi driver...nuff said

Edited by gordon russell
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wtf carnt you have jamican music and soul together ? Ive lost the plot with this yawn yawn. Ps loadsa money doesnt mean a good dj id piss some of you off with the prices of my expensive tunes but im to modest !

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wtf carnt you have jamican music and soul together ?

It's bloomin' tough being knowledgable in both fields, trust me, there aren't many of us are there Tim, so anyone who knows their way around Jamaican music AND soul music does deserve a bit of credit. Plus who says you can't collect both?

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Guest gordon russell
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wtf carnt you have jamican music and soul together ? Ive lost the plot with this yawn yawn. Ps loadsa money doesnt mean a good dj id piss some of you off with the prices of my expensive tunes but im to modest !

err....isn,t the price of an expensive tune......expensive!! lol lol

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err....isn,t the price of an expensive tune......expensive!! lol lol

lol lol i ment buying them cheap in the first place and watching the price go up as opposed to buying trophy records at high prices
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Guest sharmo 1
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The best collection in the world and I've been through Tim Brown's collection before He sold His rare peice's is Andrea Sliveins in Leiden.There were about 3000 unissued acetates and I'm going to tell you there were acetates there that totaly blew my mind.He stopped buying around 1997 so has very little after that and i can confirm he has a Frank Wilson , Jr,McCant's and all Magnetics , this is the guy with several copies of the proffesionals and George Pepp all of his records are mint and in a lot of case's unplayed .He brought containers from the states to Holland mainly selling the Deep soul type thing's and all the northern ect he kept ,He kept any record that he hadn't got he has copies of all the Shrine stuff that were pressed His collection is around 82,000 45's that include funk , soul , deep soul , southern soul , northern soul every motown and associated manufactured 45 and a dam fine reggae collection his R-n-B and popcorn peice's are stunning and include many late 78's I would say that in addition to this he has one of the rarest collection of blues recordings of which some are pre world war two I saw only three British thing's though regards Simon.

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Guest gordon russell
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lol lol i ment buying them cheap in the first place and watching the price go up as opposed to buying trophy records at high prices

lol l knew that.......someone on here didn,t believe me when l said i,d bought the tomangos and ann perry for £40 in 1982

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Posted

true, I think a better thread title that conveys what the OP was saying was "most complete collection". That still is subjective but not as subjective.

I think the most disciplined collectors will pick one or a few very specific things to have a laser focus on such that they get really deep into something rather than sort of knowledgeable about many things. There are enough records in almost any subgenre of R&B that you can collect pretty much forever. If you just randomly buy all types of records you usually end up relying on other people to tell you what to buy and put on your want list. When people ask me why I don't buy doowop, gospel, etc. I tell them that I like a lot of different kinds of music but am perfectly happy to listen to mp3s of that music -- for me collecting is a different act than just "buying music you like".

I bought everything in the Black American genres from late 1940s through about 1969, but specialised in Detroit and Chicago Soul from 1959-1966.

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I bought everything in the Black American genres from late 1940s through about 1969, but specialised in Detroit and Chicago Soul from 1959-1966.

looking back would you say this method was more quantity than quality or vice versa?

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looking back would you say this method was more quantity than quality or vice versa?

I bought everything that was cheap, and that I thought I would like. I liked a broad range of the Black American music. So, I bought a LOT of songs I liked, and the few records I didn't like, I was able to swap for records I did like. It brought me a wide range of knowledge, but didn't stop me from learning a lot about Detroit and Chicago music from 1945-1965. Unlike many of the major collectors, I DIDN'T make dealing in such records my major source of income. So, I was unable to compete with them bidding on records, and unable to gather money together to buy large warehouse stocks of records. So I was limited in my collection to the records I could find in obscure places, and could buy cheaply. But, I did alright, as I was looking a lot at the time the records were out, or soon after .

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't want to swap my collection for anyone's, I think most of us think the world of their own collection...Of course this isn't considering the financial side but something that has taken nearly 30 years to collate is very personal and would be like losing a limb.

All the best,

Len.

P.s - Go on Terry, I'm waiting for ya witty comment! lol

Edited by LEN
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P.s - Brian Goucher's got some tunes....He paid about £2.00 for The Tamangoes.

All the best,

Len.

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Is there a touch of jelousy in some of these replies...? they avoid the topic...of course !

there were/are some fantastic collec(ters)/(tions) out there somewhere...don't be shy....

think back to the late 8T's...... ;)

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Guest gordon russell
Posted

I wouldn't want to swap my collection for anyone's, I think most of us think the world of their own collection...Of course this isn't considering the financial side but something that has taken nearly 30 years to collate is very personal and would be like losing a limb.

All the best,

Len.

P.s - Go on Terry, I'm waiting for ya witty comment! lol

Glad you think the world of your collection...someone has to...Me l take great solace knowing l don,t have to listen to it lol.......anyway wadda ya mean collected over 30 years you only look 12 lol

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Posted (edited)

Glad you think the world of your collection...someone has to...Me l take great solace knowing l don,t have to listen to it lol.......anyway wadda ya mean collected over 30 years you only look 12 lol

I knew you couldn't resist! :D

I did say 'nearly' 30 years (Since '84) but god it does feel strange saying it out loud, It only seems five minutes ago that I was taking the p*ss out of Sid Clayton and co for harping on and on and on about 'goings on' "20 years ago" - Christ, how old are you lot now?! Lol

All the best,

Len.

Edited by LEN
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Posted (edited)

I knew you couldn't resist! :D

I did say 'nearly' 30 years (Since '84) but god it does feel strange saying it out loud, It only seems five minutes ago that I was taking the p*ss out of Sid Clayton and co for harping on and on and on about 'goings on' "20 years ago" - Christ, how old are you lot now?! Lol

All the best,

Len.

Bloody hell, when Mark. Kimbo and meself came round your drum, the first time, we were talking about ''going ons that were nearer 40 years ago'', we be ancient :lol: .

And yes theres a few goodies in my collection :shhh:

Edited by ZootSuit
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Is there a touch of jelousy in some of these replies...? they avoid the topic...of course !

which post above is jealous? i'm not seeing it. instead I'm seeing responses to what steve g correctly describes as "a meaningless thread." There are some qualities which I think describe the attitude of a "serious" collector but naming a specific person is impossible and pointless. Who determines the criteria for "best"?

That said, that 82000 piece collection, if it really exists as described, blows my mind.

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That said, that 82000 piece collection, if it really exists as described, blows my mind.

this is key, so often i can't tell if people are kidding or not on here :g:

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just for the record..you are spot on Steve..Banksy had the best collection Ive ever seen . Spent days at his house..think of a record..uk demo, uk issue and in most cases US import too.. remember this was 1970 .. so the floodgates hadnt opened import wise yet.. the hours I spent trying to persuade him to part with stuff! 'come on Tony youve got 3 or four different copies of all this Incredibles 45.. no chance....Dont think you will have actually seen it though Steve, a bit before your time and he was very careful who got near it back then..it was legendary around Leeds back then though. I used to sell his 'TB.Super Soul-Jimmy Thomas 45's at the Torch later on..but thats another story..

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Guest Dave Turner
Posted

i would imagine there are some very large collections in Japan.

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Guest sharmo 1
Posted

which post above is jealous? i'm not seeing it. instead I'm seeing responses to what steve g correctly describes as "a meaningless thread." There are some qualities which I think describe the attitude of a "serious" collector but naming a specific person is impossible and pointless. Who determines the criteria for "best"?

That said, that 82000 piece collection, if it really exists as described, blows my mind.

Yes it does exist mate this was my first encounter with records like sandy Golden although I'd heard Rob marriot play it as a c/u ,some very intresting thing's two copies of Eric Mercury , cod's She's Fire , little John just wait and see it's an amazing sight .He also has some dam rare book's and a massive walk in humidor with some of the rarest cigars I've ever encountered including the incredably rare humidor with the cuban flag on it containing some very early and rare Cohiba diplomat's only given to political visitors to Cuba by Castro himselfthese are about the rarest cigars you'll find ,regards Simon.

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Yes it does exist mate this was my first encounter with records like sandy Golden although I'd heard Rob marriot play it as a c/u ,some very intresting thing's two copies of Eric Mercury , cod's She's Fire , little John just wait and see it's an amazing sight .He also has some dam rare book's and a massive walk in humidor with some of the rarest cigars I've ever encountered including the incredably rare humidor with the cuban flag on it containing some very early and rare Cohiba diplomat's only given to political visitors to Cuba by Castro himselfthese are about the rarest cigars you'll find ,regards Simon.

if I ever visit the UK will he let me see his collection? it sounds incredible (I don't collect cigars though but that is cool).

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if I ever visit the UK will he let me see his collection? it sounds incredible (I don't collect cigars though but that is cool).

Leiden is in Holland.

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