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a blog about writing and self-publishing a book

THIS SITE IS A LIMITED BLOG that tells a few sto­ries about the con­ceiving of a rice guide for some of the world’s rarest records and most pas­sion­ately col­lected records: blues and rhythm & blues 45s of the 1950s. It started back in the 1980s when I was with O’­Sul­livan Wood­side, pub­lishers of the “of­fi­cial” line or record col­lec­tors price guides. [Continue reading]

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knocking the socks off the nattering naysayers

MY BLUES AND R&B BOOK was be­hind schedule and com­pleting it was get­ting dif­fi­cult. My plans in­cluded a full-color cover de­signed by a local artist that used la­bels from sev­eral highly col­lec­table records from the ’50s and re­ally cool ty­pog­raphy. There were over a hun­dred high-resolution black & white photos set for the in­te­rior of the book, in­cluding both rare records and fa­mous and not-so-famous recording artists. [Continue reading]

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alcohol and jake blues and collecting really rare records

THERE’S ALCOHOL & JAKE BLUES and there’s re­ally rare records and John Tefteller, who has been col­lecting those records for a long time. And he doesn’t col­lect reis­sues of great old music on great old LPs—he col­lects orig­inal, brittle-to-begin-but-even-brittler-with-age 78 rpm sin­gles. John has been tracking down 78s no matter where they may be, no matter how many other col­lec­tors as­sure him that copies of cer­tain records no longer exist. I’ve [Continue reading]

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heaven above me—it’s the jets on gee!

A RECORD FEW KNEW ABOUT at the time was the Jets on Gee 1020, Heaven Above Me / Millie Brown. Re­leased in 1956, it was a rarity whis­pered about by the handful of col­lec­tors who knew it was one of the se­cret gems in the genre. In any field of col­lec­tables, there is a ‘top ten’ of collectors—the ones who have most every­thing and can and will spend what it takes to get those pre­cious few items that they do not have. [Continue reading]