Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Sir Bobert Fishbone
Jan 16, 2006

Beebort




For the last 10 years or so, I've been collecting 78rpm records, which were the greatest thing since the wax cylinder back around the turn of the 20th century, and remained the standard for recorded music til the mid-1950s or so. They generally contained no more than two songs per record (early records were only single-sided) and they're mostly made from shellac (ground beetles), which is much more brittle than modern vinyl and, uh, doesn't flex at all. Early records were made acoustically by having performers sing or play as loudly as possible into a giant horn. Electric recording became available around 1925, so there's a distinct improvement in sound quality after that time.

So they're heavy, brittle, and extremely inefficient ways to listen to music. Why collect them? I bought my first record about a decade ago for a dollar. It was not terribly interesting, music-wise, but it was from the mid-1920s and I was amazed by this nearly-hundred-year-old artifact that contained the voice of a long-dead, mostly-forgotten performer. I inherited my grandpa's old stand-up, wind-up Victrola, which uses no electricity whatsoever--just clever acoustic amplification to bring those century-old voices to me.

There are people who have been doing this much longer than I have--double my lifespan, in some cases--and whose collections are infinitely more valuable and interesting. But this is mine (at least the photos I currently have access to).

I have a few records that could be considered "firsts":

In 1918, the Original Dixieland 'Jass' Band released Livery Stable Blues on Victor. The record sold well, and is widely considered the first recorded jazz music. It was one of my first finds as a collector, on the floor of a record store for $1.00.

In 1922, fiddle player "Eck" Robertson recorded and released two fiddle songs, also on Victor. These are widely accepted as the first commercially-recorded country songs (ie 'old time' songs recorded by actual countryfolk, and not professional studio musicians). I found a copy in a thrift store for $.49.




Because of their fragility and oftentimes low pressing numbers, 78s can be scarce or rare. There are some records out there in the hands of private collectors which are believed to be the only surviving copy of a recorded song. People go nuts for old rare blues and jazz music, especially. While I don't have anything THAT rare, I've got a few that are probably pretty scarce--according to Columbia's sales records, this one by Grover Rann and his Mountaineers was recorded in Atlanta in 1930 and only ever sold 736 copies. Imagine how few of those there probably still are after 91 years! Mine is in nearly mint condition and sounds great.



There's a lot of music on 78rpm records that doesn't really exist anywhere electronically, which means they run the risk of being lost or nearly inaccessible to anyone without a physical copy of the record. When I find that one of my records doesn't have a presence online, I rip it myself and post it to my YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL9AR7WdrQg&list=PLY_7vE78x3GfGRn0iIkqIGE8QiU9BZNFF

My collection these days is primarily pre-war country, 20s/20s jazz & dance bands, and blues, and post-war rock and roll, but I have a bunch of other records that I've picked up over the years that I've found interesting. I might post more when I get home if there's interest--I'm mostly making this thread to see if anyone else on SA is also interested in these, or if it's just me toting these heavy-rear end albatrosses all over the country with me. I can never move houses again.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sally
Jan 9, 2007


Don't post Small Dash!


hell yah. i am gonna post some of mine when i get home tonight

Deep Glove Bruno
Sep 4, 2015

Feel the glove!


78 collecting can be viewed two ways, I feel:
- an insane thing to do considering many/most record shops consider them unsellable and thus won't even buy or stock them, considering their almost universally shredded condition and audio quality, etc.
- a kind of wise thing to do (if you're gonna collect anything, which is clearly not wise to begin with) due to their near-worthless status even among most record collectors, with a handful of exceptions (certain recordings have a wider "master collectro" appeal, or there's occasional crusty R. Crumb type motherfucker who seriously collects them), so you're kind of ahead of a curve, like guys who bought up Moogs in the 80s when digital synths came out. or if the curve never rises, at least you're paying pennies for a lot of it

edit: neither theory is meant in a condescending way, I appreciate quixotic undertakings and collect 45s myself with an absurdly uneconomic twist: I don't buy, or at least not much, "Old" 45s (say pre-90s)... I mean if I came across Salt - Hung Up or something I'd buy it but generally I focus on recent release music I like in genres better known for their 60s-70s collectibility

Deep Glove Bruno fucked around with this message at 20:09 on Oct 13, 2021

Sir Bobert Fishbone
Jan 16, 2006

Beebort


Deep Glove Bruno posted:

78 collecting can be viewed two ways, I feel:
- an insane thing to do considering many/most record shops consider them unsellable and thus won't even buy or stock them, considering their almost universally shredded condition and audio quality, etc.
- a kind of wise thing to do (if you're gonna collect anything, which is clearly not wise to begin with) due to their near-worthless status even among most record collectors, with a handful of exceptions (certain recordings have a wider "master collectro" appeal, or there's occasional crusty R. Crumb type motherfucker who seriously collects them), so you're kind of ahead of a curve, like guys who bought up Moogs in the 80s when digital synths came out. or if the curve never rises, at least you're paying pennies for a lot of it

I guess it depends on what you want to get out of collecting. I'd (almost) never buy records with the expectation that I can flip them for money. I have been able to sell enough records that are semi-desirable but not super interesting to me to keep it from being a complete money-sink, but in general I try to keep my collection pared down to only those items that legitimately bring me enjoyment. I had a few thousand at one point, but I'm down to only about 700 now, practically all of which I'd be happy to pull off the shelf and listen to.

Deep Glove Bruno
Sep 4, 2015

Feel the glove!


How many shelf-feet was 3000 78s!? Come to think of it how many shelf feet is 700? Four figure vinyl collections in my experience are like "whole wall" type situations, and dudes with more than ~3k LPs are seriously considering loadbearing/foundation concerns in their storage solutions

Deep Glove Bruno
Sep 4, 2015

Feel the glove!


And yeah, the purest collector is somebody making their own personal library/archive with no big intention to grip-n-flip/turn it into a living, but storage and "mental storage" concerns turn people into dealers pretty often when they have the physical or mental need to purge a big collection, and then the money side of it kinda rears its head. I try to avoid being a record gremlin as much as I can and disregard the discogs collection estimate etc. so I feel ya.

Sir Bobert Fishbone
Jan 16, 2006

Beebort


Deep Glove Bruno posted:

How many shelf-feet was 3000 78s!? Come to think of it how many shelf feet is 700? Four figure vinyl collections in my experience are like "whole wall" type situations, and dudes with more than ~3k LPs are seriously considering loadbearing/foundation concerns in their storage solutions

Current collection is maybe 8 shelf-feet, plus whatever fits in the Victrola cabinet? Pretty manageable. I came into a collection of ~1500 or so all at once, which inflates the maximum a bit...Once I realized what I'd gotten myself into I found new owners for the vast majority of it extremely quickly lol.

My collection is basically self-limiting by the amount of shelf space I've allotted. I see photos of guys with entire basements full of records and I just feel terrible for their next of kin whenever they go. Once you hit that number you're closer to a hoarder than a collector--I feel like if you can't enjoy whatever it is you're collecting, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ayin
Jan 6, 2010

Have a great day.


Sir Bobert Fishbone posted:

There's a lot of music on 78rpm records that doesn't really exist anywhere electronically, which means they run the risk of being lost or nearly inaccessible to anyone without a physical copy of the record. When I find that one of my records doesn't have a presence online, I rip it myself and post it to my YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL9AR7WdrQg&list=PLY_7vE78x3GfGRn0iIkqIGE8QiU9BZNFF
Nice work! I once found at a thrift store a stack of Vocal Record Collectors' Society annual CDs, where the most tech-minded takes requests and records from the other members, rips them, and puts them on disc. I really admire that.

I then went on an hyperfocus bender, looking up information about the tracks. I still ended up with no information on a couple compositions, possibly due to inconsistent translations or straight-up typos

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply