[78-L] Record collecting

Jeff Sultanof jeffsultanof at gmail.com
Sat Dec 29 12:42:18 PST 2012

Back when I was a boy, my father would regularly bring home old records his
customers wanted to throw out (he owned a radio and television store). My
dad knew that I was fascinated by records since I was three years old, and
would watch the labels go around to watch the patterns they made. I got
hold of a lot of records from the thirties and forties that way.

Eventually, when I wanted to become an arranger/composer in the recording
and television studios, I did a lot of research and learned of all of these
artists and recordings that I simply had to hear. Of course the ones I
really wanted weren't being reissued, so I won a lot of things via auction.
Sometimes a record was a major revelation, other times a dud, and a lot in

When I finally had access to the Institute of Jazz Studies collection, I
had access to things that I could now get for nothing just by taping them,
and then when the CD became a reality, I could get even more. Of course
there are some sides that I paid a lot for that have never been reissued
that I'm glad I have (the Dave Lambert Singers on Capitol).

I respect and honor record collectors, and can have a decent conversation
with many of them because I know the histories of the labels, matrix number
sequences, and in many cases where the studios were since I met musicians
who recorded in them, and even actually produced some recordings myself (my
memories of studio 1 at the Capitol Tower will always be special to me). In
other words, I am not a traditional collector in that my 1200 plus 78s, 45s
and LPs are long sold, but that doesn't mean that I don't love talking
about them and listening to them.

Jeff Sultanof

On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM, Michael Biel <mbiel at mbiel.com> wrote:

> There are a number of reasons why you acquire or need to acquire a record
> --
> 1)  You need to have the record in order to hear it.  The sound is
> obtainable no other way.
> 2)  You have already heard it but you want your own copy of it, which
> you might:
>      A) Play it because you know you already will like it, or
>      B)  Shelve it because you have already heard it and may refer to it
> some later time.
> 3)  You need to actually have it in order to do discographical or
> mechanical research on it.
> For example, two days ago when opening up the two dozen boxes that had
> accumulated while I was away, I discovered to my surprise I HAD won the
> Bix Memorial album on the Nauction.  It was a surprise because I hadn't
> seen Kurt's email telling me that there had been a bookkeeping error
> when doing the original invoices.  Because of my pre-Steinweiss research
> I am seeking out special landmark albums. So I wanted the album itself
> as an item.  The labels came out in four different types, and this set
> provides two of the four types. While 9 sides are previously unissued
> alternate takes, I wanted to double check that they are indeed master
> pressings.  The are.  Two of the reissue sides do show evidence of the
> original disc number being shaved off the master, and the third reissue
> is take 2R with a diamond V.E.
> Now I really like Bix's music but I haven't put these on a turntable
> yet.  I've already heard these because I have them in several other
> forms.  I will get around to them, but I am sitting next to 5 milk
> crates of 78s I haven't heard yet.  I am reading thru the booklet for
> the set which I haven't seen before.  It gives lie to George Avakian's
> claim that he wrote THE first jazz liner notes in his Chicago Jazz album
> that came out four years later.
> I also collect catalogs, periodicals, books about records, and other
> research materials, so it is more than just collecting the records. I
> know that Steve Ramm is going to moan about my having too many records
> that I won't listen to, books I won't read,  DVD's I haven't watched,m
> stuff I can't lift, and a burden for Leah,  but she says she wants this
> stuff!
> Mike Biel   mbiel at mbiel.com
> On 12/29/2012 5:32 AM, Don Cox wrote:
> > On 29/12/2012, Bud Black wrote:
> >
> >> To my way of thinking there are two types of collectors. Those who
> >> collect primarily for the rarity of the artist or label, and others
> >> (like me) who are interested in the recorded content and couldn't give
> >> a fig about the label or tiresome serial numbers. In other words, play
> >> me a toe-tapping Billy Murray, Irving Kaufman, Gene Austin or even a
> >> Peerless Quartette, and ask me if I care about the label. But, as I
> >> say, that's just me.
> >>
> > Same here. I would say I collect music, rather than records.
> >
> > Or maybe "explore" music would be more accurate.
> >
> > Regards
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