A Record Year

I can confidently announce that we ARE going to have a Book Fair come July. We have a copy of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells album. It was really the last piece missing to make the whole business official.

I’ve been at the records again, and I have plenty of wonderful things to sell this year, lemme tell you. They must be wonderful, or you wouldn’t have given them to me, right?

In case you have forgotten the rules, it is my contention that we cannot have a Book Fair—or at least the record section thereof—without Tubular Bells, Carole King’s Tapestry, the West Side Story soundtrack, and half a dozen copies each of the New World Symphony and the Grand Canyon Suite.

In addition to those wonders this year, I have so far found three copies each of all of Herb Alpert’s albums of the sixties and seventies (yes, three copies so far of Whipped Cream; get your 12 x 12 picture frames ready), five copies of My Fair Lady, three of South Pacific, three of The Sound of Music, and four each of Never on Sunday and Zorba the Greek.

If you seek something more esoteric, we received somebody’s Jim Reeves collection, somebody’s collection of The Rolling Stones, and the soundtracks of Romancing the Stone, 33 Days in Peking, and The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob. Oh, there’s something for everybody.

We have an album for albums: it comes with plastic pages big enough to slide a record album into. Just the thing for storing decorative album covers that you’ll never actually need to take out and play. Which is very convenient, in its own way.

Because, um, as I hinted in a previous column, we have a small but nagging problem with your housekeeping procedures. Or do I mean recordkeeping? Anyway, I’m working my way through three big boxes of records from people who never bothered to put the disc back in its jacket. I have a hundred or so discs without jackets, and fifty or so jackets without discs. I’m trying to do a bit of matching, because I can charge more for the record in a jacket (you get those nifty graphics, and all those useful liner notes by the record producer’s brother-in-law.) I’ve found this nifty signed Harry Belafonte record jacket but the disc is nowhere to be found.

It’s not that you didn’t TRY, heaven knows. There’s a jacket for a record called “Italian Holiday”. The previous owner has crossed out the word “Italian” and written in “Hawaiian” in black marker. Yah, you betcha: the disc inside is “Hawaiian Holiday”. He could have drawn some palm trees and hula girls over the picture of Venice, couldn’t he?

Sorting is as difficult as ever. Now that Neil Diamond has made it at last into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, I guess that’s where I need to put him, though Pat Boone continues to wind up in Easy Listening. That’s where the Anna Moffo/Sergio Franchi team-up album went, too, but I’m still fretting over the Yehudi Menuhin/Ravi Shankar duet album. The big collection of Smothers Brothers albums is going into Comedy/Spoken Word in spite of the good case that could be made for Folk/Country, right between In Search of Bridey Murphy and the Slappy White album that came without a jacket. I MIGHT also put that Fats Waller disc into comedy: the one where the owner has written on the paper sleeve “Fats Waller: No Jacket”, just in case you couldn’t tell otherwise.

The two albums signed by Georg Solti in red grease pencil are going into Collectibles, right next to that signed Harry Belafonte jacket. (Unles you think Harry would lend his jacket to Fats.) 

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