Do old 78 RPMs have any value?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by LarryT, Oct 17, 2011.

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  1. LarryT

    LarryT Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Nowhere Man, USA
    I found about 10 old 78 RPMs in my mom's attic.
    I think they are from the late 20's or early 30's.
    3 of them are shown below.

    Does anyone know:

    a - do they have any value?
    b - how can I find out what they are worth, if anything?

    Thanks to all.

    :cheers:
     

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  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    No, not really. Scrolls and Batwings like the above are worth a few dollars to someone who has an old cranker but that's about it, sorry.
     
  3. Kustom 250

    Kustom 250 Active Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Some are very valuable. Most are worth $1 more or less.

    Check popsike for specific ones.

    http://www.popsike.com/
     
  4. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    2 sided and 1 sided 78s

    I have a few Enrico Caruso 78s that are one sided. In other words one side has the song and the other side is smooth and flat. Does anyone know about that? Why didn't these have one or more songs on each side like other 78s?

    Scott
     
  5. hurple

    hurple Forum Resident

    Location:
    Clinton, IL, USA
    The local used shop near me just sold two for around $3000 apiece. But, those are the anomolies.

    For what it's worth, my wife and I found an old 78 that we looked up in a database which listed it as "none known to still exist"... But we still couldn't unload it for even a few bucks. So, we boxed it up and sent it to the Smithsonian. We got a free membership out of it, at least! Ha!
     
  6. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    You should send them to me (at your expense) and let me waste my time and worry on them. :D

    1 sided 78s tend to be older.
     
  7. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    Columbia patended the two songs on one record process (I have a reproduction sign advertising this amazing achievement). Before this, all records were single sided.
     
  8. Trashman

    Trashman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Generally, the advice here is sound:
    http://www.78rpm.com/faq.htm#Value

    However, I think post-war country is more valuable than they give it credit for. Some titles (early Hank Williams Sterling discs, Johnny Cash 78s, etc.) command very good prices. Also, they don't mention early rock, doo-wop, soul, and R&B 78s...all of which have a healthy collectors market.
     
  9. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Find any Paramount 13000 series 78 (blues recordings from 1930), and you have a genuine rarity that's worth a decent amount of money, regardless of the title.

    Find Paramount 13001 or Paramount 13099, both by blues great Willie Brown (who played with Charlie Patton and Son House), and you have a 78 that will easily sell for $10,000+ if it's in playable condition. No copies of these two 78s have ever been found.
     
  10. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    Columbia first attempted to sell double-sided discs in 1904, but a threat of legal action from Odeon, who first issued two sided records, caused Columbia to abandon the plan. in 1908 Columbia began releasing some Odeon discs in the USA and soon began issuing all of their records in double-sided form.
    Victor soon followed suit and issued all of their records, except Red Seals, double-sided. Double-faced Red Seal records were not issued until 1923.
     
  11. forthlin

    forthlin Senior Member

    Properly framed and matted those labels are super cool as art.
     
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Yeah, judging by the pictures the OP posted I doubt we'll find any Blind Lemon Pledge 78's in his stack of 10..

    Of course, one never knows which drives us 78 collectors bonkers..
     
  13. yamfox

    yamfox Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I think that was supposed to be a joke, but that's a real group, you know.
     
  14. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

    I WANT MY DADDY'S RECORDS

    oops....that was Blind Mello Jelly
     
  15. Ramos Pinto

    Ramos Pinto New Member

    Location:
    Southeast US
    I once saw a Jerry Lee Lewis 78 in the Sun Records gift shop priced in the $350 range. I have a boogie woogie piano disc myself that sells online for $8-12.
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Tell that to Martin Mull!
     
  17. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Senior Member

    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    Musically, those records are very interesting!
     
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Of course. Those orchestras from the 1920's have players that were born ahd trained when the famous composers of the 19th century were alive and kicking. Some of the musicians could have been born during the Civil War..

    Still, the guy was asking about monetary value not musical value! Right?
     
  19. cencalphono

    cencalphono New Member

    Location:
    Santa Maria,CA
    Not just 78's, but old records are only worth something if they are in demand. Just because a record is "rare" doesn't mean that it is worth something. I've got boxes full of "rare" records, like radio station promos that were never played and the artists never heard of. The only use for records like these is for decorations or target practice.
    The 78's that are worth the most are rock'n'roll ones from the late 50's and rhythm & blues types that date back into the 30's by people like the legendary Robert Johnson. R'n'R era 78's by the likes of Elvis, Cash, Perkins, Haley,etc. command some pretty high dollars, especially Elvis on Sun.
    Of the one-sided 78's, the Victor "Red Seal" had some interesting designs on the non-recorded side and were suitable for display.
    Vogue Records of Michigan came out with a series of picture disc 78's in the 40's which are very collectable today. These records are best suited for hanging on the wall rather than being played. Although well-known artists like Clyde McCoy and future R'n'R star Bill Haley were among the artists on the records, they Vogue discs were not known for sound quality or music selection. There are counterfits of these records and they can easily be identified by their black outer edge. The legit ones have a clear or white edge.
     
  20. mne563

    mne563 Senior Member

    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    I always read that 78's (shellac?) should never be cleaned with an alcohol based vinyl record cleaning solution. Where the Vogue picture discs also made of (clear) shellac?
     
  21. cencalphono

    cencalphono New Member

    Location:
    Santa Maria,CA
    No, they are plastic. Shellac's natural color is brown and is made black by adding carbon.
     
  22. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    That's correct. Never clean a 78 with anything with any alcohol unless you know that it is not made of shellac. Be cautious using any chemicals. Further, be cautious cleaning 78s with anything at all: some 78s have paper cores and if they get damp, they can swell and crack the record.

    Because of their large grooves, high speed, high output and noise, they aren't as touchy about mild dust, dirt, fingerprints etc as microgroove records so it isn't that important to wet clean them unless there's a real mess to deal with. If there is, proceed conservatively.
     
  23. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    south florida, usa
    Some, very specific 78s, have a large value.

    Like old Jazz and especially Delta Blues (especially Robert Johnson - thousands).

    I always look through all the old 78s whenever I find any. So far..."no joy". But...there will come a time when you find that diamond in the rough!! Positive vibratons!! :>)
     
  24. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    I use Groovy 78 cleaner and a distilled water rinse on the VPI when I have filthy 78.

    You shouldn't get Diamond Discs wet at all.
     
  25. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    I've never cleaned 78's with anything but a damp cloth. A know a collector who swears by Joy dish washing liquid and another who shines them up with Lemon Pledge!
     
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