MY FIRST PUBLISHED PIECE was with the Wyoming Valley West High School newspaper, where I was the nerd who got the gig of reviewing records. That was 1969 and, like most nerds with super cool record collections, I wrote condescending reviews of records that all my non-nerd classmates bought. I remember damning Glen Campbell (in the ’60s, teens actually bought Glen Campbell albums and were still cool) and dismissing Cream’s farewell album, GOODBYE. 1

Then, everything changed. In 1970, I found Paul Williams’s book Outlaw Blues, a collection of his writings from Crawdaddy magazine. Williams didn’t write negative reviews—he wrote about the music and the records that he loved and how they affected him. My response to his take on rock music was, “Wowie zowie!”

You’ll find articles about music and records that I dig, plus information on collecting records.

I have emulated Paul ever since. So, here at Rather Rare Records, you will find very little condescension or even sarcasm. You will find articles about the music and the records that I love and how they affect me. 2

Most of my articles cover ’50s and ’60s rock & roll—you know, the music that was so great they didn’t have to invent a ridiculous term like “classic rock” to sell it.

You will also find articles for record collectors, including lengthy discographies and up-to-date price guides. Even if you haven’t a collectors bone in your body, you should be able to enjoy most of these pieces.

My books for vinyl junkies

There are eight articles on this site explaining the various books I published for record collectors. These posts provide additional background information on me and my career. They are best read in the following order, which is roughly chronological:

  O’Sullivan Woodside’s Rock & Roll Record Albums Price Guide
  O’Sullivan Woodside’s Elvis Presley Record Price Guide
  Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (1st edition)
  Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (5th edition)
  Goldmine’s Rock’n Roll 45RPM Record Price Guide
  Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Jazz Albums
  A Touch Of Gold – Elvis Record & Memorabilia Price Guide
  Blues and R&B 45s of the ’50s Price Guide


The featured image at the top of the home page for this site (Rather Rare Records) was lifted from an ad for Rotary Connection’s debut album. The ad appeared in the March-April 1968 issue of Crawdaddy. At that time, I was a fairy clean-cut 16-year old, with “long” hair that covered my collar! By 1970, I looked vaguely like the head in this ad (without the receding hairline).

Even more information

If you want a more “intimate” look-see at me, click on over to Some Background. It’s a list of my a few of my favorite things, like favorite single (Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel) and favorite album (Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds) that will give you a small sense of who I am.

For my political beliefs, try On Being a Mystical Liberal, where I confess to residing in the astral plane of progressivism.

By the bye, remind me to tell you about how I raised my daughter to believe that I contributed nonsense lyrics to famous hits of the ’60s. That without me, there would be no “Bah-bah-bahs” opening Barbara Ann (and first I had to lie that Brian Wilson wrote the song for the Beach Boys).


SITE FEATURED IMAGE: In the past two years, I have used both of these images as this site’s featured image at the top of the homepage. Both are taken from an advertisement for a new Rotary Connection album in 1968 (see below). Both were reasonably effective images but not as effective as the gallery of beat-up White Albums.



1   By the end of 1969, I was probably the only kid in school who owned SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO (the poorest selling Byrds album by far) and SONG CYCLE and NEIL YOUNG (both of which sold considerably fewer copies than the Byrds album), and I was certainly the only one who wore a “God Save the Kinks” button to class!

2   I have a BIG problem with writers/bloggers who don’t know what they are talking about but saying it anyway. These people usually do little or no research or, if they do, know so little about their topics that they don’t know that they’re reading/quoting erroneous “facts.” This occurs all over the Internet! Upon occasion, I take a few of these writers and websites to task.

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“If it’s got a black beat you can’t lose it, any old time you use it.”


2 Replies to “INTRODUCTION”

    1. Too bad the record companies couldn’t pool their resources and compile an album of the best versions of Chuck Berry songs by other artists from the ’60s. My first three picks would be the Beatles’ ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC, the Stones’ AROUND AND AROUND, and Elvis’s TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS.

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