MY FIRST "POST" 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. 1
I remember damning Glen Campbell (in the '60s, teens actually bought Glen Campbell albums and were still cool) and dismissing Cream's last album, GOODBYE.
Here you'll find articles about the music and records that I dig, plus information on collecting records.
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!"
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.
This is the paperback edition of Outlaw Blues from Pocket Books that I found in 1970. The hardcover edition had been published by Dutton in 1969, but I didn't find a copy of that for several years.
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:
1. O’Sullivan Woodside’s Rock & Roll Record Albums Price Guide
2. O’Sullivan Woodside’s Elvis Presley Record Price Guide
3. Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (1st edition)
4. Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (5th edition)
5. Goldmine’s Rock’n Roll 45RPM Record Price Guide
6. Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Jazz Albums
7. A Touch Of Gold – Elvis Record & Memorabilia Price Guide
8. 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 A Little Background Information. 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).
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page was taken during the "sit-down sessions" held on June 27, 1968, at NBC's studio in Burbank, California. These sessions made up the heart and soul of the Elvis one-man special broadcast on NBC-TV on December 3, 1968, and sponsored by the Singer Sewing Company. It is also the primary image on the home page of my other website, Elvis – Touch Of Gold.
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.”