An Introduction to Rather Rare Records

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Y 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.

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.

Now that I've got your un­re­quited at­ten­tion,
take ad­van­tage of this spe­cial of­fer:

Sub­scribe to Rather Rare Records

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


2 thoughts on “An Introduction to Rather Rare Records

    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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