introduction to a blog for those who never gave up their turntables

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 min­utes.

MY INTRODUCTION TO PUBLISHING 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 and dis­missing Cream’s farewell album, GOODBYE.

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, baby! I’m only writing about what I like from now on!” I have tried to em­u­late Paul ever since.

At Rather Rare Records, you will find ar­ti­cles about music and records that I dig, plus in­for­ma­tion on col­lecting records.

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

Forty years later and I’m con­vinced that people want to read what I write about what I like about the music of the ’50s and ’60s, and so we find our­selves here at Rather Rare Records.


Introduction: photo of shelves and stacks of 78 rpm records.

What is Rather Rare Records?

While the name sounds like a place that sells old records, it’s not. Rather Rare Records is a col­lec­tion of ar­ti­cles about music and the records where that music can be found and heard—and collected.

All the ar­ti­cles here are by me.

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.


Introduction: photo of an old RCA Victor record player.

What about me?

It’s fairly common to have an “About” link on the nav­i­ga­tional menu of most sites taking you to a page ex­plaining the writer or busi­ness to the reader. There’s some info about me up there on the menu, but if you want to know a thing or two about me per­son­ally, click HERE.

If you want to know some­thing about me pro­fes­sion­ally, at least with re­gards to records and col­lecting, click HERE.

If you need to know more, there’s a sec­tion for com­ments on every page and post on this site. Just go and pick one and ask what­ever it is you want to know. But be wary: I have been caught em­bell­ishing a tale or two about my­self in the past.


Introduction: photo of of a mess of 45 rpm records.

Who is this blog for?

Well, I ac­tu­ally don’t vi­su­alize some ideal reader, but most of my ar­ti­cles are written for people like this:

Introduction: panel from a Peanuts comic strip with Lucy and Schroeder.

But beware—some ar­ti­cles  are def­i­nitely geared to­wards col­lec­tors like this:

Introduction: R. Crumb's cartoon "The Dead Sea Scrolls of Record Collecting."

But re­ally, just about any­body can read most of what’s on Rather Rare Records. 


Introduction: photo of a cartrdige/needle playing a record on a turntable.

What an introduction!

You knew I had to find a place for this photo, as it’s all the “per­sonal branding” I’ve got out there on the won­der­fully wacky world wide web. I can admit that it is al­most five years old, and since then I’ve lost my hair, my teeth, my knees, my short-term memory, and my once-svelte boyish waist.

In their place, Wholly Grom­mett in His in­fi­nite wisdom has re­placed these losses by in­creasing my ability to cry during chick-flicks.

If you have sug­ges­tions or ques­tions for me here at Rather Rare Records that you do not want to be posted pub­licly, this is the place to post them. Fi­nally, if you have a col­lec­tion of records or re­lated col­lectibles that you want to sell, please let me know as I might be in­ter­ested in buying them!


Introduction: cover of Neal Umphred's book ROCK & ROLL RECORD ALBUMS PRICE GUIDE from 1985.

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


Introduction: photo of tonearm/cartridge/needle playing a record on a turntable.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of a fairly “modern” turntable for playing vinyl records. I found the photo on one of the free photo sites but did not take down the in­for­ma­tion to credit ei­ther the pho­tog­ra­pher or the web­site that posted it. 



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“gotta be rock and roll music if you wanna dance with me”

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