Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Record Collecting As Time Travel 1995 Back To 1955

Click on the above picture to enlarge it.

This is another story in my record collecting career. Every year St. Margaret's Church in D.C. has a large rummage sale. I have been going to it for years. It is one of the largest and one of the best but it is very crowded so it is important to get there an hour or more early and get in line up front right by the door.

One year I got there about 2 hours early and sat and looked across the street at the Universal Building and was remembering the record store that used to be in that building years and years ago. It was called The Disc Shop. Quite often when finding old jazz records I would find a small sticker on the back of the LP that said THE DISC SHOP and gave the address of the shop.

Here is a good article from The Washington Post about the history of the DISC SHOP and its owner.

So I sat on the church steps and thought how nice it would be if I could go back to 1955 and walk across the street into that record store and buy all the original first pressing jazz albums they had back then.

The Japanese jazz record collectors want the original first pressings of the jazz LPS from that era in near mint or mint condition. The records have to be clean with no scratches and the covers in Near Mint condition also.

So finally the doors to the church opened and the sale began. They put all the records and books in the chapel laid out on the pews. I found this out the first year I went by going the wrong way and going all through the church and the many rooms of items before I located the books and records.
But the year I am writing about I knew where to go. I was the first record guy in the room. I wasn't expecting anything.

I ran down front and there were long rows of old Jazz 10" LPS from the 1950s. I found 40 choice items. On the back of all of them were stickers from THE DISC SHOP right across the street from the church. 50 years had passed and somehow the records has crossed the street and found their way into the sale. Someone from that neighborhood had most likely donated them. It could have been the wife of a man that had passed away. Sometimes the wives will keep the records for years and years before selling them or donating them to their church or charity.

As I was finishing going through the records and putting them in 2 boxes two other record dealers showed up. Only about 5 minutes or less had passed since the doors opened. They had been way back in the line which stretched all the way down the block and more. They were too late.

One of them asked me if those records(meaning the ones I had in the 2 boxes)were original 10" Jazz LP's and I said they were.
The other young man offered to help me carry them to my car. They were both record guys I knew and was friendly with.
I went to the cashier and paid for the LPS. One dollar each. It was a great find. All the 10" LPS were in nice clean condition.
I was amazed to find such old records in such nice condition and the DISC SHOP stickers on the back made me feel I had stepped back into the 1950s where the records were from. Listening to the music when I got home even added to the feeling of time travel.