The market for rare vinyl records exists for many reasons. The sound quality of the phonograph record may be better than the CD, or no compact disc may have been issued. Perhaps the record was pressed on colored vinyl or is a promotional copy only sent to radio stations. Maybe the record is scarce because not many people held on to it when it first came out.
Jerry Osborne- Mr. Music
Since 1986 Jerry Osborne has been writing a weekly syndicated Mr. Music newspaper column about records and music history.
- Mr. Music Column Archived articles are available at his website. For instance, the May 14, 2007 column tells about scarce vinyl records from Phil Spector's Philles label. 37 singles were produced from 1961 to 1967 in a rainbow of colors.
- Marketplace You can also buy and sell records here. Rare 45s like Elvis Presley's That's All Right backed with Blue Moon of Kentucky from Sun Records, or Bob Dylan's first recorded performance playing harmonica on Harry Belafonte's The Midnight Special can be purchased.
- Appraisal Service Osborne has an appraisal service for your rare vinyl records.
- Price Guides There are also many reference books available at this website.
- The Complete Library of American Phonograph Recordings comes out annually and describes every record released during that year.
- The Record Label Guide for Domestic LPs compiled by Joe Lindsay
- Movie-TV Soundtracks & Original Cast Albums: Buyers-Sellers Reference Book & Price Guide by Jerry Osborne
- Rockin' Records by Jerry Osborne prices over one million records.
John Tefteller's The World's Rarest Records!
In addition to his monthly auction, John Tefteller owns an immense collection of rare records that he exhibits at his online record museum. Here you can see the only known copy of Gary US Bonds' Dear Lady Twist from Legend records on yellow and green swirl vinyl, or the rare original Terraplane Blues by Robert Johnson from Vocalion.
John Manship Records- British Dealer
According to his website, John Manship is an authority on soul records and has been dealing rare vinyls since 1969. He also sells several price guides. This U.K. dealer might have a different stock than U.S. dealers.
- Manship's Rare Soul Catalogue 26
- Manship UK 45 Price Guide
Rare Vinyl Records Cover Art
A characteristic of vinyl records is the large sleeve for artwork. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road albums are as famous for their covers as for their music, while Yesterday and Today with the original baby butcher cover is an extremely expensive rare vinyl record. Additionally, many albums came with extras such as postcards and posters that don't fit into the CD's small jewel case.
Album covers can be searched by musician, title or keyword. There is also a forum, chat room and links to other websites about album artwork.
The Record Collectors Guild
In addition to a forum and record auction, the Record Collectors Guild has articles about vinyl records, a record wiki, a glossary, and many links to websites about vinyl records including stores that sell turntables and needles. They also sponsor the Record Collectors Webring composed of record collectors and dealers.
Goldmine Magazine has been an authority on collectible records and music memorabilia since it was established in the 1970s. They also have a significant online presence.
- Goldmine's National Record Show A yearly event to purchase vinyl records.
- Classified Ads This lengthy section has links to many dealers selling vinyl records.
- Goldmine Record Guide Books
- Standard Catalog of American Records by Tim Neely- Price Guide to 45 RPM Records by Tim Neely
- Jazz Album Price Guide by Tim Neely
- Standard Catalog of Rhythm & Blues Records by Tim Neely
- Record Album Price Guide by Tim Neely
- Records & Prices by John Koenig