MY SECOND BOOK for Krause was Goldmine’s Rock’n Roll 45RPM Record Price Guide, published in 1990. As sales of my first Goldmine book for had far exceeded Krause’s expectations, they heeded my advice and greatly expanded the size of the book: whereas the album book had been a miserly 384 pages, the singles guide was 604 pages!
And it was all rock & roll!!!
Like my previous Goldmine book, I had no say in the title of the book. I prefer “rock & roll” or even “rock and roll” to “rock ‘n roll,” but nobody asked. They didn’t inquire about my druthers regarding the artwork—so I ended up with this mess of a cover. 1
Not the bible for collectors
While I focused the book on established and collectable artists of the ’50s and ’60s, I did include some of the more highly collected artists of the ’70s and ’80s. The book basically covered:
• 45 rpm singles
• 45 rpm picture sleeves
• 45 rpm extended-play (EP) albums
I included select promotional 45 rpm singles, compact-33 rpm singles and picture sleeves, and 12-inch singles. The opening paragraphs of the introduction stated:
“Whether you are just stepping into this hobby or have been involved fanatically for a decade, you probably have questions concerning artists, titles, sleeves, values, etc. The answers are, for the most part, blowin’ in the wind. That is, they are all out there, they just have not been collected into a single tome of reference for easy access.
This is not the bible for record collectors.
It is not the blue book of vinyl junkies.
This book does not reflect my opinions of what your records are worth.
This book is one man’s attempt to catalog the pertinent information that is floating about. This book is intended solely to assist the general collector and dealer in developing a reliable overview of the market and ascertain where his or her interests lie.”
Aside from my babbling about the lack of black artists, Elvis, and the Beatles in the book, I did provide a brief history of the grading of 45s. The also book included two guest articles:
What Is An Acetate And Why Do They Cost So Much?
by Christopher Chatman
How To Realistically Sell Your Records
by Perry Cox
About Elvis and the Beatles: the discographies in the book were huge, but not complete. There is too much and so I covered the important records and recommended two other price guides that specialized on those two artists, my own A Touch Of Gold – The Elvis Presley Record & Memorabilia Price Guide, and The Beatles Price Guide For American Records by Perry Cox.
Two more editions by me followed, each slightly bigger and noticeably better than the previous. Each new edition outsold the previous edition. (This was the only cover for the 45RPM book that I could tolerate.)
Where’s all the black music?
During the heyday of Top 40 radio in the 1950s and ’60s, hundreds of records were issued every week, all competing for the precious little time available within a 24-hour day. There were far (FAR!) too many rock & roll records for this book, so I had to make some decisions on what to exclude as well as what to include.
Because of one decision, I ended up with an all-white book. . As for the apparent racial discrimination, I wrote:
“For the sake of defining the scope of this book, I have differentiated white rock & roll from black rhythm & blues and soul music. The almost complete lack of black artists is not meant as a statement in any manner; it is simply a means of defining my boundaries and working within them.”
I apologized if this appeared racist, but I had a couple of all-black books planned for the future. 2
This book also sold well beyond the hopes of Krause and the future looked good for me and KP . . .
About my other books
There are eight articles on this site explaining the various books I published for record collectors. They are best read in the following order, which is roughly chronological:
1 I would have gone with something like Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Rock & Roll Singles and Picture Sleeves, or the simpler and more Goldmine’s Price Guide to Rock & Roll Records.
2 I planned one book for black rhythm & blues and rock & roll from 1952-1962, and another for ’60s and ’70s soul.
I didn’t much care for this cover either, but this was easily the best guide of the three editions!
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