Blues and R&B 45s of the ’50s Price Guide

Blues and Rhythm & Blues 45s of the ’50s

Monaural Press, 2001

IN 2001, THINGS CHANGED. I was several years removed from O’Sullivan Woodside and Goldmine and Krause Publications. So I published The Umphred Guide To Blues And Rhythm & Blues 45s Of The 50s under my own imprint, Monaural Press. I did it the old-fashioned way, paying a printer to make the books.

It cost me a fortune, but I knew I had a book that was gonna fly!

Then something happened.

Things changed . . .


As the first printing of The Umphred Guide To Blues And Rhythm & Blues 45s Of The 50s was for a limited edition, advanced copy, it did not have finished cover artwork. Instead it looked like this: I hand-stamped “Advance Copy” on each book. With few exceptions, all copies of this book look like this—not that most of you will ever see a copy.

When I first conceived of this book, my first—and only choice—for co-author was the legendary Val Shively. His used-record store R&B Records had been a fixture in the Philadelphia area for decades, and his knowledge of the rhythm & blues field was legendary!

So I trekked to Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (look it up) to entreat Val to join me.

He turned me down.

He sent me on my way to Grant’s Pass, Oregon.

To read more about the book and its publisher, Monaural Press:



3 Replies to “Blues and R&B 45s of the ’50s Price Guide”

  1. I have a question actually. I have had The Umphred Guide – Blues and Rhythm & Blues 45’s of The 50’s for some time now. It has been a great source for research over the years for me and has served me well. Lo, my copy is at a point where it is literally falling apart. My question: Is there any way I can purchase another copy of this book and if so, where?.
    Best! Michael MacKay – West Toluca Lake, CA

    1. MM

      1. Glad the book was of some use.

      2. I have not seen a used copy for sale by an owner ever.

      3. The story behind why there are so few copies is interesting (it is tied into the collapse of buying on the Internet post 9/11) but makes me look pathetic. Of course I will tell it some day.

      4. I have a few copies that I may put up for sale on eBay and Amazon but will be asking a gawdawful lot of money for . . .

      Thanks for following my Elvis site. Are you reading my Rather Rare Records site?



    2. MICHAEL

      Since I posted my original reply, I have recovered 15 years worth of belongings from storage. I have a few of the R&B books (brand new), but am not certain whether I am gonna sell them.

      If I do, they will be dear.

      So, in case you see me offering any for sale, you understand that I did not have these books in April when you originally asked.

      Shona Nollaig duit!


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