Ask "Mr. Music"
May 17, 2010
"The High Numbers - Grading Vinyl"
Let's continue our feature here at DigitalDreamDoor: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 25th year of syndication (1986-2011), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on.
Be sure to stop by Jerry's site www.jerryosborne.com for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.
More Mr. Music Articles
Ask "Mr. Music"
May 17, 2010 - "The High Numbers - Grading Vinyl"
As a fan of the 1960s British music, I often buy entire collections of those type records on a pot luck basis. In those lots I have come up with some very interesting items about which I knew nothing and wouldn't have bought individually. One such record is "Zoot Suit" backed with "I'm the Face" (Back Door 4) by a rock band called the High Numbers.
About all I know about them is they never had a hit record in the U.S.
What can you tell me about the High Numbers? Who were they?
- Ken Madigan, Madison, Wisc.
The short answer requires only a simple transposition within your question: They were Who.
However, I suspect you seek a slightly more illuminating reply.
Formed in the spring of 1964, the High Numbers were the same foursome who one year later became world famous as the Who, and eventually one of rock's greatest bands: Roger Daltrey, John Entwisle, Pete Townshend, and Keith Moon.
Their first record deal came with Fontana, and resulted in a single coupling "Zoot Suit" and "I'm the Face" (Fontana TF-480).
As one would expect, the first record by the Who would be quite collectible, especially a non-hit that didn't sell very well. This coveted single, not issued in America despite so much British music coming our way in 1964, now sells in the $1,000 to $1,500 range.
The Back Door "Zoot Suit" is a $4.00 to $8.00 reissue, made in the 1980s specifically for Who fans whose music budgets didn't allow for $1,000 records.
The High Numbers signed with Decca in 1965, then came their first hit, "I Can't Explain." By mid-April this tune ranked in the New Musical Express Top 10.
I am a newcomer to vinyl collecting, and I am having a lot of fun with this new hobby.
When it comes to describing condition, I notice most of the dealers use one- or two-letter abbreviations.
Since this is so common, can you put together a list that will help me to break the code?
- Angie Beachwood, York, Pa.
Gladly. Here is the standard system of record grading used by buyers and sellers worldwide:
M (mint): A mint item must be absolutely perfect. Nothing less can be honestly described as mint. Even brand new purchases can easily be flawed in some manner and not qualify as mint. To allow for tiny blemishes, the highest grade used by most dealers is NM (near-mint).
VG (very good): Records in very good condition should have a minimum of visual or audible imperfections, and they should not detract much from your enjoyment of owning it. This grade is halfway between good and near-mint.
G (good): Good enough to fill a gap until a better copy becomes available. Good condition merchandise will show definite signs of wear and tear, probably because no protective care was given the item. Records in good condition should at least play all the way through without skipping. You will often see a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to indicate the item is slightly better or worse than the primary grade, such as VG+ (very good plus) and
VG- (very good minus). M- is synonymous with NM (near-mint).
The condition of most older records is probably something less than near-mint condition, so it is very important to use the near-mint price range only as a starting point in record appraising.
IZ ZAT SO?
For the first 30 years of the Rock Era in England, only 14 singles made their debut at No. 1 on the New Musical Express chart: (1958) "Jailhouse Rock" (Elvis Presley); (1960) "My Old Man's a Dustman" (Lonnie Donnegan); (1960) "It's Now Or Never" (Elvis Presley); (1961) "Surrender" (Elvis Presley); (1962) "The Young Ones" (Cliff Richard); (1963) "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Beatles); (1964) "Can't Buy Me Love" (Beatles); (1964) "A Hard Day's Night" (Beatles); (1964) "Little Red Rooster" (Rolling Stones); (1964) "I Feel Fine" (Beatles); (1965) "Ticket to Ride" (Beatles); (1965) "Help!" (Beatles); (1965) "Day Tripper" (Beatles); and (1967) "All You Need Is Love" (Beatles).
All became huge hits in England, but only the 11 by Elvis and the Beatles were also U.S. hits. The tunes by Lonnie Donnegan, Cliff Richard, and Rolling Stones never charted in the States.
MORE: Ask "Mr. Music" -
Music hit-makers that resorted to suicide
Most singles without a best seller, plus Tony Bennett is back on the charts
Three-inch CD mini single - No. 1 albums with no previous chart singles
B-side mix up, Dotty Daniels, and Paul Revere and the Raiders
Sales records, Jimmie Rodgers Blues, and Pic-Discs
I've Been Everywhere, and Sioux City Sue
It's G/B for me. Plus 3 record sets
Top singles artist who never had a charted album
Grammy Awards, 1950s and 1960s acts
Dotty Daniels and D. Goodman
The many versions of "Open the Door, Richard" continued
The many versions of "Open the Door, Richard"
"Simon and Garfunkel earlier singles
"Ahab, the Arab" by Ray Stevens
"Longest note held by a solo female singer"
"More about The You Know Who Group"
"Nina Simone - biggest hits and controversial songs"
"No. 1 Instrumentals"
"The Ballad of Paladin by Johnny Western"
"Who had the greatest number of albums on the charts"
"Roses Are Red My Love by The You Know Who Group"
"Most popular American Idol contestants"
"Elvis lowest and highest notes - New albums from accomplished artists"
"Date Bait" & "Mummenschanz"
"Gibberish lyrics, and Maggie Flynn"
"R&B and C&W Crossovers, plus '60s Grammys picks"
"Overused song titles and comical oldies"
"The mysterious death of teen idol Dean Reed"
"Manhattan by Dinah Washington - Got a Match? by the Daddy-O's"
"Katherine Hepburn Speaking for Freedom 78 rpm"
"The Ballad of Ronnie - and Mildred Bailey"
"Osmonds and Jacksons - I'll Cry Instead: Beatles"
"Frim Fram Sauce, and the Beatles Maggie Mae"
"George Michael's soul success with "Faith"
"A Bunch of Queers Presents Warlock"
"Has there ever been a commercial 78 rpm recorded in stereo?"
"River Nile" by "LEROY and His Rockin' Fellers"
Patsy Montana's "I Wanna Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart"
"Diana Krall song & Susan Boyles' career"
"Songs: Just for a Thrill, and Cool Yule"
"Number 1 Christmas Songs through the years"
"Song in VW commercial, and Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas song"
"Shake, Rattle and Roll", plus Pete Best album "Haymans Green"
"Single releases originally issued with picture sleeves"
"Ronnie Dawson - Hazel"
"Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
"Who was the Masked Marvel"
"Davy Jones Presents, record label"
"Al Green & Johnny Nash"
"Tamouré, Tahitian dance"
"Jo Ann Campbell - Wolverton Mountain"
"Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On & Highway Man"
"Hawaiian musics Frank Ferera"
"Paul Revere and the Raiders instrumentals & Song from Hair"
"Beatles 14 tunes in the Top 100, & The last mono-only albums"
"Connie Francis early years, and Names of states in hit titles"
"Gene Pitney, and David Janssen"
"Payola scandals, and Chubby Checker dance hits"
"Why vinyl sounds richer, Elvis and Beatles on Cash Box, Big Bad John answer songs"
"Vinyl Record Day - 'Mad Men' song"
"Cast Your Fate to the Wind, two versions"
"RFD Songs" and "Your Hit Parade"
"Hit Songs as both Vocal and Instrumental"
"Robert David Hall of CSI, plus the Belmonts without Dion"
"Cal Stewart's Uncle Josh Songs, & Andrews Sisters"
"The Collector's Edition T.A.M.I. Show"
"The Girl from the Next Farm Over" & "Tangerine Dream"
"Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula"
"'50s Rockers Ages" - "Songwriters Hall of Fame"
"Lyrics or Music" and "Billy Squier"
"Connie Francis, Neil Diamond, and David Gates"
"The High Numbers and Grading Vinyl"
"Willie Nelson duets"
"Don't Do It" by "Little Charlie and the Nightcats"
"Frank Sinatra Spectacular, with Johnny Carson"
"Sam & Dave Medley" and the knife in "Moody River"
"Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Same Old Fool"
"Tony Orlando or Bertell Dache?"
"Foreign language hit songs in the U.S."
"The Overlanders" and "All-male Top 10"
"Songs with a bullet" and the name "Browning"
"Yesterday and Today, Beatles - Song: Submarine Race"
"Elvis Presley songs based on classical pieces."
"Introducing the Beatles" album value
"Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" & "I Belong to You" by Peggy Lee
"A Lovers Hymn" and Songs naming the 12 months
"This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney
"The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction"
"Deana Martin", "Buchanan and Goodman"
"A Hard Day's Night" - Beatles
"British Christmas tunes" and "Fingertips Part 1"
"Backward tape technology" and "Rock Era Christmas tunes"
"Red Velvet Slippers" and "A Christmas Gift for You"
"Jerry Lee Lewis" and "See See Rider"
"Bonanza Theme Song"
"Come Softly to Me" by the Fleetwoods
Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.
Jerry's Question page: Ask your question here.
Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site: www.jerryosborne.com.
All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.
Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission
|- - For Links to - -|
Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk, Classical, and more,
Click Main Music Page below.
DigitalDreamDoor.com is to be used for
entertainment, educational, or research purposes only.
Copyright © 2010 - DigitalDreamDoor.com
All photos are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes only.
This Ask "Mr. Music" page is only a part of DigitalDreamDoor.com. To view the Home page click