Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In 2009 I was the winner in an eBay auction of "KISS - The Originals" LP, a factory sealed copy with original cover sticker and bonus inserts.

It cost me a little over $900, but I thought it was a bargain because several others that I previously bid on unsuccessfully went for $1,200 to $1,600.

That is until just a few weeks ago when I saw another sealed "KISS - The Originals" sell to the highest eBay bidder for just $340. My hope of having gotten a bargain was crushed.

What happened? Was there a newly-discovered quantity dumped in the marketplace?
—Dave Schaffer, Hobbs, N.M.

DEAR DAVE: Imagine how much worse you would feel if you were one of those KISS fans in 2009 who shelled out $1,500 or more for "The Originals."

As for a recent quantity dump, there is nothing to suggest that happening.

It just seems 2009 was the bull market for this album, and prices have fallen steadily since that peak.

One possibility is that aggressive bidders five years ago could not have known that the supply factor in the law of supply and demand — the two essentials that create value — would not soon dry up.

Of course it didn't, and "The Originals" — specifically first pressings issued in the summer of 1976 — sold for less than in years past.

There is even one documented sale at $305. That's $35 less than the transaction that gave you the blues.

As with stocks and other types of investments, a downturn in the market doesn't hurt if you're not planning to sell. Hopefully, if they haven't already done so, prices will soon hit bottom and then begin a correction cycle.

Coincidentally, our next topic also involves an all-caps, four-letter group and a record currently worth about what a "KISS - The Originals" sold for in 2009.

DEAR JERRY: I just received an instant message from an ABBA collector in Sweden, who found out that I also collect ABBA.

Knowing that I have better access to information about U.S. releases than he does, he wants to know if I've ever heard of a 1960s or early '70s single that is either "Bobbi" by ABBA, or "Abba" by someone named Bobbi.

Obviously I know nothing about this or I wouldn't be asking for your help. Can you make any sense out of it?
—Jessica Anslee, Chillicothe, Ohio

DEAR JESSICA: It really does make sense, and I can even understand the confusion over Abba and Bobbi.

However, other than the title, which in this case is "Abba," there is no connection whatsoever to the Swedish super group of super troupers: Agnetha Fältskog; Björn Ulvaeus; Benny Andersson; and Anni-Frid ("Frida") Lyngstad.

In fact, this "Abba" song came out in 1967, about five years before the forming of ABBA, the group.

"Abba" is by the Paragons, a North Carolina teenage garage band comprised of Johnny Pace; Bobby Pace; Pat Walters; Tim Moore; and Danny Huntley.

Bobbi is the name of the record label, an appropriate connection since Barbara "Bobbi" Cashman was both the owner of the company and the Paragons' business manager.

Knowing this "Abba," merely a girl's name, would add nothing significant to his ABBA collection should give your Swedish friend relief on one front. He won't be faced with unnecessarily parting with from 12,000 to 14,000 kronor (approximately $1,600 to $1,800), the current price range for the Bobbi 45.

IZ ZAT SO? "Abba," backed with "Mister You're A Better Man Than I" (Bobbi 7352), is the only known record by those Paragons. Because of it they did gain some notoriety in their home area around Charlotte.

At least five other groups named Paragons made records in the 1950s and '60s, but none ever cracked the Top 80 on the national charts.

Regionally, the Paragons from Brooklyn were somewhat successful on the New York R&B scene in 1957 with "Florence" (Winley 215) and "Let's Start All Over Again" (sang as "Let's Start It Over Again") (Winley 220).

IZ ZAT SO? When Tom T. Hall wrote "Harper Valley P.T.A." he could never have imagined what a cultural phenomenon he'd created.

Not only did Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 recording top both the pop and country charts in the U.S. and Canada — the first time ever accomplished by a female — but that one little phonograph record inspired a feature film (1978) AND a TV series (1981). That too had never happened before.

Return to "Mr. Music" Home Page