Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I read awhile back a piece in the “National Enquirer” about collecting rare records and the high prices being paid for some of them. In it, you are quoted as one of their sources, and mentioned as the expert.

One of the records pictured and discussed is “Good Luck Charm” by Elvis Presley. What I don't understand is why this record would be such a big deal. After all, it surely is a multi-million seller that many, many people have. I know I have a copy. So how could it be worth lots of dough?
—Joe Rouche, Lakeland, Fla.

DEAR JOE: When the “National Enquirer” interviewed me for that story, I stressed the importance of explaining to their readers how to differentiate between the two simultaneously-issued versions of “Good Luck Charm.” Unfortunately, they failed to include that important detail in the finished story.

If your record and sleeve are identified as a “Compact 33 Single” and show the RCA Victor selection number “37-7992,” then this record will really be your good luck charm. This disc has a small hole, just like you would find on an LP. The last copy, with picture sleeve, of this release to sell (1997) brought around $22,000.

If your copy is numbered “47-7992,” it is the somewhat common, million-selling single of “Good Luck Charm.” This pressing has a big hole like any other 45 rpm single. Though not $20,000 worth of good luck, even this charm now sells for $30 to $45.

Today's column is definitely dealing with some high ticket 1960s vinyl. Read on:

DEAR JERRY: I have seen where one of Bob Dylan's first albums, “The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan,” may have become quite valuable. I have this LP, but before I get to jumping up and down with excitement, I'd like to hear from the expert.

Well, Mr. Music, can I quit my day job or not?
—Amanda Light, Seattle, Wash.

DEAR AMANDA.: I wouldn't quit the day job just yet. First we have some checking to do. With this 1963 issue, his chart debut album, the price range mostly depends on whether or not you have a first pressing. Here's how to tell the difference:

First pressings of “The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan” (Columbia 1986/8786) have four songs that Dylan replaced with four completely different tracks on all subsequent pressings.

Since you'll need to examine the copy you have, here are the songs to look and listen for: “Let Me Die in My Footsteps; Talkin' John Birch Society Blues; Gamblin' Willie's Dead Man's Hand,” and “Rocks and Gravel,” which may be shown on some copies as “Solid Gravel.” Should you be fortunate enough to have these tracks on your copy, you've definitely got a first pressing. Depending on other variables, one of these babies can bring an astounding $10,000 to $15,000. According to “The Money Records (The 1,000 most valuable recordings),” this album ranks No. 6.

Second pressings, which may have come out as early as 1963, with these four tracks replaced by others, are valued at $20 to $40.

Make certain which issue you have before you give your two weeks notice.

IZ ZAT SO? Though “The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan” is the talented poet's first charted LP, it is his second overall to the self-titled “Bob Dylan.” However, even this earlier issue is not his first appearance on record.

For that, we turn to the unlikeliest of places — a 1962 Harry Belafonte recording session that produced the Top 10 album, “The Midnight Special” (RCA Victor 2449). For this session, Bob Dylan is the featured harmonica player.

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