Over 30K for a record?Some people have way too much money!!
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As a teenager (back in the 1960's) the used record section of many stores had early blues 78's in the racks. They were not particularly popular and sold for very modest sums, often less than $1.00 each. I accumulated several hundred of them and discovered that some were so rare that it seemed appropriate to reproduce them on LP's lest this music be lost forever.
My first demo LP of long forgotten and extremely rare blues recordings (on the Document label)was met with a lawsuit from the then owners of the Paramount label (this is Paramount Records circa 1910-1920) to prevent the release of the LP. I had orders for hundreds of copies of the LP, all based on the demo recording I had made and so my first foray into the recording business was a disaster.
Despite the fact that many of the 78's were so rare that they could not be obtained at any price the recording industry chose to quash the release on LP on the basis that it was "not a popular genre". That was then. It is not surprising that today those 78's might sell for $30k since there may be only one or two copies remaining.
The early blues recordings are remarkable both for the quality of the artists performances and the lyrics. They appealed to everyone, even crossing racial boundaries, but more as a curiosity or comical use of lyrics.
Today their value in terms of the contribution to the creation of a musical form is enormous, in addition to the foundation of Jazz itself.
Unfortunately, my first wife sold the 78's when we divorced and I have regretted the loss ever since (of the 78's).
Luckily, lots of this material has become available from Yazoo and others. I recommend everyone who is interested in exploring the ultra-rare pre-war 78 game check out a 2-cd set called "The Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of" and a disc called "Down In Joe Bussard's Basement." They'll make you want to start collecting. (And of course you'll need to start building a dedicated 78 system too!). Also good is an OOP box set (from a major label but I forget which) called "Roots & Blues, the Retrospective 1925-1950."
Here's a link to a great article on Bussard and the records.