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Library Tosses Rare Vinyl Record Collection

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The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library decided to toss out its collection of vinyl record albums, some of which we found are worth a lot of money.

The old records are being sold for just a dollar apiece, but a music enthusiast got his hands on some albums that could be worth well over a thousand times as much.

Chad Bledsoe, owner of Chad’s Records, knew he got something special when he bought a rare collection for just $13. As the saying goes, one person’s trash becomes someone else’s treasure.

“Well I knew about the Library of Congress collections and I thought wow, you know, cool,” Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe certainly knows music and he knows about the rare gems he just got for one dollar each. The set was compiled by Library of Congress Folk Life Center archivist Richard K. Spottswood in 1976 for the Bicentennial. It’s a collection of American Folk music from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s that inspired the best country, blues and rock musicians decades later.

Each album in the set has it’s own theme and title like War & History, Complaints & Protest, Migration and Immigration and Songs of Childhood.

“It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind find because I guess the only sets are in libraries,” Bledsoe said.

We found the complete 15-album set lists on one internet site,, for about $1,500 bucks.

Bledsoe’s 13-record set came from the now-empty shelves of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library, where they were tossed out like yesterday’s trash. Friends of the Library is selling them for a buck each in the center of Northgate Mall.

“We had noticed over the last several years that the vinyl is not circulating like our Cd’s are, or our DVD’s, and what we wanted to do was make space for new items and get them into the hands of people who would really appreciate them,” Cathy Royal of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library said.

Royal said she and the rest of the staff does not have the time or resources needed to properly maintain the vinyl set that’s now over 30-years old.

Each of the albums contains a vinyl disc that’s in remarkably good shape. It includes a book that details the music, the lyrics and the story behind the songs as well as the life of the artists. You will find the work of some of the earliest Grand Ole Opry performers on these albums, as well as people like Wilmouth Houdini, Dutch Coleman, Bumble Bee Slim and others who blazed the blues and folk music trails.

Bledsoe questions whether this collection would have sold for just $13, had people at the library known.

“Someone’s there who maybe didn’t know about it, or look at it, I’m not sure,” Bledsoe said.

The remaining vinyl records that were kept at Chattanooga’s main library downtown are up for sale at the center of Northgate Mall through Tuesday, March 2 for $1 each. 

Posted via web from The LP Revival Blog


~ by lprevival on March 2, 2010.

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