Digging for Gold #4: Jazz records, storage units, and magic markers

Last month in Digging for Gold, we discussed a great record collection that fell into my lap. Just keep talking about records and you’ll stumble across one of these situations yourselves eventually! There wasn’t a collection that found its way to me since my last column, but it didn’t stop me from digging up a few great jazz records by keeping my contacts active.

I received a message from an old friend about a storage unit auction that he had won and had four large crates filled with records in it. Now, he makes his living off of his storage unit finds so I knew the records wouldn’t be had for thrift store prices…but he’s always fair with me so I was excited to see what the crates contained. I was even more eager to check out his haul when he told me that most of the records looked like old jazz records.

He spent some time researching the records and organizing them, then invited me over to dig through the crates. It was clear that the previous owner of the records loved his collection – so much that he catalogued many of the records with a numerical system in magic marker…on the covers…Ugghh. Even with the numbering on some of the jackets, there were still some amazing records to be had in this collection. Some of these are true gems in any condition, and I was glad to add some to my personal stash. 

Jazz Records

Flipping through, I pulled records out from artists such as John Coltrane, Clifford Jordan, Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, Andrew Hill, Calvin Keys, Grant Green, and many others. There were at least 400 records in this lot but I had a limited budget that weekend and only took about 20. The good thing is, I will get to go back and dig again this month and pull others that I want for myself. As mentioned in previous articles, that is the benefit of talking about records to anyone and everyone and keeping in touch with your contacts. When things like this come up and they know that you’re the “record person”, you may get the first look.

This find saved what was a pretty slow month in record bargain shopping for me. Although I had to pay more than thrift store prices, the deal was more than fair and I was able to knock some tough-to-find records off my wish list. I’ll be back out digging as always, and I hope to have more great finds to share with you all next time.

If you have any great finds that you’d like to share, send over pics and a brief description to submit@vinylchapters.com and they may feature in a future column. Until next month, good luck in your searches and keep ‘Digging for Gold’!

By Eric Keith

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