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Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Would You Pay for Three Million Records?

posted by on September 11 at 11:38 AM


Paul Mawhinney was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Over the years he has amassed what has become the world’s largest record collection. Due to advancing age, financial issues, health issues and a struggling record industry Paul has been forced to sell his collection…. AGAIN.

Read the complete story at

I would LOVE to get my hands on his Christmas music collection… I’m a sucker for good Christmas songs.

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Prince's ... 'another lonely Christmas' - beautifully-sad [on B-Sides album]

Love the Pogues ... Fairytale of New York as well.

I had a 'Packman' [yes, the video game] Christmas album, back in the 80s.

Posted by bringbackthe8track | September 11, 2008 12:25 PM

"Fairytale of New York" is in my top five for holiday songs. And that Prince song... I like it... but does anyone else think it's a little creepy?

Posted by Megan Seling | September 11, 2008 12:52 PM

The "worth" of the collection is whatever he can get someone to pay for it. So, apparently less than three million at this point.

"Rare" does not always equal "very valuable".

Posted by Tiktok | September 11, 2008 1:27 PM

Sadly, Tiktok is very correct in this assessment. I've been amassing vinyl for over 20 years - and while your favorite "still sealed" collector piece might list in a book for 50 or a hundred bucks, chances are that your local "We Buy Vinyl" store isn't gonna give you more than a couple dollars for it. Online Auction sites aren't much better, a year ago - I let go both vinyl editions of GN'Rs 'Use Your Illusion' LPs for roughly the same price I paid when they were released. I wish this guy the best of luck with his collection (and kinda wish I had a spare $3Mil lying around).

p.s. Great Christmas Vinyl? Check out Dreams So Real's "Red Lights" if you can find it - one of the best "rock" yuletide songs ever.

Posted by ReverendZ | September 11, 2008 1:41 PM

Last Christmas I gave you my heart, and the very next day you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone SPECIAL.

Can't top that. No point trying. Though Buck Owens, "Daddy Looks A Lot Like Santa" is pretty close.

Only a fool would try to sell this collection whole like this. If there are any valuable records in there, and surely there must be, they will fetch ten times as much singly.

I wouldn't make judgments about the value of records based on G'n'R. Those things were pressed in the millions. You want rare and valuable records, start looking for prewar blues and country 78s.

Posted by Fnarf | September 11, 2008 1:57 PM

christmas records are the least desirable in the could probably get three million of them for next to nothing.

It always sucks to sell records, they're a pretty bad "investment." Not surprised at all you feel cheated on your "Use Your Illusion" records--they were horrible... But, um, do you have that live one? I still want that one...

Posted by alex | September 11, 2008 2:04 PM

The Seattle Public Library has a pretty great Christmas collection...Stevie Wonder, Carpenters, Johnny Cash, etc...

I'm just sayin'.

Posted by Dod | September 11, 2008 2:06 PM

I can't believe we're talking about Christmas music in September. I mean, I love that we're talking about Christmas music in September, but I can't believe it.

I will now continue to eat some of the Halloween candy I got from QFC.

Posted by Megan Seling | September 11, 2008 2:17 PM

Yep Last Christmas is the best and only christmas carol I enjoy.

Posted by ZWBush | September 11, 2008 2:27 PM

I'm not too sad about the GNR, I was just using that as an example since, in the vinyl editions, they were kinda rare (I tried to look up an actual # of vinyl pressings for you Fnarf, but to no avail).Most record companies started ceasing their vinyl production around 89/90, right around the time CDs really started taking off, but you can still find some neat and semi-rare vinyl stuff from the early to mid 90s (thank you, Sub Pop, et al).

Confidential (ha!) to Alex@6 - "Live!Like a Suicide" is a collector's dream EP in good condition and is extremely hard to find at a reasonable price, but you can probably locate "GNR Lies" a bit easier - and side B of that EP has the "..Suicide" tracks you might be looking for.

Also to Dod@7: I'll definitely stand by the SPL's Christmas music selection, but if you really want some Yuletide Goodies, check out the Christmas Videos in the childrens section downstairs. Then imbibe some of your favorite and watch "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street" from the late 70's - a classic.

Posted by ReverendZ | September 11, 2008 2:28 PM

Ultra-hot and cooking jazz organist Jimmy Smith put out a couple of incredible Christmas records, and at least a couple of the tracks made it onto 45. Remember when jazz artists put out singles? Me neither. But we will have a piile of them in our jukebox in a couple of months.

There are SO MANY great Christmas records. It's nowhere near the least desirable genre. I would nominate barbershop quartets, or non-ironically-funny Christian records (Evie), or German beerhall, or....

Posted by Fnarf | September 11, 2008 2:30 PM

Oh Christ...this is the Record-Rama drama, as this has come to be known...sheesh, no one wants 3 million duff unsellable records. This "collection" is the left over deadstock of an okay record store. Pittsburg collectors (tho' THIS GUY WAS A DEALER not collector) are infamous for ONLY liking the group sound/doo wop and are rumored to STOP having anything to do w/ANY rock post 1963.

Here is a really cool documentary on the man w/too many records...

my collector friend george says "Despite the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, it’s hard to feel sympathy for the guy when he’s clearly missing the big picture. The pic of the shopworn Moody Blues LP early on (and that’s probably above the average for inventory) says it all." Hard not to agree...

Posted by nipper | September 11, 2008 3:26 PM

Moody Blues were GODS from '67-'72. That is all.

Carry on.

Posted by segal | September 11, 2008 3:42 PM

HAHAHAHAHA! I SO agree I love the Moodys, however a beat copy of any Moody Blues LPs does not fetch...well, anything.

Posted by nipper | September 11, 2008 4:09 PM

records are a great investment, you just gotta know how to play the game. sure some investments will fall through but if you're persistent and knowledgeable, you'll do just fine. in this guys case, he didn't do that. he mainly has 6million pieces of garbage.

Posted by rob | September 11, 2008 4:42 PM

@7 - There was a used copy of the GNR live LP in Sonic Boom on 15th Ave E. last week. Not sure if it's still there, but might be worth checking.

Posted by Travis | September 11, 2008 8:18 PM

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