78 record dating

Only one price guide book enjoys credibility among at least some serious collectors.The American Premium Record Guide, by Les Docks, is 450 pages, has illustrations, and gives prices for over 60,000 records.

If he says a record is worth 0, plan to bid 0 or more if you wish to win it from an auction. He does a superb job of listing the relatively valuable 78s that advanced collectors seek, at least in the way of "hot" jazz, blues, and hillbilly.I have never met a collector who was interested in listening to picture discs--they are collectible for display purposes.Docks' guide covers jazz, blues, country, and rock 78s--obviously these are the four categories of music that Docks respects. To be more precise, he is very good with jazz of the 1920s but is far too selective about bebop and traditional jazz of the 1940s for his guide to be useful for these jazz categories. Docks has no interest in this artist, listing a mere 7 Dial recordings out of the many Parker did, and then Docks underprices them at -8 (you won't find any at that price--remember, Docks says his prices are for 78s in excellent condition).The singer made over a thousand recordings, many today selling in the -4 range. I deplore a few things about the Docks price guide--again, prices he cites on some records are way too low, he pretends that this is a guide for 78s as early as 1900, key artists are missing.I suspect his book evolved as one giant "want list," with Docks listing all the records he wants to buy from others, the prices indicating what he might pay for 78s in mint condition (records are rarely in mint condition, yet that is the premise for the prices in this guide).

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