London Late Tri Centres Info
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LONDON LATE TRI CENTRES9434 & K9433. Issued on King 4739. 9 track session, other 7 were instrumentals as findable online. The session details list "Blue Mitchell, Eldridge Morris (trumpet) Earl Bostic (alto saxophone) Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone) Celia Lopez, Stash O'Laughlin (piano) Mitchell "Tiny" Webb (guitar) George Tucker (bass) Granville T. Hogan (drums) Bob Bustamente, Bill Gallardo, Jose Mendoza (Latin rhythm)" but "Oh Babe" is a midtempo Doowop-R&B with a Vocal Group, the other side is a solo vocal slow track. Now Earl Bostic was known for his Jazz Names playing his style of R&B Pop instrumentals, Stanley Turrentine a big name of later years. Sonny Carter released another 45 on King 4756 "It's Strange But True' K8508 and "I Solemnly Swear" K8507. The King 4739 is found on USA ebay as a Doowop 45 for $25, the King 4756 clearly 2 slow tracks as going unsold for $3. But Who Is The Vocal Group? A bunch of Jazz-R&B instrumental guys would not be a Harmony Group or could do the duties as well as play. So there is a chance the Vocal Group is one of the King group, like The Platters, The Royals/Midnighters or The Strangers. If anything could be confirmed it would elevate the Record into the Big League. UK Parlophone later issued the hopelessly rare Linda Hayes & The Platters "Oochi Patchi" (Doowop) & "Please Have Mercy" (Slow) on MSP 6174 July 1955. We had a high grade no centre copy many years ago & could have sold it 5 times. UK Parlophone has a few King R&B tracks with two Jimmy Witherspoon ones being the rarest amid mostly Instrumentals & Ink Spots, as well as Bonnie Lou, Boyd Bennett & other Pop style C&W artists. To find out via the King Discography & see who else was in the Studio that day would be the answer. The Platters done a session 20 May 1954, The Strangers 25 June 1954. The Dominoes 25 May 1954 is the nearest. Marv Goldberg's wonderful R&B site lists plenty on Group's sessions & 27 May 1954 itself shows no sessions, but assuming the mystery group could be under contract to another label & 'just dropped in', they got no credit. May 1954 was very busy in the R&B world & many groups making Group-R&B records just as "Gee" and "Sh'Boom" were crossing over to Pop. The rest needs expert help to decide who the group is rather than guessing. It's by "Sonny Carter & Unknown Vocal Group" currently... Playing it the Group do "da doot doot doo da doo doo" & sometimes the last two words of the previous & some clearly pro sounding "aaahhh" harmonies then a sax break then similar. The group sound they are not on the Mike as a bit distant, but the track is written to have the Vocal Group as it'd be a bit bare without it as the lead timing etc. A bit Chords "Sh'Boom" as well as The Crows "Gee" as the record date would suggest, rather than the Platters, Royals or Strangers more free sound on their more uptempo tracks. But no solo voice beyond Sonny Carter makes it hard. A Pro Group they are though. The B side is a Billy Eckstine type slowie vocal if not as deep as him but with no Vocal group. A quality track we'd have played a lot in our Collecting days if we'd had it then, not just a Pop thing. Over to you, Folks... our one will be For Sale soon... The GRAMOPHLTD codes unsurprisingly are "G+G" suggesting 200-300 copies were pressed but how many sold & how many returned unsold is the unknown as s how many sold ones still survive? Must be under a dozen on some of these titles, you'd take decades to make a Bonnie Lou or Earl Bostic complete UK 45s set as they sold in very small amounts on 45.
18 March 2013: Readers & Contributors be aware RECORD COLLECTOR MAGAZINE were trying to use our free info on these PREVIOUSLY UNDOCUMENTED LATE TRI CENTRES & publish it in their magazine to make money from it and think by giving us a credit we'd have allowed them to freely use our info. No Chance! We have not authorised "Record Collector Magazine" or anyone else to use any of our information, research or photos in their publication ever! Some of these records are our exclusives & others were given for the people freely by the owners knowing no person would make money out of it. Their idea has been shelved due to our protests and them knowing our research was 100% the basis for the article! They wanted our Beatles Contract Press info too years ago & you can find other sites who quote our research as their own, eg "Oriole Press" is 100% our research from 2004. Our Gold & Silver London Tri info is equally "not available for publishing" & is all given FREE by us to help progress the scene, not to line ours or anyone else's pockets & this will always be the case with our pages. We remember they printed exclusive info on Blue Beat & Island & gave the poor guy just a passing credit after nicking his lifetime's work for nothing. Refuse them to give you a credit & they can't publish it then, their slimy 'legal team' can't get around being directly told "No". Have a look at 70+ pages on Hifi we've written on this Website too, all FREE for you to read! If you see any books trying to make money by stealing our Info that we give for Free, please let us know & we'll bark at them too!
Exclusive!! Never before published info
about all the LONDON tri centres from 8900 to 9070. You can see from the London listing some were issued months out of sequence & many 8900s are on Round Centres only, despite errors in Record Collector, eg 8906 was thought to be round only & a strange looking one too, since got a pic of a Tri, looking more like an EMI (but it isn't). Another of this odd type is 8928. By mid 1960 the more standard London (Decca) type centre with the ridge on the centre was the normal type. the 'flat' looking centres are therefore the earliest ones from 1959 - early 1960, though you'll find repressings with later centres! See the table below for all confirmed Tris, some noted as Round may exist as Tri. All have been found on at least the Round Centre copy.
As a minor note, silver top London started with 8859 Billy Vaughn, making 8858 The Treniers being the last black top, not including the 70s retro ones. Several earlier 8800s were repressed with the silver top as is typical with steady selling 45s of the era.
Heard rumours of 9062 in 2009 but the seller wouldn't send a photo. One on ebay proves it's real & maybe it's the same copy? Any more?? The codes on 9062 Tri are "C+C", 9053 is "C+C" again showing these late Tri's are just done usually later at random for reasons unknown, maybe in-house test copies. The later Golds were later pressings too. The 2 round copies of 9062 we have are both "U+U" codes.
Now confirmed 9070 Johnny Cash as a TRI.
This is a March 1960 release opening the possibility of TRIs to 9086. The Round copy of 9070 has the flat type of centre as pictured below, as does 9069 & 9076 as one site pictures, so a tiny chance these are on Tri too? Who knows? We have since heard 9069 in very low grade was known on Tri, so there are more to find, but until a photo surfaces it's just a Rumour. An idea who knows are those who've been collecting since the 1960s-70s & are not sharing this info, we found 8125 as thick tri & this 9070 as tri & one already knew & had them! Please share the info as you'll be selling up these records one day & no-one will know they exist. How many want this & the 9062 tri now we & another site show it? Look at the top prices certain rare Gold Londons are making, regardless of the music on some. Interest is high! London is the ultimate 50s Collector Label though we like Vogues too for the high quality that the EMI catalog didn't do in such concentration until the Top Rank label. For the fact March 1960 includes Elvis 'Stuck On You' on RCA 1187, there *could* be a Tri centre of that too! Assume there isn't... yet.
Through seeing on-sale records after having started this page, some Tri's are turning up that we never knew existed in all our years shuffling vinyl. These late Tri's from 8950 onwards are mostly extra rare in comparison to the Round ones. Why has no-one seen some of these until now? 8959, 8961, 8979, 8990, 9006, 9026, 9053 & 9062 are new discoveries to us after decades shuffling vinyl! There are 2 label typeface variants of 9013 Marv Johnson even, making these Tri's part of an extra short press run. We note one site has some of our Sales pics edited, but not quite squaring off the aspect of our photo style. All helps the Game.
LATE TRIS ON DEMO ONLY.
Due to how Decca worked with Demos which is a bit randomly, you can find some Demo Pairs in 1958-60 that have always been together as One Tri and One Solid centre. Also there are Double Sided demos with another label/artist on the B side & even some that are A+B of the same release long before the mid 1960 way of A+B on one disc started. Some of the ones noted as Round Only have been spotted as Tri on at least one of the One Side Demos. To avoid confusion, we won't note any Demos though they do exist with at least one of the pair as Tri, ie 8950 (Earl Nelson), 8965 (Bud & Travis), 8973 (Addrissi Bros), 8989 (Don French), & 9016 (Dale Hawkins) are on a Tri Demo as is Brunswick 05811 (Carl Dobkins). Why exactly Decca issued One Sided Demos using double the vinyl for one record is never explained, though you do find USA records that state One Sided to provide a better pressing as on a 1963 VJ demo we had, but the truth is it makes no difference at all. 78 Demos exist with London with 8271 Carl Perkins being the earliest we've seen, 8292 Bill Darnel & 8295 Dick Noel are noted as a pair of 45rpm demos, & the earliest matched non-Pop A+B pair we've seen & had is 8309 Fats Domino. Looking online, there are Unissued London Demos: 9549 is Jimmy Soul later on Stateside SS102 & 9549 is alo noted as another track unissued by Bill Smith Combo. Also London SLW4001 is on a Demo with a white top on orange. London 8507 Bobby Please is Demo only & we've had the A side, heard rumours of the B side but never seen it, the A side is a novelty track & nothing special so sales would have been tiny. Demo pairs vary hugely in value as generally 1950s collectors prefer the one piece issue & getting the top grade pair A+B can see prices nearing the issue price at times, if other times going very low. Demos with A+B on one disc started in Dec 1960-Feb 1961 as some are pairs some are double sided in this crossover time. Demos are usually Solid Centre with Tri Centres starting in later 1957 if still solid centres until the double sided ones started. Never seen a round push-out centre on a one side demo. EARLIEST DOUBLE SIDE DEMOS. 9245 Dee Dee Warwick is a double side Demo with solid centre, 9248 Bobbettes is a double side Demo with push-out centre. We had an Andy Williams 1957-58 double sided London with A+B on one but details gone. Atlantic AT4001 comes on a London Atlantic Demo before they done the logo presumably.
LONDON 9006 Carl Mann 'Pretend'/'Rockin' Love' we can do more comparisons to, having found another thicker press like the tri, but as a round, we can add some more info. The Round is "K+C" codes, the Tri is "C+K" codes as seen on two copies now confirmed. All is identical to the closest detail except for the centre. We have 2 other later copies to check with. One is "C+K" (faintly stamped) with round centre, but the thinner gap centre type (see the Beatles Decca Contract type 2). The other is round with the more usual wider gap with very faintly stamped "K+I". Both centres are with a 1960 type bump in the middle, not the very early flat centre as shown below. Is this of any interest? A one sided demo of 'Pretend' exists as a Tri also, not that we're going much into demos.
LONDON 9013 Marv Johnson exists on Tri Centre with TWO label variants, one the regular sans-serif font & the other an odd skinny font like a Pat Boone 8910 has too. The regular font one on a thick pressing has "C+K" Buckingham codes. Having a Tri on a common track like this elevates it back into a 'Precious' league that the music suggests it would be if it wasn't a Chart Hit. No 7 for 17 weeks starting 7 Feb 1960 shows the Tri was on some of the very first copies only. Only seeing where it charted Feb-Mar '60 would give an idea how few of the first ones were the Tri or Early Round.
LONDON 8906 Appeared to be the First Round-Only until a Tri appeared & now we've seen one more to buy it after just missing the other one. 8908 is now the First Round-Only but was issued 6 months after the number suggests. 8924 is therefore the (so far) First Round-Only by release date. The Round press has a strange flat centre like EMI if a thicker press. The Tri details we can confirm now as most will never see one. The Round Centre has an odd totally flat centre piece with the indents on the prongs only, much closer to the edge of the centre than usual. The Tri is different & the pressing looks like the 8917 Ray Charles one, a label of the usual inner contour, then another one in the mid of that leading to the groove on the centre. The Buckingham codes are stamped in extremely lightly and are "C+C" which may be obscured on a lower grade as very weakly stamped. The label design is the same as all round ones we've seen. But as this was considered "Round Only" for a long time there may only be two known copies as no collectors who help us & 45cat have one & it must be considered these guys are the ones who'd have these items. There are some collectors still hiding their items from sight & research, or not computer-literate that are the only chances of competing the story when their items surface as time predicts. Strange that 8906 & 9006 are both ones that were noted "Round Only" for so long in our research, together with a few others. 8906 on Round is always the same pressing style, even the Demo found inline with a solid centre has the same vinyl contouring. So why only 2 copies known of the different looking Tri centre?
LONDON 8704 Little Anthony 'Tears' a classic track if ever if a bit slower for 'uptempo only' buyers which is a shame. The Narrow Print version is a lot harder to find, ours has "C+C" codes so certainly isn't the earliest.
WHY ARE SOME SO RARE?
It appears the later Tris were pressed 'almost' as in house test copies or "After Hours" work for their extreme rarity & this rarity has not been fully realised (as with many of the early silvers being pre Gold) due to the lack of research! In years of collecting by ourselves & info from others who grew up with the records, the rarity of many of these Tri's post 8950 is just 2-5 known copies? Only this article & advancing years will get more brought out to see the reality & those that are around as-yet undiscovered will be found. Only those working at Decca in 1959-60 could tell how many they put in the TRI centre pressing/cutting machine instead of the Round centre newer one. For all we know the Tri might have been an in-house test copy not intended for sale, as Tri was the old-fashioned Rock & Roll type centre. We are looking around to see as many of these as we can & still number counts of some are extra low. Again finding 8906 & 9006 tri centres this can be fairly stated as 2-5 known copies, a few later numbers like Brian Hyland are slightly more findable, but considering how many that hit sold, a tiny percentage still. The 8906, 9006 & 9013 as well as others always show the Tri as being never the first "B+B" press. Why did so few get cut as a Tri Centre or was there just one machine left until it broke down by Feb-March 1960? Assuming the Tri was pressed for a further batch after initial sales, you'd expect a few 25 count boxes to be made, even 100 copies. So why only 2-5 known copies of many of the late Tri Centres? Some are Common on Round, eg Carl Mann 'Pretend' but the Tri is very limited.
A lot of Soul & R&B records were well promoted to buyers by magazines so they will not have escaped & the reason why London issued so many R&B tracks as sales were good on artists like The Coasters & Drifters. Why they issued two Donald Height tracks when issues of both are very hard to find is less obvious, but they issued lots of MOR like Roger Williams & Billy Vaughn as sales were steady if not chartworthy. Some of the 1950s tracks now £££ collectables would have needed buyers to be listening to non UK Radio & really searching out these tracks, yet London issued 3 singles, one EP & 4 LPs by Joe Turner & 4 singles by Smiley Lewis. Also Vogue issued a good amount of R&B in the Tri Centre era aimed at West Indian immigrants & the USA army types. Sales clearly didn't rely on BBC radio for exposure.
RARITY NOT EQUALLING VALUE (yet!)
As these are still pretty unknown as we are the first to properly research this, prices are still growing as collectors realise firstly the Existence & then the Rarity of these late Tri Centres. Some are exceedingly rare compared to how often you see the Round centres. Watch the prices rise! Collectors have been keeping these since the late 1960s when Record Collecting started getting popular, as the Mike Raven London listings in Music Mags reveal. These records will come out as time passes & only then will the rarity be found. Some "Rare" records are being revealed to be not so rare as more emerge, but as people say "Rare" instead of Valuable & Wanted. Collectors in all fields like to keep unknown rarities secret, not realising one day they'll be selling them & if the market is unaware the prices won't be right if just using Auctions to sell.
On recent finds, the Tri of those post 8950 is always with a later Buckingham code, C and K often found. Smaller selling records therefore wouldn't have got a Tri pressed, as the chart data & better selling records as Tri centres in the table shows. 8962 Wink Martindale we have a Tri with 'BB+A' codes. Based on that information, there could be at least half a dozen more Tri Centres to find, artists like Billy Vaughn did sell steadily in those days.
The earliest Round centres, eg 8903, 8906, 8908 were actually issued later than the number suggests, see the table below. The first "Real" round-only (unless anyone knows it's a Tri) is 8922 in Aug 1959. So round centres started Aug 1959 & if you found high grade EPs you may confirm this with the cover codes, eg 8.59 with an early flat centred round record in it.
BUCKINGHAM [Decca] and GRAMOPHLTD [EMI] codes
were used on approx 1000-2000 pressings before they were replaced as worn out. Exact numbers depended on many factors naturally. A 1963 copy of the Beatles 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' still with the first label style has 'ARO' and 'APD' CODES, meaning 325th stamper on the A side and 350th on the B side (or is it 360th?). Either way, it shows over 300 stampers there was about 15% tolerance here. 1000-2000 pressings per stamper = 325,000 to 650,000 copies, though the higher seems more likely as the record sold a million very fast.
LAST TRI CENTRES: February-March 1960 seems to be the last months...
covering to 9066, so we'll show to 9066 & see. Brunswick 05819 Carl Dobkins (Jan 60); Coral 72379 Mc Guire Sisters has "K+C" codes, also 72376 Buddy Holly (Sep 59); Decca 11213 Bryan Johnson (Feb 60), 11220 Anthony Newley reported, we may have had one, not 100%; Felsted 122 Kathy Linden (1959); Melodisc 1516 Phil Sullivan (1959); Kalypso XX16 Laurel Aitken (1960); RCA 1168 Jim Reeves (Jan 60), 1170 Perry Como (Feb 60); Vogue 9163 Amos Milburn & 9164 Arthur Lyman (Feb 60); seem to be the last Decca pressed Tri's on 45s, though some labels have a lot of rare but lousy 45s you never see making it hard to be certain. EPs will be even harder to do! Collectors selling up after 50 years will throw up more surprises for sure. Seem to remember RCA 1171 Pat Suzuki as a Tri too. Deccas as very late Tri on one site show F11207 Joe Brown, F11202 MJ6 also, F11214 Max Bygraves "Fings" being Feb 1960 needs confirming as round-only as a Tri is possible. Kalypso XX11 & XX12 Count Lasher are on Tri also, must be a Feb 1960 batch with XX16. Having got XX16, insane seeing it on Tri, the Buckingham codes are 'C+C' again showing the Tris were never the first batch, the old style Tri machine centre cutter used as a last option until maybe the last one got broken by March 1960, rather than deciding not to use it, machine failure finished Tris. Coral Q72374 is a still fairly obscure R&B gem by Frances Burnett that we got on Tri, but no Buckingham codes used either side to see. There are at least 2 out there as ours isn't the torn label one! For how few this would have sold, unlikely to be anything past a "B+B" & we've had the round & that one side demo, that the buyer then rewote the titles on, hmm.
Many of the Tris exist as Round too, though not all were depending on factors such as sales or the need to repress them on the newer equipment. The low-selling ones pre 8920 are likely to be Tri only, but that's not so important to check here, maybe only 8901, 8902, 8919 are Tri only as the rest we've seen Tri & Round. Some may have only got the Tri press a month or more after the Round was first made, so as with the Golds, the Tri in this series may not be the first, ie the Wink Martindale 8962 Tri has later and higher code numbers, ie 'BB+A' and 'I+G' on 2 copies. Sammy Turner 8963 Tri has 'B+C' codes. This data all concerns Black issues only, the Orange Demos were erratic in centre type, a 2 x 1 side demo pair could have 1 tri centre & the other solid centre. 8950 exists as a Tri demo, but no issue seen so data is blank. Note # = Chart Hit.
In the table below is our own confirmed Tri or Round. "P" means we have a genuine photo of the item & will add it if it's not showing on the next photos update. Some Round may exist as Tri & we may be aware of it, but no picture/record proof means we don't publish it. Or we look silly like many "expert" books before us when rumours prove wrong. 8914 we had a Tri copy before & the A side has an odd misprint HTL 8914 instead of HLT 8914. We have seen a Tri Demo of 9022 & a German Tri of their issue of 9021, in case "rumours" are only those inaccurate vague ones.
This list is not complete as more are rumoured to be Tri and no doubt several more will appear over the years, but until we see them, we won't state it beyond "Rumoured" & only a genuine photo is proof. Finding all the photos wasn't easy. Some of the pics that weren't ours were our copies we sold years ago. The thing is collectors have known about some being Tri for decades, but sharing the info is never thought about & where would you share it perhaps is the problem. It'll only further collecting with more facts known, so when these collectors sell up, their previously-unknown records will find the right buyers as the info on them is finally known! As with any photos, there is a tiny chance of fake photos, but the ones here look right due to subtle details.
DON'T DISMISS BUYING ROUND CENTRED COPIES OF THESE
now you know the Tri exists!! The TRI of some of these is genuinely unfindable & even the collectors since the 1970s have never seen them on TRI. As stated above, some of these TRI could be existing in SINGLE FIGURES for the amount of Round copies vs TRI that there are. Some did sell well over several months without charting, eg Carl Mann 'Pretend' but the TRI, which is our copy, is perhaps the ONLY ONE LEFT? Dare we be so bold? Yes! Did the Tri machine mess up & that is why our copy is slightly damaged by the label as all others were rejected & this one sneaked out? Who knows? Until more than 5 turn up, the term "Ultra Rare" is deservedly used as in other collectable item worlds. Look how many "Ultra Rare" Robert Johnson 78s have sold as on Popsike for $$$$. Old collectors are selling up top rarities but they'll be unseen for another 20-30 years. These rare TRIs should be 'out there' by now if they were more common. But they aren't (yet).
Vogue 9134 Sonny Knight "But Officer"
clearly not a London, but an interesting one. Originally issued in 1953 on Aladdin, the UK B side was on a different 45. For a classic tune that will have been popular at Parties for years, copies are hard to find. But this record exists as 4 different Vogue pressings! The first is the Tri Centre with the full size label that goes over the serrated label edge, had one with the F-62 type paint stamp. The second is a Tri Centre from a few months later but with a Smaller Paper Label that doesn't cover the serrated edge. The Third was probably pressed at the same time as the 2nd Tri as it's a Round Centre, but with that odd EMI type flat centre, but is a Decca like the early Rounds shown below. Then likely at the time Johnny Ace "Pledging My Love" was issued in 1961, a 4th press with the raised parts on the centre exists. Ones that turn up are usually the Round Ones, only seen one of the 2 Tri types. Odd they pressed it a few times, but it clearly sold if not many survive after partied to death. There doesn't appear to be a 1963 Vocalion press like Johnny Ace has. The Johnny Ace Vogue Memorial Album exists on the first 1961 Vogue as well as the slightly easier to find Vocalion. The EP was only issued in early 1963 so is on Vocalion only. For Vogue lovers, Four Palms insanely rare 45 exists, a tri centred one was on ebay in very low grade in about 2005 & we had the UK 78 over 20 years ago. Two top classy minimalist doowop sides if a little slow for the uptempo-only tracks buyers.
Brunswick 05581 Buddy Holly "Blue Days Black Nights"
is one of the big wanted UK 45s. But does anyone realise there are 2 distinct pressings? The 1986 VRC yellow cover book says it was deleted in 1959. Why miss out on sales, so there are 2 pressings: the first 1956 with the thick block catalog number like all pre 8382 Silver Londons have & with a wider serif typeface. The lesser known 1957 repress, as "That'll Be The Day" & "Peggy Sue" were big sellers in Sept-Dec 1957 & it has a narrower less bold catalog number & sans-serif narrow titles unlike the first. Look on Popsike & see the 2nd press naturally is "more available". One seller of a later press said he had to order it in, no shop would buy in a stock of an item that wasn't a new release or being repromoted as who'd know of it? But despite a clear definition in earlier & later press, both are still particulary rare & wanted, the 1959 "Ollie Vee" 45 from Jun 1959 sold much better. The 1956 press would be seen to be the rarer one, but Unsold stock is the point, the 1956 presses & 1956 labels will have been used up until the 1957 repress. Probably deleted when the 2 Brunswick EPs with the tracks were issued again in June 1959, only by seeing the 45s could you see if there were any differences to say it was a 1958 press, ie Buckingham codes etc, though the 1957 repress labels are the later, there don't seem to be any of the thin sans serif print ones from later 1958. The whole LP didn't arrive in the UK until the 1961 'Ace Of Hearts' issue.
Vogue V 9059 Shirley & Lee is way Under-estimated!
'Let The Good Times Roll' is one of those songs that never charted but is very well known, on countless reissue compilations for 40+ years, like The Silhouettes 'Get a Job'. The UK Vogue issued in Nov 1956 & from having wanted a copy of this for many years when we were collecting, the Tri Centre just isn't around. Look around, none have sold, the first one we've ever seen is the 45cat one & now we have one. We had a high grade round one years ago, but none since. Actually we have 3 copies, as of typing & two sold fast, of Vogue 9059. The first long-searched-for Tri centre has 'B+B' codes. The second copy we have is a 1959 round press, the totally flat centre gives it away, like the 1959 round ones shown below. To prove how extra rare the Tri is, this early Round press from 1959 also has 'B+B' codes, so few Tri centre copies were pressed that the stamper wasn't used enough to go to a 'U+U' press! The 1959 lightly serrated label edge shows too. We also have another Round centre, a 1960 press with the centre contoured no later than an early 1961 press like the 45cat one. This one has the exact same metalwork as the previous two, but now it's a 'C+U' press. The Shirley & Lee EP with this track on actually reached the UK EP charts in 1960 long after it's 1957 release & the London re-recorded inferior Warwick version was released in Oct 1960. There is also a 1963 Vocalion issue of V 9059 & then it was reissued on the 1965 Island WI-257 with another 1952 Aladdin Track on the B side. Tracks were noted as Vee-Jay but this was just licensing as Aladdin was long gone until United Artists picked up the catalog in the early 1970s. But try to find the V-9059 tri centre. Our Decca Contract page worked out estimated pressing counts per stamper of about 1000-2000 on a 1963 pressing, earlier years may have used the lower number as tighter quality control, as some 1963 Deccas weren't even mastered to be Stereo compatible as noted elsewhere on the Stylus-Vinyl Quality page. So maybe 300-500 Tri centres of V-9059 made? How many survive? One for you to ponder & say 'I've never seen a Tri one either!' Blue & White Vogues hold the same appeal as Gold Londons, they are the Top of the Wanteds for 1950s collectors who are still going strong buying the higher grade copies. Some early Vogue sold better in the early 1960s so round centres are found more often. One very obscure Gene & Eunice one V 9071 we had as Tri with "B+B" codes & the 1960 round press with "U+U" codes. Assuming all Tri were sold not recycled, the first batch of 300 was all there was on Tri, with 2/3 no longer around or trashed it doesn't leave many to be found. The clean label copies still around are those bought by adventurous Pop record buyers, the tatty label no centre ones in low grade are usually ex-Reggae collections with Blue Beats & Kalypso label 45s rubbing together sleeveless for decades. They were partied hearty & for how much of the crackle a Blue spot Blaupunkt radiogram would filter out, it didn't really matter. Only since the later 1970s when the Rock & Roll scene started did people start to care & you can find old lists with these treasures on selling them for £1.50 each as things just started. Some shops found Unopened Boxes of some titles that are usually found in Mint, ie Bobby Bland Vogue & the Downbeat label ones. We hear they used to sell those for the same price as a Chart Single. Buy a ticket for Time Travel, mister?
Decca F11189: Billy Fury "My Christmas Prayer"
is noted in RC book as being a Tri, but none are findable. This being an Xmas track would only have sold in Nov-Dec 1959 when released & it clearly sold very few which is strange after his previous hits & it's of his usual quality. For it not to exist on Tri gives more proof that the Late Tri centres were only pressed in Jan-Feb 1960 as some with Tri are not the earliest ones by the "B+B" codes. His next 45 "Colette" on Decca F11200 does exist on Tri centre & we've had two as well as seen others. The final Golds were issued in early 1957 after a batch of Silvers being the first, so it compares to other ideas.
WARNER MACK: UK 1957 Pressed 45 pre Rock A Chicka!
One of those mysterious Red Decca Exports, they are UK pressings clearly, but exported to Other Countries & at this time even Elvis 'All Shook Up' sold enough copies of imports to chart before the UK one was released! This Warner Mack 45 is 'Baby Squeeze Me' [midtempo rocker bit like early Roy O] and 'Is It Wrong' [slower ballad with a beat, both have doo-wah backing group] UK Decca 45-BM31189 not using the USA number even which is Decca 30301 from April 1957. Must be Ultra Rare? One other findable online made a tiny price, ours even less if a noc copy. But the Buckingham codes are quite high: "I+K". It hit no 61 on the Pop charts in late July 1957, a slow burner & the slower side was the hit. The high Buckingham codes better explained by looking at the Country charts, a book that few bother using, but is interesting, it Charted for 36 weeks hitting No 9 from Aug 1957. 4 months to chart, today they want instant success. He had more country hits from 1964 onwards. Our copy shows slightly more use on the slow side if not heavily needled run-in some records get. To price one you'd think at least £100, but there might be plenty more still in the Army people's countries going unwanted. We have a Eddie Fontaine Decca export EP with the 2 UK A+B & one later one which gives 3 great tracks. These Exports are still so unknown & with a clear awakening interest in 1950s music again, these Exports need rediscovering. Many are just Pop or Country tracks & not worth more than £15-20, but uptempo Country is always appealing in these years. Another Brunswick, Webb Pierce 'Teenage Boogie' is noted as being a better version on the UK 45 than the USA Decca, we've not had a copy to confirm this yet. This is possible as London messed up Eddie Cochran's 'Summertime Blues' by issuing the flat mastertape version with no EQ, no limiting & no echo.
Unknown 1955 Doowop on UK Parlophone!
Sonny Carter with Earl Bostic & his Orchestra "Oh Babe" and "There Is No Greater Love" Parlophone MSP 6167 c. May 1955. Ignored on ebay for £20 apart from us. Recorded 27 May 1954 Los Angeles, CA. USA matrix K
UK CAPITOL 1954 UNKNOWNS.
No book lists the Hank Thompson 1954 Thick Tri 45 Capitol CL-14161 'Honky Tonk Gal' and 'Wake Up Irene' both great uptempo tracks. One seller has other 1954 thick tri Country tracks & these made a healthy price, you can find the Hank one online, nobody knew it to bid it appears except us. Onvery belatedly getting the RIS Capitol book, PP says some that are shown as 78 only can exist as 45s with the UK number but were not sold in the UK so therefore are Export copies. Today readers would like to know a 45 exists as if it looks exactly like a UK copy & has a UK number then UK collectors want it, but don't know it exists. The Hank T 78 would have sold in tiny numbers, less than the Jim Reeves 78s of similar style, so no UK 45 would be needed. Perhaps Green was used to mean 'Export' series & only later ones with Purple like Dean Martin were sold in UK shops. The market in records at the time meant you could put a special order in for records & some shops imported LPs that had no UK issue, as Blue Note jazz LPs can be found with UK import tax stamps on the back cover. These Capitol were on Green labels like the later EPs, why this happened is unexplained though by CL-14187 is purple & with "B+B" codes. The green ones were earlier & the purple ones were slightly later, Al Martino & Dean Martin 45s. The green ones belong in the Oct 1954 1st issue of 45s, Green was gone by the Nov 1954 ones. But looking at London, it's first EPs were issued in Nov 1954, Capitol we can find one from Dec 1954. Capitol EPs were later than the Green earliest 45s, making it look very much like they later decided to use purple for the 45s like the 78s only after the first few Green ones & reused Green for the EPs as they had partly printed a large batch & EPs stayed Green until the EP series ended. EMI used pink labels when the 78s of eg HMV were the black or light blue ones, only MGM were matching, with yellow on 45 & 78.
LONDON DEMOS from 1959-60
should be 1 sided, but you do find odd "In-House" demos with 1 artist & label on one side & any other Decca related label on the other, ie London/Decca, London/RCA, London/Durium etc. Very rarely do you find London on both sides including A+B of the same release. These are purpose-made records & despite the In-House status we've seen these called years ago, it appears they were treated like any other demo as times & catalog numbers are added as you find on other demos. Usually 1 side is a more valuable item than the other though we had Everlys backed with Carl Mann 8934-8935. These 1 sided 45 demos appear to have started in mid 1956 & continued until December 1960 as we've had 9248 as a 2 sided proper demo yet November 1960 issued 9231 Johnny Tillotson as a 1 side. We've also had 9255 as a 1 side demo with "Everyday" but also strangely seen the 2 sided version. 9272 & 9276 Ronnie Love & Miracles soul faves are both 2 sided demos.
HOW MANY DEMOS WERE MADE?
You'll have read the old guesstimate of 300 of each demo being made, but years have proved it not true. There is a glut of Tamla-Motown demos in general on ebay, but they certainly don't exist in a 300 count. Well who were they for? Pre the mid 1960s Beat era UK had a tiny few TV & Radio Stations: BBC, ITV, no BBC2 until 1964. Radio as shown on our "Ultra Transistor Six" from 1958 had these Radio Stations Third, Light, West, Welsh, North, Home, Luxembourg, Midland, Scottish and Hilversum, Stuttgart, Brussels & Athlone. Luxembourg was for UK listeners only for limited hours & the rest were BBC, so 9 Radio stations in 1958. As we are into Hifi too, the 1959 Hifi Yearbook shows about 75% of the country was served by BBC VHF/FM, in mono until Multiplex arrived in late 1963. Another old portable we have, the Decca TP85 has VHF, LW & MW with Light, Allouis, Third, Home, Luxembourg. Athlone, A.F.N, Lyons, Brussels, North, Hilversum, Scottish, London, Paris, Midland & West with some duplicated. A lot of Radios just played the BBC stations, a minority will have played the Continental stations. Independent Radio? Independent TV? Not until years later did this arrive. Pirate Radio wasn't here until Radio Caroline in 1964 & must have helped sales of USA artists especially Motown. The BBC & ITV Record Libraries being sold off that all buyers will be familar of are generally stock copies with rubber stamps & stickers on. You do see a shamed BBC DJ holding aloft 2 Demos in a 1964 Top Of The Pops photo, but the Library copies were stock copies. So who got these pre Beat era Demos? Music Promoters, Song Publishing Promoters, Record Producers & the like would have got 1960s ones based on knowing where ones we've had came from. 1950s Demos, the one sided Decca ones & usually double sided EMI ones are less clear as they had been generally sold or thrown out before our time. Know how many active Promo men there were & you'll have an idea of how many Demos, Promos & even Acetates may have been made. There are no Demos of Capitol label before the EMI era & London demos only start in 1956, if there were earlier ones at least one would have surfaced. We show EMI demos started 1956 too with one on our 'Odd Pressings' page. Earlier "Demo" records get the Factory Sample sticker as a genuine 1953 MGM one on the "Odd Centres" page shows. You can find Test Pressings of 78s going back to the 1930s, a white label with handwritten details but with the usual type of pressing stampings. EMI used "Microgroove Test Record" labels on pre 1956 45s, a Perry Como one from 1954 we've seen, though these were for in-house use & would be destroyed once their time had passed, as were the metal stampers etc. If you have a 1 side 50s demo odds are you’ll never find the other side, though the day we typed this we saw the B of Peanuts Wilson on ebay, only 27 years after having the A.
An idea of 10-25 growing to 50 from 1956 to 1963 is more realistic than the long quoted 300 guess for every record which never seems right. Only a Decca-EMI rep would know, how many TV & Radio Stations as well as influential club DJs in the UK in 1957? But how many survive bins, floods, fire or other damage? If there really were 300 of every demo, the same person’s handwriting on the London run times would look more angry, all Decca time numbers are in the same hand on the orange 1 sided records, some poor woman would not have spent 8 hours a day writing times out, they'd have used a rubber stamp like later Decca 1960s ones get. 25-50 seems high even, A+B started out as pairs, but why would anyone keep the dull B side of a 45 with only one good song on it? To say 10-25 copies of any 2 side Demo or 2x 1 side pair pre 1960 seems reasonable, it may indeed have grown to 300 copies by the mid 1960s as the music industry grew hugely from 1960 to 1965. But how many survive when Promo items were usually binned is another thing, though people do tend to rake through bins to find they want your rubbish as skip scouring today still shows. A person could devote 25 years to finding every copy of TMG 544 Barbara Mc Nair & only find a few dozen issues & demos are in the hands of collectors, but the world is a big place & UK copies turn up all around as non UK 45s do in our dealings. One odd London-Coral demo we've had & seen a few times & not always the same one Charlie Gracie Angel of Love with a London B side isn't exactly a record that'd be much wanted as it looks messy with that rubber stamp & buyers would prefer the stock copy. Are the same 3 copies being forever resold? "Made" vs "still exists" is the question & only in the following years when collections kept since the 1960s are sold will the rarity be known. "They pressed 300 but only 2 still exist..." The last 1940s Silver Threepence coin had many thousands made, but all were withdrawn & remelted, so it is now bordering on unique. Record companies would recycle dead stock rather than just stockpile it. Or bury it in landfill as the London factory story goes...
Seeing a seller with 9 of the early One Side Elvis Presley Demos from 1958-59 that usually turn up in low grade with tatty labels, the seller trusts auctions still & generally sold them too cheap, but auctions reveal the B side sometimes sold for a lot more than the A side as often the A side was kept but the B side was disposed of over the years. Interestingly the 1957 'Santa' demo was on Tri, but "Dixieland", "Stung", "Hound", "Night", "Beg", "Creole", "Hunk" and "Don't" were solid centres. The highest prices paid for B sides "Dixieland" which is a track no-one plays & "Beg" which is a great track.
SILVER TOP TRI REPRESSINGS of earlier numbers.
See Photos of those we've found below. You find a lot of Black Top Tri repressings of Golds (without the large catalog number & matrix, post Mar 1957) & even Round Centre ones (from 1961 usually) still with the pre Silver Top labels. But as the Silver Top Tri design only existed for 9 months from May 1959 to Feb 1960, few would need a total repress & resetting the label into the new style as old label stocks would be used unless they'd run out, so you do find clearly 1959 pressings (a large 'ET' stamped in the deadwax being one clue) but still using 1958 label stocks. You find 1955 glossy Gold Brunswick on 1961 round pressings, eg Red Foley and the 1st Chuck Berry round 1961 press uses 1956 labels as do others repressed to cash in on later hits eg Lloyd Price on 8438. Some repressed Silver Top Tris are therefore extra rare beyond hit records of a few months before & we'll add photos of those Silver Top Tris we find below once we have found more photos. The oddest repress must be 8253 Pat Boone as a round 1960 press totally omitting his name from the A side label! Round repressings of Tris are plentiful & some like the Little Richard were repressed in 1964 to cash in on other events & records. Yet to see any 1950s tracks on original numbers as any press later than 1964 though due to the Beat era, but after many got reissued with new numbers from Spring 1968. Once of the few to still carry the old number is Little Eva's hit on 9581 which exists as early 70s pressings. Only by knowing the news of the era would anyone know why Clyde Mc Phatter 8525 got a London-Atlantic repress in 1963, as did Chuck Willis 8635. Repressings of any titles clearly relate to how UK Decca's relationship with the USA label was. Certain labels stayed with Decca many years & some got their own UK Labels. Most of the good sellers, chart hits or not were likely on a short license much as CD reissues are today, with some artists being reissued by several companies, The Kinks were reissued often at one time in Brit Pop years. From looking also at some artists later successes, London certainly missed out not keeping certain 45s on catalog, but did release some Oldies LPs.
London HLU 8792 Eddie Cochran is a common but very popular track, but only ever seen on Black Top with 2 minor typeface variations with wider & narrower print. But we have a SILVER TOP TRI with the narrower print. Buckingham code is "CH" on the A side but too feint to read on the B. Publisher is "Burlington Music" making a third variant there. Never seen a Round copy & most sales of the Track would have been on the EP or LP so the Silver Top is particularly rare. A certain 45s site says 52 own it but only the black top ones pictured. RARE!
Ones we know exist as Silver Top Tri repressings: 8172, 8253, 8403, 8386, 8506, 8784, 8792 Eddie Cochran previously unknown by us, 8803, 8817, 8819, 8834, 8841, 8844, 8846, 8850, 8852, 8855. Likely more of the big names exist, but they're not easily found. See the Photos below.
The UK EPs often stayed on catalogue for longer
than the 45s & even some obscure ones on all the Tri centre Decca group from the 50s can be found as 60s pressings some after the artists found chart hits on other USA Labels, eg the Roy Orbison 1957 EP. Another thing with EPs we've not seen explained is EPs started in 1954 with Thick Tri centres, semi gloss paper with Gold Print & the FFRR logo, and by 1959 the Silver Top tri as with the 45s. But then there are all maroon labels with a much smaller 'London' word & clearly 1959 releases. These were not exports as they are too easily found as such.
The 1959 UK Stereo London 45s
there are just 4 of these. London SLW 4001 - Duane Eddy: Yep!/Peter Gunn. London SLD 4002 - Pat Boone: For A Penny/Wang Dang Taffy-Apple Tango. London SLU 4003 - The Fleetwoods: Come Softly To Me/I Care So Much. London SLU 4004 - Martin Denny: Quiet Village/Llama Serenade. 2 of these have turned up online & as they are Silver Top Tris they belong in here. Sadly we know absolutely nothing about these beyond what the RIS book printed. For them to still have the centres maybe they weren't for a Jukebox. But exported to, or for use where details are lost in time. Not having BIEM NCB means they weren't for Holland. They'd not export USA recordings back to USA & there are USA Stereo 45s of these titles. we'd assume this small batch were all issued together & the lack of interest meant no more were issued. How many were sold beyond used as promotional records is unknown. How many survive could be just tiny amount. Nothing else known sadly. The only reported sale of one of these was SLW 4001, no centre but high grade sold £282 in Oct 2012.
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168 records 8900 to 9070 all (issued ones) now found.
Added Brunswick 05817 & 05819 as a really rare Tris. Note 1959 date on 05819, not 1960 as on 99% of rounds!
Only the UK Decca pressed exports, such as the blue/gold London 45s & EPs made for the US market were pressed with large centres, no UK ones had large centres despite others claims. Click on the USA Capitol tri picture above to see what a removed thick tri looks like, it can range from obvious to barely noticeable. In Jan/Feb 1955 the longer thin tri was introduced which left nothing sticking out on breaking the centres out, which had resulted in thick tri's needing centre remains cutting off to fit the large spindle, if they hadn't cracked by heavy hands! This cutting off the thick tri waste only hides any trace of the thick tri, confusing some. It was to be replaced by the standard & less attractive tri a few months later (by dates on EP covers) for reasons unknown. The "Long Thin Tri" continued until June 1955 & it was used at the same time as the standard tri from about Mar 1955, which is proved by London 8142 being a standard tri with a "B" code & the one in the VRC book having a Long Thin Tri. London 8125 (Feb 55) is a standard tri with a "B" code. It didn't suddenly change therefore. As a note the earliest gold lettered EMI 45s (pink label pop & maroon classical) were pressed with US-style large centre holes, this looks to have been abandoned by late 1953 when the usual 4 prong EMI centre started.
|COLUMBIA USA early 7" Tri Centre
USA Columbia used Tri Centres too. This was a new one to us, never having seen a Columbia USA 1950s TRI before. The TRI is from Mar 1953, the 33rpm is from Jan 1951. From the 3rd OKEH label (Jun 1952) photo (subsidary of Columbia) shows it was destined to be a TRI centre but never got cut! Columbia invented the 10" 33rpm LP in 1948 and in 1950 introduced the 7" 33rpm single to complement it. These early 7" 33s are pretty rare & most of the music beyond a few R&B ones was just tame pop. Heavy thick record with large serrated area. Music grooves cover a very small 1cm band on the earliest ones, later ones fill out like a 45 does. "Push Out For Use On Large Spindle" is the small wording on the Tri centres.