Rare 1930 Tommy Johnson Blues Single Sells for $37,100; Highest Price Ever for 78 RPM Record

Brad Bershad

by Brad Bershad

Published October 3, 2013


In the music world, we've seen rare and collectible records reaching new heights at auction this year. The latest example is a 1930 78 RPM record by Tommy Johnson on the Paramount label, which sold for $37,100 on eBay earlier this week. The two songs contained on the record are "Alcohol And Jake Blues" and "Ridin' Horse" which are available to hear on YouTube (although in fairly low fidelity):

"Alcohol and Jake Blues" by Tommy Johnson:
"Ridin' Horse" by Tommy Johnson:

The winning bidder, John Tefteller, is one of the world's most fanatic record collectors. In an article on Broadway World, Tefteller has revealed his intentions for this record, "The original masters for these recordings were all destroyed by World War Two. The only way we can hear them now is rescue the few remaining commercial copies which are in private homes... I can't wait to have it properly re-mastered and share it with the world."

He expects to release it as part of his annual Blues Calendar series that includes a CD with 20 to 24 classic blues songs. You can order his most recent Blues Calendar CD on his website.

The Paramount label was one of the early independent labels, making the records they produced even more rare and sought after than other records of that era. Tefteller has gone as far as to say, "Find me the missing Willie Brown or J.D. Short on Paramount label and you will see me writing REALLY big checks."

It's also worth noting that Jack White's Third Man Records label has announced they are releasing a box set called The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1927) later this month.

If your grandparents or great grandparents were fans of blues music, it might be time to dig through their record collection and see if they have any Paramount discs!

Here are the other pictures included in the eBay listing:


Via: Broadway World

Blues Business Folk Vinyl
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