Shock and Awe!!!!!!

duke copyReaders continue to express shock and awe at the prices on the funkyousounds auction of the Dr. Herb Wong collection. One missive comes in from Dylan concerning this record: Duke Pearson, The Right Touch, Blue Note 84267. This is a Liberty pressing. An original Liberty, but a Liberty nonetheless. And it is a stereo pressing. This one had a promo stamp. The record was M- and the cover was VG++. The price was $560. And then there was Gerry Mulligan, Night Lights, Phillips 600-108. This is the one we mentioned the other day. Stereo pressing, promo stamp, VG++ condition. We were surprised when the bidding had reached $60. The final price was $434. If anyone has a viable explanation for this one, I’d love to hear it: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges, Blues Summit Verve 8822. This is a reissue — the type that is very hard to sell on eBay for even $10 or $15. This was a sealed copy and it sold for $349.67. Or this one: Miles Davis, Milestones, Columbia 40837. This is just a plain old reissue. I remember seeing these all the time in $2 or $5 bins. This one sold for $278. I’m going to do a few more, just because I’m sitting here absolutely stunned as I go through the list:

Ella Fitzgerald, Sunshine of Your Love, Prestige 7685. Sealed, $274.

Illinois Jacquet, Birthday Party, JRC-11434. Sealed, promo, $251.50.

Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Fantasy 5019. Promo, $232.50.

Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Money Jungle, Solid State 18022. Reissue, promo, $231.

There are so many more, it’s hard to fathom: Sergio Mendes for more than $200; Getz-Gilberto for more than $200; JJ. Johnson, Proof Positive on Impulse for more than $200; Ella Fitzgerald on Pablo (with a cutout clip to boot) for $184.

I could go on all day. Look for yourself. I think we have ventured into a new paradigm. Perhaps the emergence of the celebrity collector. Or a world in which sealed records and shrink wrap, no matter what the record, are a thing. Beats the hell out of me.



  • I recently bought a bunch of records from an estate sale. Among them were sealed copies of common
    Montovani, Tony Bennett, Engelbert, etc. lps. When I told a friend I had them, he bought them all at $10
    a piece because they were SEALED. I thought I would have to donate them to Goodwill – the jokes on me!

  • I have to think a bidder might find it desirable that the lp comes from a clean distinguished environment a plus OR a stamp of approval from a distinguish person like Mr. Wong. Th question to be ask is if these price will hold steady for any resale of these same lps.

  • I used to sell classical records on Ebay. I remember about 3 years ago a spike in auction prices – £300 LPs suddenly going for £600-700. I think I worked it out that there were a handful of new to Ebay buyers who basically hoovered up everything they could find in a short space of time. Aftyer a few months, prices reverted to the norm. I also remember a Millicent Martin LP which sold in the £350 range, selling for £729, £760 and £699 in the space of a couple of months in 2014. It’s now apparently a £250 record.

  • That Milestones is confounding. An 80’s digital repress? The winner bid on 470+ items in the last 30 days, all with the same seller. Seems like monkey business, or someone desperate to own the entire Wong collection. I’d love to know the thinking behind these bids.

  • Brad that’s what I’m thinking too. The second bidder that set the price for that Miles record had 185 bids in the last 30 days of which 99% were on funkyousounds auctions.

  • It is either a scam, or someone late to the dance with more money than common sense. I prefer to think it’s the ladder. Now if someone can only direct that person to this website.

  • I don’t think you can draw a straight correlation between the final price of some of these lps and the value that your average jazz record buyer places on the same title. Whenever I see a record go for significantly more that what is has in the past my “Spidey Sense” starts tingling and I go into research mode. One of the biggest helps is -Bid History- which is not part of the popsike database. If another copy of a lp pops up on ebay, the 2nd highest bidder only has to outbid the 3rd highest bidder who 95% of the time dropped out at what most people think it’s worth, a fraction of what the previous copy sold for. Most of the crazy high prices for the records posted above had one very enthusiastic bidder, 6+++6. He had bid on 475 items that funkyousounds posted.

    It’s hard to know why he’s so fervently bidding on these auctions but since he only has 87 feedbacks next to his name and over half of his bids have only been with funkyousounds, he just might not know what they would normally go for. It just boggles the mind that the Money Jungle reissue sold for more than what the orginal ever has!!!

  • At this rate I’m going to be giving up on bidding for anything on Ebay. The last couple of times I tried to bid on something it was like a shark frenzy. I couldn’t believe it! Maybe if I see a BIN for a price I can afford I will go for that but the auctions have gotten completely out of control..

  • That’s an order of magnitude too high a price for the Duke Pearson. I picked up a copy for £30-ish last year in London, vinyl in NM condition albeit with a beat up cover. I just hope that this Wong collection auction doesn’t have a long lasting effect on prices.

  • At least it appears that FYS will not have to worry about return on their investment.

  • Yeah, I have to wonder how many of these are actually getting paid for. Either way it’s completely shocking.

  • I would love to know the truth behind this insanity. Who knows if it will ever come out but I think the whole thing is a bit fishy.

  • I won two items from Dr. Wong’s collection very early in the process back in November and I got them both at very fair prices given the condition (both were NM with the exception of Herb Wong written in pen on the back of the jacket, which I consider a plus given his stature in the jazz world). I shudder to think what those two LPs would go for now if sold in the next batch. I feel like these auctions have been gaining momentum and the prices continue to rise as more items are listed. At this rate, Herbie Mann reissues will be hitting four figures by April! 🙂

  • One issue for those wanting to resell these in the future is there isn’t any proof they came from the Wong collection unless he signed each record (and even then, it’s not sufficient). In fact, what is stopping FunkYou from adding this distinction to every record they sell, whether or not it was owned by Herb Wong (not suggesting that FunkYou is anything but an ethical dealer, the point is that where these records came from is only of value to the immediate next owner). If these same records do get flipped some time in the future, no one will be policing fraudulent auctions claiming Wong provenance, nor will those sellers of legitimate product be able to get the same captive audience as FunkYou.

  • Chris B – you know, it’s surprising just how many classical LPs come from “a former employee of Decca / EMI”, who all played the LPs “once, taping them onto a Revox and putting them away immediately”!

  • Very hard to believe those are actual paid for Items. Just silly and has no reflection on actual prices…I hope!

  • The compulsion to bid and/or buy at the rate of some of these buyers is a form of insanity. Certainly there are collectors around the globe such as Zero Freitas of Brazil, with way “more money than common sense” , buying up piles of albums to hoard in a warehouse

  • Woody, I agree. I think some of these auctions are a little fishy. Almost like the seller is using additional all accounts to increase the bid? Think this happens often on eBay. Thanks God I still have local record stores that sell first pressings at a huge discount compared to eBay. Plus it gets me out of the house.

  • I see one buyer (h***h) has left feedback for 53 LPs, which makes me think there are a few multiple buyers of these records.

  • I have to agree with Chris. If somebody is buying a number of lps from this Wong collection and is planning on selling them for a profit in the future, they’re in for a rude awakening. Because of the huge # of lps in this collection, this “captive audience” is a one time event. If sold again, the 2 Sergio Mendes lps on A&M that sold for $220 & $275 would be very lucky to sell for $50 each.

  • Taking another look at the auction I’m thinking that it’s possible that the hand full of bidders driving up the price of common titles might of been loyal listener’s to Dr. Wong’s radio show.
    These performances might have struck an emotional chord and they wanted to own Dr. Wong’s personal copy, bidding with their hearts without any thought of future resale. They’re buying memories not making a financial investment.

  • ^ That’s entirely possible.

  • True. We bought a box of LPs from Dick Buckley’s collection a few years ago (it was a live auction for lots) for that reason. We got some nice records too, but it was more important for us to get a few with his show notes and signature on them.

  • If Sergio Mendes albums could realistically command more than their usual thrift price my local goodwill would be bringing in the cash.

  • This is really getting you guys worked up! I can only wonder how long it will be before vinyl will be replacing 401 K’s. The irony is that you have done this to yourselves! A lot of records are rare for a lot of redicolous reasons. The pocket book is not the looser, but the human ear is!

  • I am curious to know if any portion of the proceeds made on this auction are possibly going to the estate, or possibly a favored charity of the seller/estate? Perhaps that would explain the generous bids? Seriously, for what other reason would anyone pay any more than $10 for Sergio Mendes?

  • Ethan – if Kingston Trio albums become collectible, I’m pouring my life savings into Goodwill stock

  • Regarding the copy of Milestones: That’s it. I’m out. I give up. That is without question, by far, *the* most insane sale I have ever seen in my life. By far.

    I was watching a couple Horace Silver records in these auction. The prices were rising at an alarming rate and I didn’t understand it. Now I do. Feeding frenzies are for real.

    The more I see stuff like this, the less I want to invest any time in eBay whatsoever.

  • Art, who’s gonna match 2% of my Hank Mobley 1578 47 W. 63rd DG Mono? Al maybe?

  • Hey Jay you can’t put that 2% on the turntable and smile while snapping your fingers! Hank will always be there,your stocks, I’m not to sure.

  • I don’t even know why I’m watching that copy of Sahib Shihab “Summer Dawn” – it’ll probably go for $700.

  • devastated i lost the 1 lp i was interested in since the day i hear Wong died….his Charisma test press that bn sent him to do the liner notes for. it was 9 sec left at 4 bids at 34 dollars, i bid 120 and it was immediately rejected w/ my next bid option being 167 and some guy won it for 166. That 500 dollar right touch, i completely am baffled by that, ive seen sealed copies of that go for 50 (last few yrs). anyways, its not the end of the world, but i would of really liked to have been the one to hold on to the 1st copy of Charisma, pound for pound prob my favorite BN date. sure i should of bid more, but its a lot of money

  • I think there is a new generation of collectors arriving. You can see them in Paris record stores : they are 30/40 years old, educated hipsters, they think jazz vinyl and jazz covers are hype, they have money, they are building the collection, and they are not completely experts (as we are :-)). So they bid or buy with confidence , even for second or second press. The demand is growing, and even in stores you can find VG+ later Atlantic or Impulse at 50 or 60 euros, Liberty Blue Note at 100 / 150 euros. This could be an explanation to the Wong phenomenon.

  • Like much of the artwork sold in the fine art world, these jazz records are a great place for money laundering. Not saying that’s the case here but think about it…..

  • Barnum’s Revenge. There is now a sucker born every 30 seconds.

  • Michel, I think this is mostly about it being a ‘feeding frenzy’ than a paradigm shift in the market toward middle-age hipsters (which, in all fairness, some older collectors might put me in the category of…though I’m definitely not shopping in Paris with cash overflowing from my pockets 😉

  • The Dr. Wong lps have been auctioned in alphabetical order. They’re now on W and several Walter Wanderley lps have been listed. Wanderley lps sell on an average of $7 to $12. I can’t imagine any of these selling for more than $30 or $35. If Wanderley lps sell for over $100, that would be the explanation point on this Dr. Wong madness.

  • Maybe this is not the correct website to post this.But here goes.And although this blog is for purchasing vinyl records.I have noticed that,some records are in mint condition and some are not.And a few are signed by the artist.Or someone who was closely associated with them.Or had a story to tell.That may or may not enhance to value of an l.p..I wish i had albums from my late uncle Duke Pearson.I did many years ago.But they were destroyed by mistake by someone else,not me.But what i do have is his personal papers.That i have preserved since his passing august 4,1980.And some never before seen and heard before pics and reel to reels.(Dont know whats on the reels.Could just be some out takes or something.)Which include original session notes.Liner notes.Pictures.Reel to Reels.News paper and magazine articles.Autographs from the likes of Donald Byrd.Lee Morgan.Wynton Kelly.Stanley Turrinetine.Flora Purim.Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff.Macoy Tyner and others Also other gems for the avid memorabilia collector.Its a must see and a must have.(Sorry not pics will be sent) If anyone interested please contact me via email.This is the real deal.Duke Pearson was my uncle.My mothers ony brother.Shes the only living relative from his immediate family.Contact information is available from email.Have held on to collection far too long.And really have been hesitant to part with it.Dont even know what collection might be worth.But its priceless to me.Unfortunately,its time to let it go.Go to someone who would appreciate it as much as i do and have all these years.And can do more with it than ive been able to.

    Nephew of the late Duke Pearson

  • Emailed Rudy as per other thread.

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