A Prestige Pair; a Bird Autograph?????!!!!!!!!!

clifford-brown-jazz-vinylWe’ll start the week with a couple of nice Prestige records on eBay and then move on to a possible autograph (?) by Charlie Parker. First up is the Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Prestige 7055. This is an original New York yellow label pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding starts at $155 and so far there has been no action. The auction closes in a bit more than two days. This has never been one of the Prestiges overly coveted by collectors, but I would still expect it to sell for a decent price, in the $300 or more range. We’ll see. Clifford is one of the greats, so it has always eluded me why collectors might be willing to pay a higher price for a Moondog Prestige versus a Clifford Brown. I guess it’s supply and demand, but you’d think the demand for a great Clifford record would be higher.

Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This is an original New York yellow label that looks to be in VG++ condition for the record and possibly VG++ for the cover as well. Looks like it is in the original rice paper sleeve, if that means anything to anyone. For me, I love to buy the records in the original rice paper, but then I often change it because I find the paper sleeves more convenient and, for some reason, they feel “safer,” whatever that means. Anyway, this record has a start price of $500 and so far there are no bidders with nearly three days left on the auction.

I hope Don Lucky is keeping an eye on this space because I would value his opinion on this listing from eBay: 7 Early Miles Davis on Dial, 1 signed by Charle Parker. For some reason the seller thinks putting Miles Davis in the headline would be more impressive than putting in Charlie Parker, but that is beside the point. The point is that these are at seven Dial 78s, six with Bird as the leader, and the claim that one of them features a genuine Charlie Parker autograph. In fact, if you look at the “autograph” it is made out “To Jackie,” so those of us with vivid imaginations can imagine Bird giving this to Jackie Mclean and signing it, as this is signed, “To Jackie, Best Wishes, Charlie Yard Bird Parker.” If you knew it was an authentic Bird signature, what would you pay for it? If you knew it was originally made out to Jackie McLean, what would you pay for it? The price on this set is $299 and so far there are no bidders. I hate buying 78s on eBay because they are so vulnerable to breakage during shipping, but I am, to say the least, quite intrigued by this listing. I’ll be keeping an eye on it.



  • Question re: rice paper inner sleeves: which record companies originally housed their LPs in rice paper inner sleeves? Was it early Prestige only? Early Riverside? Early Contemporary? I think early Atlantic black label, right? I have quite a few early pressings with those inners, but I have never been sure that the inners were “original” to the pressings. Thanks.

  • the moondog is also collected by avant-garde classical people, and they are insane.

  • I was under the impression that some 1500 series Blue Notes had rice paper inners as well. I’ve had Prestige, Contemporary and Riverside albums with these sleeves.

  • @Clifford – I’ve had some early/mid 1500 series Blue Notes that had a rice paper inner. I find it unlikely that someone would swap out a regular or buff paper sleeve for a rice paper given how brittle the rice paper sleeves typically are. I know for a fact that my Lexington copies of Lee Morgan Indeed! and Fats Navarro Vol. 2 had rice paper inners, but there may be others. I would have to check against my collection tonight.

  • Rudolf A. Flinterman

    Rice paper inners came in early Prestige, Bethlehem, Riverside, Roost, to name a few, but never in Blue Note or Contemporary.

  • Thanks for the “heads-up” on this one Al. I took a look at those Dial 78s on ebay this morning, and the first thing I did was notice the white “painted” signature… Typically, you wouldn’t see this medium on something of that vintage… It almost looks as though someone signed it with a paintbrush or liquid paper, both seem very unlikely. Beyond the medium itself, the signature doesn’t resemble any authentic variations I’ve seen in past to date, and I have never seen a Parker autograph include “yard bird” as part of the signature itself.

    I’m going to err on the side of caution with this one, and say that the seven Dial 78’s are probably the only thing of real value on this one unfortunately.

  • Re the Parker Dials: To compare authentic Parker autographs with the autograph on the Dial 78, google “Charlie Parker’s Autograph” and you’ll find examples to use as a comparison. I, too, have seen Parker autographs (a collector friend has more than 30) but never with “Yard Bird” as part of one. The seller has chosen a poor way to display the 78s. It’s difficult to visually grade the condition of the surfaces. As for the autograph in white, using a pen with white ink was typically the way 78s were autographed at record stores by visiting artists. I have a few, but this doesn’t look like the work of a pen. There is also a copy of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” being offered on E-bay for $15,000. The seller claims the shellac record is vinyl, which it is not. I have an un-autographed copy and I can assure you it’s shellac, not vinyl.

  • I bought two Lockjaw albums earlier this year, one Riverside, the other Jazzland, which had rice paper inners

  • I have purchased a few albums with rice paper inserts. The problem is, since they are over 50+ years old, I never know with certainty if they are the originals.

  • JOK – that’s precisely the problem. For example, my original of Way Out West came in a rice paper inner that “seems” original and authentic, but Rudolf (who would know and who I certainly trust) tells us that it is not, in fact, original. But my original of Saxophone Colossus also came in a rice paper inner, and that seems to be original. So I just don’t know.

  • Re autograph, nearly all my autographs of Jazz musicians from the 30’s/40’s even 50’s are in a white pen similar to the Bird autograph in this auction. Memory does not always serve me well yet I seem to recall Mr. Parker using “Yardbird” in an autograph displayed in the book ‘To Bird With Love.’ Again my recollection could be faulty.
    The autograph signature is similar in formation to those of Bird in my collection.
    All this submitted for what it’s worth.

  • I bought a small Riverside collection of records in wax paper sleeves that had sat on the same shelf untouched since the late 50’s. You could tell the lps hadn’t moved because the blue ink had left a perfect transfer onto the wax inner sleeve without any ghosting of the label. It was as if you tried to make a silly putty copy of the labels. There were some 63rd St Blue Notes that if you looked inside the inner sleeve you would see a perfect transfer of the blue ink from the label. It was the only collection I’ve ever seen that looked brand new, Stone Cold Mint!!

  • lol Clifford I have been gawking at that Sonny Rollins auction… I have no problems with buying up VG or less copies of rare records, but I can’t defend that one…it’s probably not even playable.

    Woody, I have also seen a few albums with ink transfer from the label as you describe. That and a non ratty onion skin sleeve are both great signs that the record wasn’t played much or sat dormant for many years at least

  • They likely sold many more Memorial Albums than Moondogs. Also the folks who like Moondog (such as myself) tend towards eccentric behaviors like paying too much for albums. I cant think of one album of his that is regularly cheap, most are pricey.

  • I ended up purchasing the Brown lp. It looks almost new, so it was a good buy from a condition stand point. From a music stand point, the disk is a combination of two 10″ lp. The first side is with Dameron’s band while the second is with Art Farmer and some Swedes. I think this lp might not be as popular since the Dameron cuts are more in the bop big band vein, a la Dizzy Gillespie. The farmer cuts are amazing and the kind of music that makes many folks pay top dollar for original pressings. It was a good score. As far as the comparison with the Prestige Moondog lps, there were 20 of the his three lps sold in the last year listed in Collectorsfrenzy. In contrast, 10 of what appear to be at a quick glance 1st pressings of the Brown record sold during the same period. This suggests that the Brown is slightly more common than any of the three Moondog disks. I’m not sure this accounts for the price difference noted by others. I have some of Moondog’s recordings, but to me I prefer to listen to Brown. Others my feel differently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *