rand’s esoteric otr

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Goodwill hunting … a little story …

February 15th, 2011

Looks like this week's posts will be delayed a few days because of some work and family commitments - the last two episodes of "Monticello Party Line" and some other goodies will be going up soon.

Instead, I'd like to offer up an amusing little old time radio collecting story.

You might recall this odd 45 rpm box set posted a couple of years ago on the blog.

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Pressed by RCA, the set contained three records - 7" 45s - that contain a full episode of the crime drama "Night Beat".  It's unusual in that it also contains a promo announcement, after the opening of the show, inviting potential sponsors to pick up the program.  I found the set at the Burlington, NC Goodwill thrift store - I think I might have paid 50 cents for it.

A few months after I put the show from the set on my blog, I was contacted by a gentleman from Montreal.  He had an original NBC reference acetate of the first audition episode of the series - a rare find indeed.  So, we set up a trade and I posted that disc on the blog.

Fast forward to this week.

One of the readers of the blog, Thomas, noted in a comment that the "Night Beat" promo 45 set is something rather unusual.

You see, around 1949, when the set was created, there was a promising young commercial artist who was designing magazine ads and some album covers.

His name:  Andy Warhol.

Thomas had found the "Night Beat" set in a museum catalogue of record covers designed by Warhol.  Turns out it's collectable as a piece of art.  Thomas also pointed me to another otr related lp from circa 1950 that had similar cover art by Warhol currently on ebay, "The Nation's Nightmare", which contained two CBS news programs about the country's drug problems.

Well, the story gets better.

I contacted the gentleman in Montreal about his find.  Turns out, he was the author, Paul Marechal, who put together the original exhibition featuring Warhol's album covers - the "Night Beat" set I traded him is the one that Thomas found in the book.

Paul believes that the "Night Beat" set I found is the only copy to surface - he's going to donate it to a Warhol archives, along with some of the other rare Warhol works he discovered in his research.  My guess is that it turned up in Burlington, NC because it was given to an employee of Lorillard or RJR Tobacco, both located in the Triad NC area.

Oh - that Warhol lp of "The Nation's Nightmare" that Thomas saw on ebay?

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Moral of the story - look carefully at memorabilia you find at Goodwill.  You might go looking for an old radio show and be taking home a work of art instead.

More new shows in a few days.

rand