Calling all Prestige LP-owners

Prestige-Book-1

No, it doesn’t exist.

At least not yet.

With the invaluable help of Diego S, LJC’s Head of Special Projects Involving Quite Complicated Things, LJC is launching an appeal for information from Prestige collectors  about the records they own, in forensic detail.  We have reached the limits of blurred photos and descriptions missing essential detail on Ebay, Discogs and Popsike.

To start the ball rolling, we are looking for information on records only on the  N.Y.C. label period, PRLP 7001 – 7141. That is where much of the stuff we don’t know about exists. The Bergenfield era is more stable, and less controversial, we may do that later, depending on the response to this appeal.

PrestigeDetectiveAheadTonearmSherlock We have collated the fifteen or so important variables that lead to the classification of original status of Prestige Records in the NYC 7000 series 12″ LPs, in order to build a database that will serve all collectors with the knowledge they need. That includes detail of not only labels and runout stamps, but also important elements of cover design, addresses, even the telltale ads for other titles next to the liner notes. Screen grabs to illustrate:

Prestige Worksheet1

To make the data collection as painless as possible, Diego and I have developed an Excel template (link towards the end of this post) with simple pulldown lists. Each variable option is already there, No heavy typing, simply click, and select.

Screen-grab: Pull-down menus

Prestige pulldown menu

The template includes a photographic toolkit for easy identification of all the important variables. Not sure which colour yellow your label is? Where do I find the GEM text? How many different ways can you spell Hi Fidelity? What does the “narrow font” look like?The answers are all there prepared for you..

Screen-grab: The Collector’s Toolkit

Prestige Identification Toolkit

What type of Prestige records to include?

Any U.S. issue record title you have in the range PRLP 7001 – 7141 that is genuine US Prestige, manufactured between 1956 and 1970.  Before 1970, not later Fantasy / OJC/ modern audiophile. Include Prestige first and / or later issues, not just what you believe are 1st pressings. That includes Bergenfield N.J. and Blue/Trident. Do not include overseas pressings, European or Japanese issues, as the detail is not helpful, wonderful though they may be.

Download the workbook (4.2mb) through the link below (hosted on WordPress) Updated May 9,2015: latest template v6.4 9-5-15 (now includes classification of Spine as printed or blank)

prestige-collectors-datasheet-v-6-4-9-5-15

Also added Frequently Asked Questions (as they come in) at foot of post.

Download the latest workbook containing the toolkit and data collection sheet and get busy, get re-acquainted with your Prestige records again! The worksheet is hosted on my WordPress account, not any third party site, so guaranteed clean.

When you are done, email the completed file back to me at the address on the worksheet. When we have everyone’s contribution we will compile the results and make them freely available. You have until the end of May 2015, after which the datasheet will remain available but the database will be compiled and contributions not continuously updated. We have other work to do.

Any questions, if you email me, I’ll try to help, but to share issues you can always add to the Comments, get more brains at work.

PRESTIGE-INFORMATION-WANTED

If you know anyone with a Prestige collection who doesn’t follow LJC, prompt them – we crossed the 1.5 million page views line today – and send them a link. If they are IT-challenged, ask to borrow their collection (he he he) and fill the template in for them.

The link will also be given a permanent home in the LJC Guide to record labels/Prestige , so it’s not buried by future posts.

LJC-Michael-Caine- Professor Jazz fastshow30I would like to thank you in advance for putting something back into the record collecting community. My thanks also to Diego S for all his hard work on the template. And of course, to me.

Professor Jazz
LJC  – May 8, 2015

Frequently asked questions:


Q: What’s the best way to tell if a font is regular or narrow?

A: In the regular font, some letters are still “thin”, but those which are all or partly circular – O, C, G – are perfectly round. In narrow font, these letters O, C, G,  are oval in shape.

Q: What if there is a mixture of both narrow and regular fonts?
A: This happens on some labels due to space restrictions – artists name is in different font to song titles. Assign the font type of the majority of text. It’s not a perfect classification, but it may help distinguish some editions.

Q: I’m an Apple Mac user. Will the template still work?
A: No, the template is designed in Microsoft Office Excel, which is near universally available (except certain quarters of the creative community and  hipster ghettos). We don’t have resources for a Mac version as well, sorry.

Update: Woa!  Apparently Mac and Excel can still talk to each other – hat tip, Anders B

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/excel

 

 

 

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39 thoughts on “Calling all Prestige LP-owners

  1. Hi there,

    I’m new to your site but have been a lifelong collector of 50’s to 70’s jazz with over 1200 LPs on heaving shelves.

    Re. the Prestige database – mine are nearly all too late dated to qualify but I’ve got two queries. You seem to be discouraging Bergenfield versions, but further down the page you’re saying “can be included” so I’m unsure whether to include the following in the spreadsheet: A Gene Ammons (Happy Blues) 7039 recorded in 1956 but no dates anywhere on the sleeve or label. It’s a blue label Bergenfield but it has the look and feel of a 50’s album, and it’s PR 7039 and not PRLP 7039 and there’s no ear or RVG stamp. So does this count?

    Also I’ve got one of your missing 10, Red Garland – A Garland of Red, 7064 on a yellow label…..BUT, it’s an OJC (126) from 1984 with a very good facsimile rear sleeve, including 5 photo ads for other LPs along the bottom. So this doesn’t qualify but would it have any info on it that you would need?

    One other thing; reading your piece from some months ago about Tubby Hayes, you recalled how close you were to the site of the recording of the two Ronnie Scott session albums, Down In The Village & Late Spot, when you were playing there above the club years ago, but I have sad news. In 1962, the recording year, the club was at its old site in Gerrard Street, in the ‘Chinatown’ area, with no upstairs playing space there. But I’m sure you caught the spirit of the place as it’s only a few minute’s walk away.

    By the way I’m lucky enough to have near-mint lightly-played originals of the two above albums I bought in the 1960s and going by their current values I’d better start looking for a vault somewhere to stash them in. Do safety deposit boxes come in 12″ wide sizes?

    Kind regards,

    Bill Stirling.

    (Bill – I’ve taken out your phone numbers as these can be lifted to trigger nuisance calls, from sales pests, PPI canvassers and worse – LJC)

    • Hi Bill, those Tubby’s are indeed highly prized, look after them, though it seems “safety deposit boxes” aren’t that safe after all.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatton_Garden_safe_deposit_burglary

      Thank you much for the offer, send if you can, every little extra is helpful. Anyone else has NYC originals, we need more (I am told) and I would encourage you all to send data on all you can. We keep the database open at this time. The focus is NYC at this moment but all is useful, for later stages. Bergenfield of course include many fine first issues as well as reissues where first was NYC, I’m not against New Jersey!

      Prestige data collection template

      LJC

    • Will identify any gaps shortly. Prestige Master of The Universe (Rudolf) has just submitted 148 record, my God, what a collection. We have a few more to incorporate into the database but I think there may still be just a few gaps.

      • The tally on submissions so far, data on over 500 records, there are just ten titles for which we have no data for an N.Y.C. original. These are an interesting list in themselves. Who would have imagined, no Moondog fans out there, or Barbara Lea?

        7042 Louis Thomas Hardin – Moondog
        7064 Red Garland – A Garland of Red
        7065 Barbara Lea – s/t
        7069 Louis Thomas Hardin – More Moondog
        7098 Ray Bryant – Ray Bryant Trio
        7099 Louis Thomas Hardin – The story of Moondog
        7100 Barbara Lea – Lea in Love
        7121 Mose Alison – Local Color
        7124 Herbie Mann Bobby Jaspar – Flute Flight
        7138 Tiny Grimes – Blues Groove

        These must be the bottom of the Prestige sales charts, so may not be so easy to capture in the wild. Research required on what the template fields would look like for an original 1st pressing on Yellow/black Fireworks NYC label

        • Dear LJC,
          Have you recieved my Prestige Database which I emailed on May 23?
          It includes data of 7064,7065,7098,7100,7124,7138.
          Regards,

            • I have a copy of Tiny Grimes PRLP-7138 and Coleman Hawkins SV-2035 release of the same lp on Swingville. The Tiny Grimes is the NJ fireworks label and the Swingville is the red and silver label. However, the Swingville has the SVLP-2035 on the label but in the trail-off is PRLP-7138. When compared you can tell they’re both from the exact same plate. It looks like they tried to scratch off the PRLP-7138 on both A and B sides but didn’t even bother to scratch in the Swingville catalog number. You can actually see a light overall pattern in the clear area of the trail-off indicating that it is a much cheaper stock of vinyl than the earlier pressing. I’ve seen Status pressings from this time period that both look and sound like there’s grit in the vinyl itself. I bought a collection with many sealed Status titles that even though they were unplayed, they were barely listenable. Prestige was so cheap they cut every corner possible to drop their production costs.

  2. my little 7-album NYC Prestige collection has been annotated and is in your inbox, LJC! a friend of mine has about ten other albums, but is proving to be very stubborn about it.

    • Thanks for your contribution. Explain to your friend that he has a lovely collection, which is very rare and very valuable. Wider understanding among collectors of the markings of true early pressings will increase the value of his collection, at the expense of the charlatans..

  3. I’ve done my duty for the day (albeit a very sad contribution of two records, 7017 and 7038). Guess I’ll have to work on that (I’m looking at you Sonny and Miles), although overall I find the NJ stuff more interesting. Same with Blue Note.

    • Added Saxophone Colossus I just picked up a couple of weeks ago from a local shop. NJ pressing, but I couldn’t be happier.

      • My own S C is NJ too, let’s keep this entre nous. However, I also have the UK Esquire of S C, which is contemporaneous to the NYC release and pressed with the same metal. Uppity colonials aside, on my hearing the NJ is better than the Esquire. Ownership stats emerging from the incoming Prestige data shows S C to be one of the most frequently collected titles.

  4. I just received some clarification from my friend. He was apparently thrown because the input form was blank. I told him that it’s supposed to be this way because it’s merely an input form. He won’t see the entire completed spreadsheet. Am I correct?

  5. I’m trying to steer people to contribute. I had a complaint from one person that the spreadsheet wouldn’t work for him because he wasn’t registered or hadn’t contributed to LJC. I’m trying to get more detail from the person.

    • LJC requires no registration, neither does the comment function. LJC and my mailbox is completely open to all commenters, posters, there are no captcha boxes. I am baffled why this open-door policy is apparently not open. I have stuff in my mailbox daily.

  6. from hipster ghetto: a hard sunday working, revisited this morning, 44 numbers.
    as always, Mac can read Ms software, but Microsoft CAN’T read Mac.
    that’s why we are a small ghetto, not that mob!
    so, for Andrew’s sake, I’m doing’ it again on my secretary’s pc.
    all pictures are available upon request.
    advise and request: BEFORE getting to Bergenfield, PLEASE, let our eyes rest for a while, change color: what about a nice purple New Jazz?

  7. Just for the fun of it: two galleries with close-ups of PRLP-7053 and PRLP-7057. Make sure to use ‘slide show’, since it offers you the option to zoom in:

    Monk, PRLP-7053, click HERE.

    Django, PRLP-7057, click HERE.

    😉

  8. Worthwhile effort – digging into my limited Prestige collection now – mostly Miles Davis. The early Prestige releases have fantastic sound, particularly the horns.

  9. Thankfully I haven’t a single original Prestige record in my collection, I don’t think, so I feel relieved of any pressure to fill in yet another bloody excel spreadsheet. But great kudos to you and Diego (a friend? an intern? a slave? a spreadsheet gimp? we should be told) for doing this. It must satisfy some deep urge that personally I lack. But then I lack so much in the way of urges…

    • Lack of urges? Have you brought this up with your doctor, Alun? Your doctor is a record collector too, only medical records, but I’m sure he will understand. There’s lots of things they can treat nowadays, and there is probably medication so you can enjoy near-normal record collecting urges again. Just take a tablet a half hour before entering a record shop or logging into Ebay. Works for me.

      My Prestige collaborator , Diego S, is a “volunteer”. You should know by now they abolished slavery (though I admit it is hard to tell the difference between that and internship, apart from the absence of chains). I believe he is a resident of Washington DC, a knowledgeable collector and can do whizzy things in Excel far more adroitly than me, though I’m no slouch. My forte is more the photography.

      Amazing, but with the internet it doesn’t matter where people are, Milan, Washington, Savoia, Birmingham, it’s all seamless.

      I have only a handful of Prestige myself because I have around eighty Esquires, which are Prestige in all but label and jacket. The few I have sound mighty fine. I urge you to try one. But I won’t be expecting a template.

      • off line for a while, I see that LJC is moving ahead with great speed. I’ll have to get ready not to miss the boat.

      • Thanks for the advice, LJC, I took the matter of urges up with my GP and was given some little blue pills. I took one an hour ago and the damnedest thing happened — I can’t get the pick- up arm on my turntable to go back down onto the record. Now that’s weird. Tell Diego from me that he has nothing to lose but his chains…

        • Ah, your tracking weight needs adjusting, obviously. How embarrassing. Screens, nurse.

          Damnest thing, I went up town today, trawled though my five favourite record stores, and not one thing of interest could I find. Not one. Something is happening.

  10. Cool idea, happy to contribute from my humble collection. I think that having a later deadline could be a good idea as not everyone visit this page on a daily or weekly basis. I know it could take me some time to go through all my Prestige albums…

  11. Kudos all ’round, LJC. My contributions may be limited, but I’ll do my best. Raising a glass to your health 🙂

    My first post was under anonymous, but it’s me.

    Fixed it, Mattyman. Valet-service
    LJC

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