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What can you do with 15,000 78 RPM records? Give them away.

I often get emails from people looking to unload record collections. Can I hook them up with a dealer who might buy everything? Since I do have a couple of those connections, I do my best.

However, there seems to be one type of collection that no one seems to want: old-school 78 RPM 10-inch records. They may be old but the majority of them just aren’t collectible. Yes, if you have some ultra-rare blues record on a label like Paramount or Okeh, you might find a buyer. (You can read about obsessive 78 RPM hunters in this great book.) But for everything else? Meh.

This is the situation faced by the estate of a couple of anonymous collectors in New South Wales, Australia. Over the years, he’s amassed somewhere around 15,000 78s, mostly classical recording, that date back to the 1940s. What to do?

The solution was to give them away for free.

On Saturday morning at 8am, an event that had been advertised on Facebook Marketplace opened its doors. By 8:18, all 15,000 records were gone. The whole thing was cleaned up and closed by 9.

This wasn’t the entire collection, however. The original horde featured 38,500 78s, 7,500 vinyl LPs, and thousands of tapes and DVDs. Many of those records were sold at previous events. The men also had “15 tonnes of records, six tonnes of cinema gear, a couple of tonnes of audio, ditto tools and stuff, plus household goods, about 32.5 tonnes in total.”

Proceeds from the sales reached somewhere around AUS$1 million. It will be distributed to eight different charities.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38562 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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