Saturday Single No. 523

Well, the great LP purge is finished. Last Saturday, we took another 800 or so LPs down to Cheapo in Minneapolis, and we should get a decent check in the mail today.

When Tony at Cheapo told me the amount over the phone Sunday, I was a bit surprised. It was more than I expected for this particular batch of records.

“Well, you had some interesting stuff in there,” he said.

“What worried me,” I told him, “was all the K-Tel and Ronco stuff.”

“Yeah,” he said with a chuckle. “You didn’t get much for those.”

Altogether, I estimate that we dropped off about 2,200 LPs in our three trips to Minneapolis. How many of those Cheapo sent to the wastebasket, I don’t know. But we averaged about fifty-six cents per LP, which was nice for our savings account.

I still have about 1,000 LPs, mostly the stuff I love (some of which, like the Beatles and the Dylan collections, would sell well), and about twenty of them are in a basket near my desk where they wait to be ripped on the turntable. And I have a list of stuff I sold that I want to replicate via mp3. I’ve scavenged a few of those out in the wilds of the ’Net in the past weeks, and I’ve got a long list of CDs reserved at the local library.

This week, I was ripping some of the yearly Billboard hits CDs and some of the massive – eight CDs’ worth – history of Atlantic rhythm & blues. That’s meant a few hours each day at the computer, winnowing out old mp3s of lower bitrate or researching catalog numbers and release dates for tunes new to the digital shelves.

With the total of sorted and tagged mp3s loaded into the RealPlayer approaching 90,000, it’s difficult – as I’ve noted here before – to keep track of everything I have. So as I sort things, I’m sometimes surprised. That was the case yesterday as I wandered through my collection of work by the late Ben E. King.

I don’t have a lot of his work – thirteen tracks – but I have the obvious ones – “Stand By Me,” “Spanish Harlem” and the other hits. And I have a track that I tend to forget about that I found on the 1997 anthology One Step Up/Two Steps Back: The Songs of Bruce Springsteen.

So here’s Ben E. King’s sweet cover of “4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” and it’s today’s Saturday Single.

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