$300 for a scrap of newspaper?

A collection of promo items that keeps growing

$300 for a scrap of newspaper?

Postby jon » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:59 pm

ref. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0218559594

We're back to last century "Dot COM" prices for items on eBay recently. As well as the $3 million sale of vinyl noted elsewhere today, some guy has already got a bidder meeting his $300 reserve for a tiny scrap of a December 1956 Chicago newspaper.

It has the Top 5 Tunes chosen by several Chicago DJs, from 4 radio stations and one TV station (WBKB-TV), plus two record shops.

Would you pay that, for this?

Image
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9204
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 10:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Postby jon » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:45 am

Here is a laugh. A recent eBay auction of an almost identical item sold for $20!

Check it out for yourself at http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 0022059533

DJs are Del Clark at WJJD, Sam Evans at WGES, Mal Bellairs at WBBM, Spider Webb at WAIT and Jack Karey at WCFL. Also listed are the best selling albums at Little Al's Record Shop, and the best selling singles at Hudson-Ross.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9204
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 10:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Postby chartquest1954 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:59 am

Jon, are you Jon P? Used to live in BC? We used to correspond about 40 years ago..."chartquest1954" is Frank M., who lived in Milan MI at the time!

Yes, I'm the one who paid $300 for that scrap of paper, and I don't regret it even in the least. That scrap of paper was one of the VERY few end results of what I estimate to be more than TWO THOUSAND emails that I've sent to ebayers the past five years, any time I see somebody with Fiftiers newspapers that are from on or near the weekend, or who may have such newspapers. The only way I can get people to look through newspapers to see if there's surveys in them, is to tell them that I'll offer at least such-and-such-$$ if anything is found that I need. Over my five years on ebay, something like this has happened only about 7 or 8 times, and generally after the sellers did substantial research for me.

This particular seller looked through months and months of bound Tribunes, all the time alert for any variation in the Stations from the long list that I gave her. Suddenly the WBKB popped up in ONE date's column. Via arrangement with the seller, including me supplying a good deal of the text and the heading, as well as suggesting what minimum should be put on it (and that I'd meet), the listing came and (of course) soon went.

Ted, who runs this site (as I just found out - cool!), is very familiar with the days of yore, when survey collectors would write to radio stations and ask for their surveys. I used to do so very actively in the Sixties, and dabbled with it into the late 1980's sometimes. It was always nice to get a brand-new survey from a station that I never had anything from before.

Eventually, I started to do the math. I thought to myself, well, if I had time to write to stations NOW, and I knew I could get surveys, I would still do it. Enclosing return envelopes is always advised, so that's about a dollar a shot (close to it), and if you're lucky maybe one-half of the stations would reply, Does that make it about $2 a survey even back THEN (considering the costs of postage in 1967, with two postages each time, and inflating it to current values)? Well, to me, getting a NEEDED survey from WBKB-TV, who probably never even HAD anything like a public-printed survey, and it's MORE THAN A HALF-CENTURY OLD to boot, is at least hundreds of times "better" than getting a current needed survey from a country FM station in Kansas City or Bellingham. Suddenly $300 doesn't seem all that horrible in comparison...

These opportunities come up so ridiculously rarely (where there's a 50-year old survey that I need, after I wrote and asked) that, even at $100 and $300 a crack, I'm not spending much money on surveys. I have ALWAYS been after Fifties surveys more than any other era, period.

I've completely given up telling people even to be looking for Sixties surveys for me! I've seen 60s/70s collections with more than 3,000 surveys from all over the world, from which I need NOTHING. On the other hand, I'll need 1/4 to 1/2 of the surveys from 1958, if there's a stack of them from 100 different stations. Back to 1956 it approaches 100%, some "predating" surveys I may have from 1958 or 1971.

When I was at my most active 40-some years ago, there were dozens of us collectors. Almost without exception, EVERY ONE of us were trying to get surveys from *EVERY* possible station anywhere in the world, usually regardless of musical type, or attractiveness, etc. At this point, I believe I am literally the very last person on earth who is at all ACTIVELY trying to do this. Ted and a guy in Ohio are the only people I even know remaining with their main collections basically intact (and who had been going after "every possible station"), but to my knowledge neither of them have expended much effort in the past 10 to 20 years really pursuing "needed" surveys ACTIVELY.

NONE OF THESE COLLECTORS WERE ACTIVE IN 1960. As such, there are no conventional collectors who can be a source for obscure 50s Surveys. Furthermore, between 1957 and 1961, most citiers had massive shakeouts with formats and/or call letters, and those few years completely or nearly completely changing which stations had surveys. Phoenix, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Shreveport, Hartford are particularly good examples of that. As were New Orleans and Honolulu, where the changeover was almost COMPLETE, and I've had little luck finding 50s.
These factors heop to make Fifties surveys FAR more likely to be needed, enough to make it worthwhile for people to be on the lookout.

Not to mention that my INTENSE preference for that decade means that my offers to people are far higher, if something is found...

There's also a guy in California (who often sells surveys on ebay as well), but I believe he long ago abandoned efforts getting surveys from EVERY possible station. Everybody else I know, IGNORES surveys from at least some stations. They'll ignore stuff outside of 1 or 2 favored markets, or they don't want any "ugly" surveys, or they don't want any C&W or soul surveys, or anything before 1972...or whatever.

Recently a survey from a 250-watt daytime station in Indiana (WLOI in LaPorte), from 1961, came up on ebay. That was one that I needed, and the minimum was $5. The survey was listed "properly," where collectors would see it. I bid VERY big on it (I'm talking well over $50 or maybe even $100), but it was very plain looking and sort of ugly, no pictures on it, etc. I was the ONLY bidder. I even had my bid public rather than as a "snipe bid" (on surveys I never want to chance that the snipe site will go down), therefore showing activity on it, but nobody else even cared about it - and, to me, it was the most incredible "unplanned" survey find in at least two years.

So something like a c&w survey from 1963 on ugly Ditto-machine paper (you know, the purple ink that smelled so WONDERFUL) from some oddball graveyarder in west Texas, I'm pretty convinced that I am the only person, at this point, who is going to care even the very least bit about it...and if I want to encourage people to find any of this stuff for me, they're going to have to know they'll get something better than what happened with the WLOI survey. After all, a survey going for $5 or $10 (and the tendency happening over and over) isn't going to encourage somebody in Portland OR to remove that "really cool" 1957 survey from KPOJ from his wall, and put it on ebay. Perhaps, if something gets a really good price, somebody might try to emulate it after all, and I'm convinced that's the only way a needed one from New Orleans showed up last year.

Yes this is a very long dissertation, but if somebody else somewhere finds something similar to the Chicago thing (maybe it's gonna come out of an Albuquerque newspaper or something), I'll again consider pre-arranging the auction parameters with a high minimum. I figure too, at the least, it to be a form of ADVERTISING, and in a marketplace where massive numbers of people see the listing (and that it actually HAS a bid at $74,.99 or $300 or whatever).

In general, I don't even know which cities/newspapers had things like this. Outside of myself physically going to a city like Savannah and poring through months and years of microfilm, virtually no research on newspaper "radio station surveys" has ever been done. Right now Pittsburgh is my "holy grail" of where I know such things to exist, but something of that type from New Orleans or Honolulu, where the formats and call letters shakeout was TOTAL from 1957 to 1961, would eclipse it.

Jon, didn't I see a reference somewhere to you possibly having similar original clippings from Toronto? Same with something from Vancouver (where I understand CKWX-980 listings appeared), etc. I know the Toronto paper had some intermittent listings such as CHWO and WEBR, which I'd be pretty gung-ho on.

As I continue to be active, I am also ready to make VERY strong trades for needed surveys.
chartquest1954
Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:48 pm

Postby Dan Sys » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:32 pm

Hey Frank, nice to see you on this site. Must be a good 20 years since your visit up this way when I gave you the whirlwind tour of Vancouver. I can totally relate to your comments about paying the big bucks for a chart that you absolutely must have. Collecting stickers has become more of a priority with me in recent years as printed charts have become virtually extinct. However, if I was wealthier I'm sure that I would be bidding for some of these rare stickers (or things like that CKMO luggage label) that appear on e-bay myself.
User avatar
Dan Sys
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1759
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:05 pm
Location: Aldergroove, B.C.

Postby jon » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:41 pm

Great to hear, first hand, what chartquest1954 (Frank) is up to these days. At the time I wrote the above, I was not aware of his identity as someone I knew back in the 1960s. Who was the high bidder on the "scrap of paper".

Back in the '60s, chartquest1954 had the second largest radio station record survey ("chart") collection in the world. Second only to Frank Williams, who lived in an L.A. suburb.

But chartquest1954 did not limit himself to Charts. He was an extremely skilled DX'er. By the '80s, when I last heard from him, he had some amazing TV and FM catches, in addition to his AM (broadcast band) DX. I'm also assuming that he always collected 45s, as he was running a successful mail order Rare Records business, with Dr. Demento one of his best customers.

No, other than my QSL card and verification letter collection from my DX days, I have little, if anything, from my original radio "stuff" collections of the '60s. As I understand it, my complete Chart collection actually went to chartquest1954 in the 1970s, along with the collection of a Seattle DX friend, who I had given my Chart collection to at the very beginning of the 1970s. That included my CFUN charts from the Vancouver Province for several years beginning in early 1962.

So, No, I don't have any of these early newspaper listings that you mention.

Lots of questions for you, over time, chartquest1954, as you make yourself at home on RadioWest.ca.

But, I'll start with one that I'd be interested in hearing an answer to from you or anyone else who might be reading this: does anyone know what ever happened to Frank Williams and/or his Chart collection?

Lastly, I will comment generally on how surprised I am to find that '50s Charts are appearing more often, not less often, on eBay in the last six months. Maybe chartquest1954's strategy really is working!
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9204
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 10:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Postby chartquest1954 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:15 pm

Easy answer to your question, Jon: I ended up buying Frank Williams' collection in 1972. Also ended up with the collection from Dan Myers, and a small few others here and there along the way. John Dresser's, two years ago, was the big acquisition...though the smaller Frank Williams one was far heavier on surveys from the eras I prefer, i.e. before my survey collecting beginnings in 1963.

About 25 years ago a record customer came up with an R&B survey from 1963 from KAPP 93.5 in Redondo Beach CA. He had it because his record was on it. I offered him the unheard-of sum of $80 for it at the time, and he accepted. Actually managing to come up with something "unknown" from Frank Williams' backyard, dated during a time he was collecting heavily already, surprised me! Even more ironically this guy moved from Lynnwood to Downey around the same time that Frank Williams moved from Downey to Lynnwood...

Ted mentioned something about those early newspaper clippings, but I am ambiguous whether he just saw them on research/microfilm, or whether he's found one (or more?) original newspapers with them.

I think I AM noticing that fifties charts are getting more bids than they used to when they show up. However the vast majority of Fifties that show up are WJBK Detroit, CHUM, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles which, for me, are kind of "out ot sight, out of mind" since I don't care about those much. Other than perhaps WTOD in Toledo (for which I'm perfectly happy with Xeroxes), I'm not trying to "run" anything at all; the primary goal of one-per-station (and as early as possible) is enough. For example I "have" 1957/CHUM and 1958/KFWB already, years which I'm highly unlikely to precede for those two, so I'm "done" with them.

I would dearly love to see something from TOLEDO from the Fifties! After all, I lived there for fifteen years.

Though my 1957 CHUM isn't the first issue but from later in the year, getting #1 wouldn't be an ultimate priority for me either...just kind of cool, that's all. Not gonna go out of my way bidding on it if it shows up.

I'll gladly answer other questions as they may come up, etc. By the way, is there a way for this site to "remember" me, so that I don't have to keep signing in?
chartquest1954
Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:48 pm

Postby jon » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:38 am

chartquest1954 wrote:By the way, is there a way for this site to "remember" me, so that I don't have to keep signing in?

There is a check box right below your ID and password labelled "Log me on automatically each visit:". It works for me.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9204
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 10:15 am
Location: Edmonton


Return to Promo Items from Yesterday & Today

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests