Beatles 45s To Make You Twist and Shout

August 18th, 2008

In this interview, Jesse Barron discusses collecting vintage Beatles records and memorabilia, especially rare variants of early Beatles releases (both 45s and LP albums). Based in South Carolina, Jesse can be reached through his website, Mybeatles.net, which is a member of our Hall of Fame.

We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper: Released December 6, 1965

We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper: Released December 6, 1965

About 12 years ago a coworker told me that they saw a picture sleeve on eBay from The Beatles selling for 500 dollars. My sister had given me a Beatles 45 picture sleeve when I was quite young. I went to make sure I still had it, and it was similar and still in excellent condition. So that started up my interest again. I had a couple of more Beatles 45s and albums, and I did a little research on the internet and found out they were worth some money. Then I realized I was missing some Beatles records, so I thought it’d be nice to finish out my collection, and started to search for more pieces for my collection.

I was born in 1964, so I wasn’t there when it was all going on, but when I was about 4 or 5 years old, I remember my older brothers and sisters listening to them on the radio. In junior high school I started to listen to them more and more and bought a couple albums here and there. Now it’s an ongoing process.

There are so many different Beatles items like memorabilia and toys, I decided to focus on 45s and records. There was such a demand for 45s back then. Capitol Records had big printing plants in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania. They even outsourced to Decca Records in Gloverville, NY and RCA Custom records in Rockaway, New Jersey, because there was such high demand. That’s why there are so many different variations of the record labels. And that’s also why I got so interested. I happened to come across another record that was the same song, same catalogue number, but it looked different.

Some of these people were in such a rush to produce them that they didn’t go over all the proofs. They started to make some adjustments and just winged it on getting different types of label variations. That got me interested in collecting all the different labels. Twist and Shout, for example, was released on Tollie Records, but there’s probably about 16 different label variations all produced within six months. The Beatles had by far the most variations, more than Elvis and The Beach Boys. With their popularity, they just had to get them out as quickly in huge quantities. People could afford 45s, it was about 49 cents to a dollar to buy one.

Collectors Weekly: What are the differences between the records?

Barron: It’s not the song, that’s the same. But on We Can Work It Out, for example, one label might have “We Can” on the top line and “Work It Out” underneath, while the other might have “We Can Work It Out” all the way across. Different printing plants. On the flip side of “All You Need Is Love” is “Baby You’re a Rich Man.” One might say “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” and on another variation there’s no comma.

All You Need Is Love/Baby, You're a Rich Man: Released July 20, 1967

All You Need Is Love/Baby, You're a Rich Man: Released July 20, 1967

There are a lot of other subtle differences. Ringo Starr was credited for one of his first songs, “What Goes On”, which is on the back of “Nowhere Man.” He wrote it himself, with some help from John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But, when it was first released is just credited “John Lennon – Paul McCartney,” which was incorrect. Over 740,000 records were sold in just eight days after its release. Later pressings were corrected to read “Lennon-McCartney-Starkey” (which is Ringo’s real name),” which are actually more valuable as they are much rarer.

A lot of these errors happened at the very, very beginning with “Please, Please Me” and “Love Me Do.” Capitol Records in 1963 in England did not have the rights to The Beatles yet and America Capitol Records didn’t want to release the singles for The Beatles. So their manager Brian Epstein shopped their records around to some very small record companies, Tollie Records, Swan Records, and VJ Records.

“‘Twist and Shout’ was released on Tollie Records, but there were probably 16 label variations within six months.”

VJ Records got one of the contracts and accidentally spelled The Beatles with two ts, B-E-A-T-T-L-E-S. That particular label is worth well over 1,000 dollars today. A little side note, a lot of people have records that are in very poor condition, and one thing people are adamant about with collecting records, is finding the highest quality, best condition, like the day it was released record. So just because you have an item from that era, doesn’t mean it’s a pot of gold in your attic. It’s all about keeping the records in pristine condition.

I want to collect every Beatles label that was manufactured in America, but sometimes my wallet can’t afford a thousand dollar record, so I might buy a 25 dollar record that’s a little scratched up. But I’m not in this to resell, I’m purely a collector who loves and respects the Beatles.

Then there’s picture sleeves. A lot of people don’t understand why record picture sleeves are so unique. When a new single would come out, you’d go to the record store and there were long aisles of cabinets with records and record sleeves. The goal was to capture the buyers attention, so there’d be something clever or funny on the sleeve. Record sleeves were only made for the first few months after the release of a record… after that the record would just be in a standard blank sleeve. So the picture sleeves were always the thing to collect.

Vee Jay Recods mispelled record label: Beattles

Vee Jay Records mispelled record label: Beattles

I started with sleeves and eventually started picking up albums. Then I found myself picking up a little Beatles toy here and there, and that started the memorabilia side of my collection. I love to have people over at the house and they can see rooms and rooms of stuff.

All the memorabilia is behind glass to keep it from getting dusty. None of my records are still in the picture sleeves, because if you keep them in there it will create an impression ring around the sleeve. I keep the records in acid free mylar archival sleeves made for 45s, in a big binder so people can pull them out and look at them. I do have a couple of things in a safety deposit box, but the majority I have displayed. And I still put the 45s on and play them just like the good old days. It’s a fun hobby.

Collectors Weekly: What’s the most unique item in your Beatles memorabilia collection?

Barron: I have a 1968 Huffy Yellow Submarine bicycle, which is very unique. Huffy gave these bicycles away as a promotion and they were all small girl bicycles. They were all yellow and the seat is leather and embroidered with the yellow submarine. 2,000 of them were made and none were for sale, just promotional giveaways. A lot ended up being thrown away or destroyed because people moved on from The Beatles, so there’s only about 400 left in the United States.

There were so many consumable Beatles items back then, talcum powder, lipstick cases, perfume, and so on. People would use them and throw them away, so they can be hard to find, and that’s what I try to look for and collect. Another unique item I own is the Yesterday and Today album cover, known as the butcher cover. The Beatles were photographed with a bunch of meat and headless baby dolls in their laps. It was about 1966 when the original photo was taken for the cover by Bob Whitaker.  After the executives at Capitol Records cleared the cover, it got to the printing plants in America and people were upset. 750,000 copies were pressed, packaged and shipped out by Capitol to its distributors. It was a much different society than the British culture with a different sense of humor, so they changed it. Some of those record sleeves are still floating around out there for around 4,000 dollars… it’s a very sought after album.

Collectors Weekly: How many albums are in your collection?

I Saw Her Standing There/Can Help It "Blue Angel" British Import: Released 1982

I Saw Her Standing There/Can Help It "Blue Angel" British Import: Released 1982

Barron: Around 2,000 45s. Not just The Beatles, but also their solo records. The one I have the most of is the “Twist and Shout” 45 off Tollie Records. I have about 18 to 20 different label variations. The rarest one I have would be “My Bonnie,” a song they used to do in Hamburg, Germany. They recorded some songs for Decca Records with an artist named Tony Sheridan, the English version of Elvis. The Beatles backed him up while in Hamburg, he was the one who got them into the recording studio in Germany in 1961. They recorded “My Bonnie” and it was never intended for release in America, but a few records slipped through.

I have a Decca “DJ” version of the record and it actually says “Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers.” Sheraton did the lead vocals and Pete Best was the drummer (Ringo wasn’t with them yet). That record is probably worth about 2,500 dollars. On the memorabilia side, the things I treasure most are my autographs. An autograph is very personal, it wasn’t manufactured, it wasn’t a toy. I have an authorized, authentic set of Beatles autographs. They were always giving autographs out but people didn’t really maintain them. It’s very hard to find a good set of Beatles autographs. One of the rarest is one of the very last signed by The Beatles when they were a group, from the afternoon when they went into Abbey Road studios and decided to break up.

Collectors Weekly: Where do you find your records and memorabilia?

Barron: eBay is always a starting point. Years ago it was easy to accumulate a record collection because people didn’t really know what they had and there weren’t that many people online like there are now. I was able to shop on eBay and acquire a lot of my records, some for a dollar or five dollars when they were worth 100 to 400 dollars. I also purchase from some retail people who are in the record business. There’s a shop out in Los Angeles that I buy from, Micro-Groove Records. Mostly eBay though.

Collectors Weekly: Where do you do your research?

Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus: Released October 27, 1967

Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus: Released October 27, 1967

Barron: Through other collectors and researchers. Perry Cox, in Arizona, is a world renowned labels expert and has done many price guides for Elvis, Beach Boys, and Beatles records. There’s also Bruce Spizer, an attorney in New Orleans who’s a Beatles nut and loves Beatles records. Both Cox and Spizer wrote guides. There’s also Joe Hilton, who has a site called BeatleBay.com. He’s more into memorabilia like toys and display items, and wrote a couple of books on memorabilia. Jerry Osborne also wrote a book in the 80s, which seems to have become the standard. The prices do go up and down and fluctuate, sometimes I see a record on eBay for 100 dollars and the next week I see the same album for 50 dollars, so it’s very hard to put a price on things, especially older items.

Collectors Weekly: What are some interesting things you’ve learned about The Beatles through your research?

Barron: In late April and early May, 1964, The Beatles not only had the number 1 song on the top 100 list, they had the number 2, 3, 4, 5, and an additional 6 or so other songs in the top 100. There’s no other band that came even close to that. The Beatles were that good. There are over 300 Beatles songs you can listen to on a 45 or an album. Between 1964 and 1970 they released around 14 albums, all of them number 1 on the charts except for 1 of 2. That’s two albums a year.

In 1957 or 58 they went to a booth in a five and dime drugstore and record a song (before 1964 they were called the Quarrymen, and before that, Johnny and The Moondogs. ) So they recorded an original song Paul McCartney wrote called “In Spite of All the Danger”. He has the only 78 speed record that exists. So that’s the first recording, it was George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and another gentleman that was in the Quarrymen. 1960 to 1962 is the next time they were recorded, that was by Decca Records, a lot of rock and rollish type songs. They did a lot over in Hamburg, Germany with Pete Best on drums. They were called The Silver Beatles, and did a lot of cover songs.

Collectors Weekly: Any advice for new record collectors?

Barron: Figure out what you want to collect. Do you want to just own music you can listen to and enjoy, or do you want to start getting the older stuff. You also have to look at how much money you’re willing to spend. If you’re looking to collect The Beatles, get all the CDs and mp3s which are very hard to come by because they’re very reluctant to put their music out digitally for official release. Love what you’re collecting and make sure you want collecting to be a long term thing and that you won’t get sick of what you’re collecting.

(All images in this article courtesy Jesse Barron of Mybeatles.net)

35 comments so far

  1. Janie Reeher Says:

    Jessie is my brother, I have never seen his collection in person, but I have so much admiration for him, His heart and soul is into his collection. Janie

  2. Summer Lynn Says:

    I must say….this is by far the most informative website that I’ve seen on the Beatles records. It is so easy to get around & “Get Back.” It must have taken Jesse a long time to take all of those images from his collection & get them on the web. Jesse is a wealth of knowledge on Beatles records.

    Summer

  3. Sandra Schmidt Says:

    To Jesse or anyone else who could possibly help me.
    I recently acquired several old albums.
    I found 2 Beatle records without jacket covers. (33 1/3)
    I do not know the condition of the records, though they look like they have been played often.
    Both labels are Capitol Records, and says Recorded in England.
    One record says Meet The Beatles and the other says Beatles ‘ 65
    Does anyone know the possible worth of these items, or how I can find out mnore information?

  4. Bryan "Mr. Normal" Underwood Says:

    Dear Jesse–What would you say would be the best way to sell off a record collection? Do it by item or as collection? Ebay or ??? I have a pretty extensive Beatles collection but also a good cross section of 60′s- 80′s pop, rock and folkrock. Imports and domestic–ie-French pressings of 62-66 and 67-70 in red and blue vinyl–English version of ” The Beatles” in white vinyl–Abbey Road in green a Canadian Sgt . Pepper in marble swirled vinyl. Some bootlegs and quite a few 45′s in pic sleeves. I used to own a record store so I also have a number of posters and promo items from late 60′s to early 80′s—what do you think box it all up in a couple dozen boxes and sell it as a package? Or????? Thanks–really enjoyed the article. As Always—-Bryan

  5. A KULWICKI Says:

    I have some beatles lps for sale which i found in an attic a few years ago they are original and perfect in covers they are rubber soul made by parlophone and beatles for sale mono made by EMI If you are interested or anyone else phone 07971204158 ask for toni

  6. Silvana Says:

    I have many picture sleeve 45′s from the first pressing with the Capital yellow and orange label. Are these worth a lot? Most are in NM condition. Also, are just the picture sleeves worth anything?

  7. Bob Dole Says:

    How Much Would A Beatles Black Album On Eva records be worth?
    the records dont have the full listing on them and one of 3 of them doesnt say anything at all!

  8. Ginger Young Says:

    I really enjoyed reading your writeup on the Beatles.

    I have a collection (about 24) LP’s some still sealed in plastic that were given to me as a gift in 1982 from the Capitol Records Rep who called on the Rock Station I worked at in St. Louis.

    The albums are all marked “not for Sale” and pretty much include almost all of the Beatle albums Capital put out.

    What do you think this collection is worth? Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.

  9. Tari Says:

    I’ve had this cover for forever. Its an oddity for sure. Its the album cover for “Meet the Beatles”, however underneath that cover on the front is the albumcover for The Journeymen. It seems as if at one time, the Beatles cover had been applied over the Journeymen cover. Only on the front though. The back cover (Meet The Beatles) didn’t appear to be ever covered over, unlike the front. Its in so-so condition, no actual record inside… any ideas on this? Was this standard practice for Capital records, to put on different covers? The odd thing is, it actually looks like the cover originally DID have The Journeymen on one side and The Beatles on the other… a mistake at the factory maybe? what do you all make of this?

  10. Sylvia Martino Says:

    I have a Beatles Abbey Road 33 1/3 album in good condition – small mark on one side. Sleeve in good condition. Was wondering how to place a value on this. Thank you.

  11. Tammi Howard Says:

    I am interested in selling my only Beatles record. My dad used to collect records when I was a kid in the early 70′s. He had everything you could imagine. He gave this record to me and it has been sitting in my garage for several years. The record is called “Introducing the Beatles.” It is an SR 1062 VJ 1062 (1).SC3. What is unique about it is that it has the songs “Love me Do” and “P.S. I Love you” which I guess is not common. The titles are in two columns. This record has never been opened. I have heard that there are a lot of fake records out there. I know that this record has been in our family since I was born in 1968. There is a 3 inch tear in the plastic wrap at the very top of the cover where you remove the record. I can slightly see the sleeve which looks like it is plain white. Please email me if anyone is interested or has questions.

  12. David Ball Says:

    Hello. Picked up a 45. Beatles Round VJ label Rainbow please please me & from me to you VJ-581. Sleeve is in great shape no tears splits, writing but does have slight record ring. I’m no expert but have sifted through a lot of vinyl and this record is mint. Looks like it has never been played. Very slight finger print on edge. did not try to clean off w. D4. Wondering the best way to sell it. Ebay or a dealer? thanks dave

  13. BC McCarty Says:

    Very interesting information on the Beatles. I have a large amount of Beatles .45′s, picture sleeves and LP’s. I wasn’t a big Beatles collector but this information was very helpful. The “Don’t Drop Out” label is very interesting and when I first started collecting I traded the a G copy of the Beattles .45 for a Herman’s Hermits LP. Oh well.

  14. Steve Owen Says:

    several turn on’s…the 3 american ep’s the beatles came out with in america, and some of the rare vj stuff(including tollie, a subsidiary of
    vj.
    neat stuff!

    Steveo

  15. Jan Says:

    Hello:

    I have a “Swan” 45 and a “Tollie” 45 of the Beatles. I don’t have the sleeves though. Are they worth anything? Actually I have several 45′s back from the late 50′s and early 60′s(no sleeves)are they worth anything?

    Thanks for your time,
    Jan

  16. debbe Says:

    i have a 1967 beatles album sargent peppers lonely heart club band.in mint condition.also have 45 the beatles paperback writer rain.have a couple other beatles albums to.would like to know the value of them.

  17. Hugh McGuinness Says:

    Hi Jesse just wanted to correct you on something. The Quarrymen didn’t go “to a booth in a five and dime drugstore and record a song”. They recorded “That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger” at Phillips’ Sound Recording Services. It was a studio in the house of Percy Francis Phillips (1896—1984) and his family at 38 Kensington, Liverpool, England. Between the years of 1955 and 1969, Phillips recorded numerous tapes and acetate discs for Liverpool acts, people and businesses in a small room behind the shop his family owned.

    Phillips first sold bicycles and motorbikes, but later started selling and recharging batteries in a shop in the front room of his house in 1925. After a decline in demand for batteries in the early 1950s, he started selling electrical goods and popular records. In 1955, Phillips set up a recording studio called Phillips’ Sound Recording Services.

    In 1958, The Quarrymen (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John ‘Duff’ Lowe and Colin Hanton) recorded “That‘ll Be The Day”, and “In Spite of All the Danger” in the studio. Other clients included Billy Fury, Ken Dodd, and Marty Wilde. Phillips died in 1984. The Quarrymen recording and the site of the studio was commemorated in 2005, when a Blue Plaque was unveiled by two of The Quarrymen (Lowe and Hanton) on the front of the house.
    I live around the corner from the house in Liverpool. If you use Street View on Google Maps and the postcode L7 8XB you can (indistinctly) see the blue plaque mentioned above and the window etching above the door.
    Hope that helps. Hugh McGuinness

  18. Vicky Davison Says:

    Hi,

    I have a Tollie 45 that I bought when I was a kid. It has P.S. I Love You printed on both sides of the record (an obvious mistake) but actually one side does have Love Me Do. I haven’t been able to find any mention of this error anywhere on line. Do you know of other copies of this? It has a yellow label with black writing – labeled ‘McCartney-Lennon’ and T-9008 on it. The vocalist listed as 63-3189 on both sides. Thanks.

  19. Pat Landes Says:

    I have the Beatles 2records white album with lyrics and pictures , recored in England in 1968 and a 45 (r-5365 )4by4. the lp. album has a1820284 onthe cover the records have (swbo2-101) I would like to know the value of these . Thank-You Pat

  20. R.M.Cole Says:

    I have a Tollie 45 record by The Beatles with T-9008 and (McCarty-Lenon )printed on it. Love Me Do on one side and P.S. I Love You on the other. I do not have the sleeve. I would like to know its value.

  21. Don Says:

    I have a huge vinyl collection which I put together in the late 80′s and early 90′s. It includes several older Beatles albums in great shape. The list includes the blue box sets of lp’s, ep’s and 45′s; Several older Parlophone albums in mono; Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; Sgt. Pepper’s picture disc; I also have a Johnny and the Moondogs, Elephant’s Memory and a Two Virgins (still in the paper wrap due to the nudity) album.

    I also have a unique album which is not Beatles related, but it it very strange. One side is Pat Benetar’s Tropico which is the album I wanted. When I got it home and played it I found that second side was labeled as Tropico, but the recording was actually Hank Williams Sr. The first song was Your Cheating Heart. Very strange and very unique. I can only imagine this happened at the end of a run of albums and one was left from the previous run which sounds similar to money misprints with different denominations on each side. How much are these worth?

  22. jenny Says:

    is there any way to tell if my yesterday and today album is a green or black label it is still sealed

  23. Duane Waller Says:

    Hi all
    Hoping for a little help regarding the Huffy bicycle mentioned above; I have a chance to purchase the same bicycle, but it is a men’s model, not ladies. Doesn’t seem to be a fake. Could it be that Huffy made a few men’s models, too?
    Thanks for any info!

  24. vince Says:

    I have an original ticket to see the beatlles in atlantic city 1964.
    And also some signed 2.5 x 3.5 cards from their 1st & 2cd series.
    Can you tell me about them.
    Thanks

  25. Jesse Says:

    The ticket if unused could be valued as high as $500-$800, if used (usually a section torn off) thay are still going for as high as $300-400. The cards were mass-produced and go for around $1-$4 each.

  26. Rob Says:

    I have an original, 1973, release of “The Beatles/1962-1966″ with a mistake in the cover art. When you open the album the inside art is upside down. Has anyone ever heard of or seen this? Any idea what this might be worth?
    Thanks

  27. skip Says:

    i’m new at this so here it goes, i found 3 record albums, from the sixty’s,all were the beatles, itroducing the beatles, beatles second album, and let it be album. i understand that the first album, introducing the beatles could be a fake, i searched and everything. i read everything. but now my question is why my album has a black and silver center, with vj records and small brackets. if anybody out there knows anything about this please email me. also i know there worth something, but i dont know how much they could be worth. thanks skip

  28. lynn cox Says:

    i have a veiw master from the 1960′s and with it i have 3 reels of the beatles with the story book all in tip top shape do you know how much it would be worth

  29. Jesse Says:

    I would need to some pictures of it. Jesse

  30. Sherry MacNeil Says:

    I have 2 albums I am trying to find out information on .. First album is The Beatles/1962-1966 it has stereo EAS 77003 .4 on the front cover with a sideways picture of them on a balcony … on the back cover is An EMI Recording apple records and on the right corner it says made in Japan in english and japanese now the colors of the album are red and white inside are 2 albums in sleeves … lyrics in a book form it has on the front cover The Beatles Discovery 1962-1966 .. top right corner has a flag and The Beatles – 14 below that there is a picture of a apple with apple records written inside there is also has a british flag front and back with EAS-77003~4 in the center bottom of cover inside is the lyrics in japanese to the songs in these albums also there is another booklet with the lyrics in english and japanese and it matches the album cover there also is a poster of the beatles the 4 of them …now I also have this in The Beatles /1967-1970 stereo EAS-77005.6 with the same contents ..I was told that this was rare and I would love any kind of information I could get in helping me solve this so if you can help please e-mail me !! thanks so much

  31. Lisa Elmore Says:

    What would a 45 of John Lennon singing Woman and Yuke one singing Beautiful Boys on the other side by Geffen Records in 1980 be worth?

  32. aqm Says:

    A friend has the white album opened, but it is in excellent condition and inside it has lyrics and serveral pics of all of the orignal beatles and stick figures art work… we’re trying to find it’s value can send pics if you like

  33. BARON Says:

    I was born in ’53, so I was there. The whole money thing is out-of-hand! Tha’s the trip today.

    “Money Can’t Buy (you) Love”, and “Baby, You’re A Rich Man”.

    Remember, “All You Need Is Love”. Maybe I’ll give all my stuff to charity.

  34. mark currier Says:

    Hello beetle fans I was watchin auction hunters on tv and to my surprise he found a meet the beetles album i to have the album in excellent condition the tv appraiser said its very rare only 25 to 30 known to exist can anyone help me with the truth about what i have thanx rock on

  35. Sue Says:

    I realize I am really late in the game here, but I really agree with BARON, I aquired a couple of great Beatles albums from my Mom who was there too, unfortunately, I was a late 70′s child so I was not there, but I will not sell these records because there is too much of an amazing legacy that goes along with it.


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