GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Blues Collector and longtime rare records dealer John Tefteller won a recent eBay auction that featured a previously unknown and potentially one-of-a-kind Blues 45 RPM record produced by the Sun label back in 1953. “I think I stole it,” said Tefteller of the record when the auction ended with his winning bid of $10,323.
The record, “Lonesome Old Jail” and “Greyhound Blues,” features an outstanding old style acoustic Blues performance by Alabama Blues singer D.A. Hunt. It was Hunt’s first and only record and sold very, very few copies when first released by Sam Phillips’ now legendary Sun records label of Memphis, Tenn.
The Sun label is most famous for being the first to record Elvis Presley and is credited as being the label that started Rock and Roll, but the first couple dozen releases were almost exclusively Blues records.
“This record was not previously known to exist on 45 RPM and even the 78 RPM version is one of the rarest and most expensive on the Sun label with several documented sales in excess of $10,000,” explained Tefteller. “To find a 45 is discovery of monumental importance to the record collecting world and I just had to have it.”
Of course, the latest addition to Tefteller’s Blues collection means that all the history books, price guides and discographies have to be amended to now state unequivocally, that yes, there is indeed an original 45 RPM pressing of Sun no. 183.
Tefteller goes on to explain that when the British record researchers first came to America in the late 1950s, they went to Sun and, with assistance from Sam Phillips, documented everything. Only 78 RPM stampers were found for no. 183, but NOT 45 RPM stampers and Phillips told the researchers that NO 45’s were made.
“This discovery proves otherwise,” says Tefteller, who speculates that they probably pressed a few hundred and that was it. “Sam must have just forgotten that he made a small amount of 45’s and, significantly, this is not a promotional copy, which means that they made some promos as well as regular copies for the stores.”
The copy of Sun 183 that Tefteller won on eBay from Minnesota seller Tim Schloe is not in the best of condition. Schloe says he got the record “as part of a large collection of used 45’s that I bought from the estate of a Dallas collector.” Schloe knew the record was rare when he found it in the rubble of thousands of old 45’s but had “no idea” it would bring over $10,000.
Photos courtesy John Tefteller.