Imagine finding a copy of an old Christmas record worth more than $15,000.
According to vintage vinyl music expert John Marshall (aka "Mighty John the Record Guy"), there are many old Christmas records worth several hundred to several thousand dollars.
If most of these records are no longer played on the radio, we wondered, why are they so valuable?
Marshall says a combination of factors can make an old record worth a lot of money. He spoke with TheBlaze Radio and shared his list of the top twelve most valuable Christmas records, detailing the specifics of what makes each one of these discs desirable to vinyl collectors.
Presented here, a top five countdown of these valuable recordings.
At No. 5, Gayla Peevey's 1953 classic, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" was reportedly a smash back in the 50s, but is rarely heard today. However, if you have a vinyl copy of the single, with the original picture sleeve, it could fetch as much as $250.
Of course, in order for a collectible record to fetch top dollar, the condition needs to be exceptional and the packaging -- the sleeve of a 45 rpm single or the full sized album cover of an LP (long playing record) -- would need to be original and in great shape.
The 4th most desired disc, 1971's -- a Beatles LP from Apple Records - “The Beatles Christmas Album.” This one could bring as much as $500.
Another Beatles-related release is at No. 3. John Lennon's solo project with Yoko Ono, “Happy Christmas," is worth a lot of money today. If you can get your hands on the promotional release sent to radio stations in 1971, it sells for as much as $750 in top condition.
The top two spots on Marshall's list belong to "The King" — Elvis Presley.
Elvis' 1957 classic “Blue Christmas” sells for up to $3,000. Again, there are many different versions of this vinyl single out there. The really important thing to look for: the white label disc, from 1957.
The leap in value from the No. 2 position to the top of the chart is considerable.
As a matter of fact, according to "Mighty John the Record Guy," the most valuable Christmas vinyl is worth six times what the second place finisher could bring.
At No. 1, the 1957 release from RCA records, the “Elvis Christmas Album" (red vinyl) -- in top condition, this one could fetch $18,000.
Marshall stresses that there are a few key elements that must be present to push an "Elvis Christmas Album" into the top tier of collectibility.
- Great condition is vital to bringing top dollar for any vintage vinyl.
- The recording must be pressed on red vinyl. (Black vinyl is still valuable - but the red disc is most desired by Elvis fans.)
- And the disc has to have the catalogue LOC-1035
For more information on all of the valuable Christmas records and other desirable vinyl, visit MoneyMusic.com.
You can hear John Marshall give details on his entire "Top 12" valuable Christmas Records via this week's "Pure Opelka" on TheBlaze Radio's digital download. John's interview begins at the 20 minute mark of the show.
(Update: For the record, in his radio interview embedded above, Marshall had Gayla Peevey's song as No. 6 and a George Harrison single of a song called "Ding Dong Ding Dong" as No. 5 on his list. After this interview, Marshall amended his list. He has now rated both discs as tied at No. 5, and are worth up to $250.)
And, in case you are wondering...what does a song about wanting a hippo for Christmas sound like?
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