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The collecting of budget records, why do I collect them?

     If you are reading this blog right now, you will most likely know that I collect budget record albums. I can imagine you would ask this question, "What is so appealing about budget records to the point you would fork over real money to buy these junk records"? The answer lies in the stories behind the various budget labels and the purposes that the records were made for, I find them to be endlessly interesting. I am what you could call a history buff, and enjoy the why and how of anything, so I find the research and also the "field" research to be very entertaining. How do you get interested in this field of record collecting, you ask? It's sad that I can't give you a straight answer, as it just grew on me until it became the primary focus of my collecting, try it and maybe it will grow on you too. I have also grown to love certain budget record labels, mainly Crown and other Modern Records operated labels, Royale and other labels of Record Corporation of America, Wyncote and Golden Tone and other P.R.I operated labels.
     Budget records I have found to very misunderstood, I once was asked by a guy as I was flipping through some records what I collected, and I told him I collected budget records. At this point he asked "Who made those"? I answered his questions explaining that budget records are a field of record collecting, not a brand name and they were mostly manufactured between the 50's to the 70's. Afterwards I was shocked that people knew so little about these very interesting records.
     I will tell you the good and the bad about these records. The first thing I'd like to tell you, is the fact that their is a lot of junk out there (Easy listening music, polka, etc.)! Some of this junk is worthwhile, such as some select 101 strings albums and tribute albums. One of the good type of budget record are albums with name artist, the real fun being that the artist in small print usually makes up the majority of the album! Another great type of budget album are knock off records covering pop hits or albums of the day. The quality of these knock off records depend on how well the artist covered the record, some are good, some are paint peeling awful, listen with caution.

     I now ask you a question, what do you collect, and what makes you collect it? Please put your answer in the comment section, I can't wait to hear what you have to say.


  1. Fascinatingly, our interest in budget labels is nearly identical. My favorites are Crown & Halo.

    As for myself, I primarily collect Hawaiian/Exotica records. My grandfather was an audiofile & esp. liked Hawaiian music. As a small child, I was drawn to this music & the idea that I would live in Hawaii eventually. At 5 years of age, my grandparents bought me a record player & my Hawaiian collection began then. MANY of my earliest LPs were the budget labels. I did move to Hawaii at 19, and at 51 I'm still here and have over 2,500 LPs of Hawaiian music.
    I love Hawaiian/Exotica, both the authentic & the "Spongebob Squarepants" luau music. I love the record jacket artwork, too. The fantasies, hopes, dreams, beauty, outright tackiness, etc. It represents many things to me.
    I do have special love of the Hawaiian budget label releases...and there are MANY. About 4 distinct studio groups recorded about a dozen numbers each, plus one Andy Williams Hawaiian Wedding Song vocal rip-off. These recording were then released in dozens of combinations, two from this session, three from that, etc., etc...each time giving a ficticious group name like "Luke Leilani & His Royal Hawaiians" or "Pete Kilanee & The Hawaiianers", etc. And the song titles were changed constantly. There was ONE group who recorded Hawaiian LPs on Crown called "The Polynesians" who were quite good & performed at various Polynesian nightclubs/restaurants on the Mainland. Their recordings were generally issued under their own name.
    I like to imagine what budget lps would be doing today if they were still around..who they'd be ripping off & imitating..:)

    1. I enjoy the Polynesians albums also, however what I find most interesting is the fact that Crown never issued Polynesian recordings under any other name, if there were others artists that recorded Hawaiian music for them, they would give them a different name never the Polynesians. The Polynesians are one of the few groups that recorded for budget labels that the individual members of the groups are known still to this day. I find it interesting that Crown & Halo happen to be two favorite labels to collect also. When ever I see any thing by those two labels I grab it, unless I already have a copy of it in better condition. We don't have to imagine what a budget label album today would sound like, there are some cheap budget CD's that cover recent hit songs by no name artists, fake names and all!I believe these are found in some stores bargain CD section.

    2. They're not always cheap either. The "Drew's Famous Party Music" CDS sell at full price or close to it...some have even been certified gold by the RIAA. I've seen whole sections in some CD departments devoted entirely to the Drew's line.

      Others, like the Countdown Singers, do seem to show up more often in the "bargain bin" though. For a while there were no-name CDS of original material (usually pretty bad "smooth jazz") packaged in cardboard sleeves like a miniature LP, which showed up in "dollar" stores; but that seems to have died out (or at least down...)

    3. I've seen those bargin bin CDs and "Drew's Famous Party Music" ones in Walmart and Dollar Tree. They scare me.

  2. The way I see it, SOMEBODY needs to collect these records.

    I'm actually LOOKING for one record "Bossa Nova" by The Brasileros on Diplomat (1962) in NM/EX+ condition