Pine Record Collector Selling 'History of Music'

By Behe, Regis | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 18, 2008 | Go to article overview

Pine Record Collector Selling 'History of Music'


Behe, Regis, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


For sale: 3 million record albums and 300,000 CDs; rare and out- of-print titles, all varieties of American music from classical to hip-hop.

But it's much more than vinyl and jewel cases.

"It's the history of music," says Paul Mawhinney, the owner or Record Rama Sound Archives in Pine. "It's my life's work."

Mawhinney, 69, is reluctantly parting with a collection he started more than 40 years ago. Legally blind and fighting diabetes, he wants to spend more time with his five grandchildren.

The collection is worth millions of dollars -- Mawhinney's personal estimate is at least $50 million -- but he has received only one solid offer.

That bid of $28.5 million fell through. Other parties have shown interest, and Mawhinney says he continues to talk to a few interested parties. He has set of goal of selling the collection by March 1.

"I've had a lot of people that wanted it, but they don't have the right kind of capital," he says.

While Mawhinney's albums are a record collector's fantasy, they are beyond the financial reach of most vinyl enthusiasts. That's unfortunate, because there are a lot of desirable items, including:

An unreleased, untitled Rolling Stones album of early singles. Originally recorded in mono, the songs were remastered in stereo for FM radio stations in the early 1970s. Mawhinney estimates the album is worth between $5,000 and $10,000.

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