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Hear The Beatles Tell All, Vee-Jay PRO 202.

Published February 4th, 2011

Hear The Beatles Tell All, Vee-Jay PRO 202, November, 1964. Jim Steck, a radio newsman with KRLA in Los Angeles, and Dave Hull, a popular disc jockey with the same station, each conducted interviews with the Beatles during their 1964 American tour. After portions of these interviews were aired on KRLA, Vee-Jay approached the pair and reached an agreement to release the interviews on an album.

The front cover of the album promises “LIVE IN PERSON INTERVIEWS RECORDED DURING THEIR LATEST-AMERICAN TOUR” in red across the top of the cover. Directly below this print, the title of the album appears in white block letters on an angled black rectangular banner. Phrases and questions relating to the interviews appear randomly throughout the lower three-fourths of the cover. The back of the album cover is reminiscent of the Ad Back cover on the first issue of Introducing The Beatles in that it features miniature pictures of album covers and singles picture sleeves. But rather that promoting other fine albums of significant interest on Vee-Jay, the cover plug the Beatles four Vee-Jay and Tollie singles and their most recently released albums: Song, Pictures And Stories Of Fabulous Beatles, The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons and The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage (portrait cover). Oddly enough, Introducing The Beatles is not pictured.

Vee-Jay prepared a limited number of promotional copies of the record. These records, which were manufactured by Monarch, have an all white label with blue print. The words “Promotional” and “Not For Sale” appear below a large brackets logo, along with the number PRO 202. In its rush to market the record, Vee-Jay mistakenly reversed the roles of Dave Hull and Jim Steck. The labels on promotional record incorrectly state “Jim Steck Interviews John, Paul, George, Ringo” on one side and “Dave Hull Interviews John Lennon” on the other. Upon realizing the error, Vee-Jay requested that all copies of the records be returned.

When the record was pressed for commercial release, Vee-Jay corrected the names of the interviewrs. The has the large white brackets logo printed on a black label with an outer rim colorband. The more common version of this record has the number VJLP 202 PRO on the label. The trail off area to the Jim Steck/John Lennon side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6608 and job number 7109 and the trail off area to the Dave Hull/Beatles side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6609 and job number 7109X. Both sides have the machine stamped MR logo, indicating that this record was pressed by Monarch.

The later pressing has the same typesetting and trail off area markings except that its release number does not have the “PRO” suffix on its label. In typical Vee-Jay fashion, some discs have the “PRO” suffix only on the Dave Hull side. Other may well exist with the “PRO” side only on the Jim Steck side.

In 1979, a resurrected Vee-Jay International re-issued the record in a stereo cover prepared from the album’s original artwork. Although the cover has the words “STEREO” at the top, the record neither has stereo markings not play stereo. The trail off area to the Jim Steck side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6608-A-D-1 and job number L741 and the trail off area to the Dave Hull side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6609-B-D-1 and job number L741X. The marking “QT-1” appears on both sides.

Vee-Jay International also released the record as a picture disc in 1987. The irregular shaped picture disc recordn was released in a clear plastic cover with yellow and black title sticker. The trail off area to the front side contains the number V.J. PROMO-202-7A and L27924 and to the back side lists V.J. PRO-202-7B and L27924X. Due to size limitations caused by the unconventional shape of the disc, the record contains edited versions of the interviews that appeared on previous releases of the album.

The 15 Greatest Songs Of The Beatles, Vee-Jay VJ 1101.

Published February 2nd, 2011

The 15 Greatest Songs Of The Beatles, Vee-Jay VJ 1101, January, 1965. This latest edition of Vee Jay Record associated with the name of The Beatles. But this is not the album Beatles. This album is little known group from Birmingham represented on the album as The Merceyboys which performs songs of The Beatles.
In fact, this English group The Brumbeats from Birmingham. They were originally called The Plazents and their name was derived from Mary Regan’s well known Plaza Ballroom in Old Hill where the band became the resident act. The Plazents were formed in Erdington by drummer Dave Mountney (from the Beachcombers), guitarists Graham Gallery and Roger Hill (both previously with a group called Bobby & The Dominators) while saxophonist Paul Carter came from Northfield. By 1963, The Plazents had enlisted Buddy Ash from Smethwick, formerly of The Eko’s and the Diplomats, as their lead vocalist. The positive response to the Plazents from the Plaza regulars was such that they were signed to a recording contract by Decca Records in July 1963 although it would not be until September before they could go into the studio due to bass guitarist Graham Gallery having a bout with pneumonia. Decca also told the group to get another drummer so Dave Mountney was replaced by Alan Eastwood.
In order to capitalize on the so called “Mersey Beat” mania that was sweeping the country at that time, the term “Brum Beat” was being used by some promoters as a means of advertising West Midlands groups that had recently been signed-up. In light of this, Decca Records decided that The Plazents name should be changed to The Brumbeats prior to the release of their first single. Decca Records chose a great song for the A-side of the Brumbeats first record release that had been composed by the group themselves. The track was called and the recording was done very much in the style of the Mersey Sound while also considered as a potential record for well known singer Billy Fury. The song was actually composed by the Brumbeats singer Buddy Ash (Graham Ashford) who wrote the lyrics with the music composed by bass guitarist Graham Gallery. Despite radio and TV appearances on shows like “Thank Your Lucky Stars” did not manage to become a hit although many copies were sold in Birmingham record shops. As well as providing support for visiting acts, the Brumbeats had often appeared on the same bill as the Beatles whenever they played in the Birmingham area. The Brumbeats similarity in their sound to The Beatles was not lost on Decca Records as they were involved in a project that resulted in the release of a rare 15-track album of Beatles songs as performed by “The Merseyboys” which was really the Brumbeats under a different name. The album was also released in the U.S.A. on the famous Vee-Jay Records label
For collectors, this album is valuable only for its cover for the design which used photographs Dezzo Hoffmann, as well as a very rare – 3000 copies sold only.


VJLP 1101A
First label variation has centered titles and credits with VJ brackets logo and outer rim colorband. Label has the phrase “Saluting Their Return To Amercia” in medium print directly below the brackets logo. Isn’t it ironic that American Record Pressing Co. misspelled “AMERICA” as “AMERCIA” on the label. This label has phrase “& Other Songs” on both sides. The trail off areas to the the disc show that the stampers responsible for pressing this classic got around. Side 1 has the hand etched matrix number 64-4233 and job number 6810. Side 2 has the hand etchet matrix number 64-4234 and job number 6810X. Both sides have machine stamped MR and ARP logos. This record was pressed by ARP with stampers also used by Monarch.

Second label variation has left justified titles and credits with VJ brackets logo and outer rim colorband. The labels to this variation list all of the song titles. The trail off area on Side 1 contains the matrix number 64-4233 and job number 6810. Side 2 has the matrix number 64-4234 and job number 6810X. Both sides have the MR logo. This record was pressed by by Monarch Records.

If I Feel / Tell Me Why, Parlophone DP 562.

Published December 2nd, 2010

If I Feel / Tell Me Why, Parlophone DP 562, Mono, 1964. Manufactured export issue. Push-out center. Export issue which features “The Parlophone Co…” rim text in upper case and “Recording First Published 1964” text. “MADE IN GT. BRITAIN” text is in lower case. Tax code KT. Matrix numbers: Side A: 7XCE 17756-1N, Side B: 7XCE 17757-1N.

Dizzy Miss Lizzy / Yesterday, Parlophone DP 563.

Published December 2nd, 2010

Dizzy Miss Lizzy / Yesterday, Parlophone DP 563, Mono, 1965. Manufactured export issue. Push-out center. Export issue which features “The Gramophone Co…” rim text in upper case. “MADE IN GT. BRITAIN” text is in lower case. Tax code KT. Matrix numbers: Side A: 7XCE 18739-1, Side B: 7XCE 18740-1.

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