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Hitting a high note for collectors

Music collectors and aficionados will find old and new music worthy of note from more than 30 dealers at the Grants Pass Record Show to be held at the Josephine County Fairgrounds.

"The event features all kinds of memorabilia, 45s, LPs, CDs, DVDs, picture sleeves, posters, rare music, sheet music — you name it, it'll be there" says Lloyd Davis, one of the show's organizers.

The show will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the fairgrounds, 1451 Fairgrounds Road, off the Redwood Highway.

Buyers and sellers from California, Washington and Oregon will be available with rare items from every category of music.

The annual record show started three years ago and has attracted an ever-growing crowd of buyers, sellers, traders and looky-loos.

"Last year over 300 people came through the door, and it was a big surprise," Davis says. "Some people are hoping to find that one missing piece, others want to sell records or related items and a lot of people are just curious to see what this stuff looks like."

Davis will be setting up some his selection of over 100,000 records and promotional picture sleeves from the 1950s and 1960s.

"I'm a record collector and dealer myself; that's how I make my living," says Davis, who has been collecting 45s since 1957, when he was an 11-year-old growing up on a little farm in what is now south Ashland. He remembers his very first purchases, inspired by the rock 'n' roll and country and western radio stations played in his household.

"I bought them right here in Ashland at a place called The Mart and I still have all of them," Davis says.

That maiden lineup includes "White Sport Coat" by Marty Robbins; "Party Doll" by Buddy Knox; "Come Go with Me" by the Dell Vikings, "Rockabilly" by Guy Mitchell and "Yes Tonight, Josephine" by Johnny Ray.

"That got me a collecting start and it kind of mushroomed," says Davis. "After a couple years I probably had a thousand and it just kept building."

With a collection this size, it would seem difficult to choose a favorite, but Davis has a couple he holds close to his heart.

"'The Wayward Wind' by Gogi Grant is right at the top and is very dear to me," he says, a bit wistfully. "It's not a valuable record, but ever since I heard it on the radio in 1956 I've loved it."

Jazz, blues and R&B choices also will be available at the record show, and collectors are encouraged to sell or trade their wares.

"If you can't bring them all in, leave them in the car and someone will come out and look at them," advises Davis.

Admission to the show is $2. Prizes will be given away each hour at the show, and a snack bar will be open all day.

Call 488-0268.

Lloyd Davis stands with his collection of records at his home in Ashland. Davis began collecting 45s and other record memorabilia at the age of 11. - Jamie Lusch