Saturday, May 8, 2010

Clarinet – Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Blog – What Sweet Music

 Artie Shaw - Thanks to

I received a call today about buying a vintage clarinet and it was like a flash from the past. In my book 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques and Collectibles, there is a section where I tell about my childhood and growing up with music.

Yes we were poor, but soon after he got back from the service, Dad started a company where he would place pinball machines in bars and restaurants. The only natural thing to do was also provide the establishments’ music so he bought a number of jukeboxes and included them as well on his routes. The reason that started me loving music was we were the only family in our small town of Owensboro, Kentucky to have a jukebox in the living room.

While other kids were listening to the radio, I fell in love with the likes of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw and Pete Fountain. Still today, I remember Benny Goodman being called the King of Swing. All of these fellows led big bands and Woody Herman started out as a professional clarinet player at 15 playing jazz. Perhaps the oddest was Artie Shaw. Artie was married 8 times and you may recognize the name Ava Gardner, one of his wives. He was the first white band director to hire a black female vocalist and her name was the great Billie Holiday. Artie sold over 100 million records. Last, but not least, was Pete Fountain who made his name on the Lawrence Welk show but also appeared on the Johnny Carson show 56 times. But what all these men had in common was they all were great clarinetists.

Now for what you need to know. Vintage clarinets bring big dollars. I have seen special clarinets bring over $10,000 just as an instrument, not being linked to any artist. It is hard to find a Selmer, Wurlitzer, Leblanc or Buffet clarinet that won't fetch $1000 or more. These are those special house and garage sales finds that can make your day for as little as $100. It is very important that there isn't damage to the instruments because like most other antiques and collectibles this will kill their value.

I don't know if I will write on other instruments but the same can be said of saxophones, trumpets and all the other brass and woodwind instruments. This field is worth your doing just a little research and that can be turned into big bucks. Yes, there are other instruments that people search for besides the guitar.

Let me hear it Benny, Woody, Artie and Pete because your music was straight from heaven. Whether swing or jazz, no one can do it like they did. I can still see myself sitting in the living room being mesmerized by these artists. Happy days were here again when I received that call yesterday. 

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