"World's greatest" music collection on eBay for $3 million
Paul Mawhinney, a 69-year old Pittsburgh man, is selling off his old record collection. Nothing too unusual about that, except that Mawhinney happens to own one of the largest collections of music in the world.
The result of 60 years of obsessive music hunting, the collection covers the span of American recorded music, “from Edison to American Idol,” as written on Mawhinney’s website, TheGreatestMusicCollection.com. The collection is up for auction on eBay, and the lucky winner will be purchasing over three million records, 300,000 CDs and the unmerciful envy of every record geek on the planet. To listen to the entire library start to finish would take 57 years.
But sheer volume aside, the real value of the collection is historical. Many of the records are so “minor” that studios didn’t bother preserving master tapes. Put all together, these recordings aren’t just music; they are important pieces of American history and culture.
Mawhinney is selling his baby whole, but among the biggest prizes in the stack are: an unreleased and untitled Rolling Stones album of early singles valued somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000, 15 copies of Elvis’ Christmas Album from 1957 and a copy of Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You, featuring Darlene Love, The Crystals and The Ronettes. The entire collection is valued at around $50 million, and the starting bid on eBay is $3 million. Mawhinney wants to have the deal finished by March 1.
Now, before you sell off the house, the car and the rights to your eternal soul, you should know that Mawhinney is looking for a buyer that can handle and preserve the collection properly, ideally meaning a museum, library or university.
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