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I've been collecting records since a boy of 10 in 1953. Music has always played a major role in my life.  I was "on-air" as Don Daro at 11 radio stations and I handled the music at most of them.

From Edison to Eminem, Clark to Coldplay.  From thick 10 - inch 78's of the 1880's to 45's that are still made today expressly for jukeboxes.  I have never stopped buying "new" 45's as they hit the charts.  Anytime a product came out that I felt would appreciate in value, I bought several of it or them.  An example would be the sets of 15 colored vinyl Beatles 45's made during the mid 90's for jukebox use only.

I've collected from thrift stores and garage sales.  Mobil DJs that converted over to CD. From radio stations that changed formats.  From radio Disc Jockeys that needed money.  From record stores that went bankrupt.  From estate sales and jukebox operators.  From record companies that were closed down.  Many records came with picture sleeves which I've collected all along.  Not to mention the "promo" copies I "saved" while handling the music at numerous radio stations, like:

KINO (1966),  KIFM (1966),  KFIV (1967),  KACY (1967),

KTUF (1968),  KPHO (1968),  KRUX (1969) and  KMEO (1970/1971).

It would be nearly impossible to amass this large a record collection ever again, which is:

400,000 7 - inch 45 - rpm

3,000 10 - inch/12 - inch 78 - rpm

3,000 12 - inch 33 1/3 - rpm

Rock 'N Roll, Alternative, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, Dance & Rap, Country, Top 40, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, Children's.  Most everything but not much classical or jazz.  Also "mothers", "masters", picture discs and reel-to-reel tape from record producers and record companies.

I happened to be driving by when they emptied the offices of "Colpix Records" in Hollywood in 1965.  I took everything.  Also I have a ton of "Colossus Records" stuff from its founder.  Stuff that’s never been heard since it was removed from the recording studio.

I wasn't particular; I bought and grabbed anything and everything because, as many of you probably know, it's an addiction.  Whenever I saw records for sale, I bought them.  I've done this for over 50 years!

My plan was to own a radio station and be able to program anything I wanted.  Although that never happened, I DID run radio stations yet never used my records at them.

Now and realize that that particular dream is not practical anymore since radio in general isn’t what it used to be.  (Understatement) In fact I'm actually forging another dream with another career.  That of TV producer.

For the most part, very few people in the world know of this collection’s existence.  I’ve not allowed anyone to "cherry pick" it or even look through it for that matter.  At the time of this writing only one person in the record collecting/sales business has even been in the building.

When VH-1 did a story on Tom Petty, (a client of mine) they filmed in the library, but luckily they didn't air that segment.  BTW, clients in one of my businesses are the who's who of the entertainment industry.

Back in the 80's the Nickelodeon Channel came to my home and did a story on what they titled "The Largest Record Library in the World".  People tell me it still runs on the network occasionally.

I also have hundreds of 7 - inch reels of Top 40 DJs on the air at various radio stations in the late 60's and early 70's.  Although mostly Los Angeles and Phoenix, AZ stations, this stuff is still priceless and fun.  Each time I went to another radio station, I would record everything in their music library.

You’ll love this!  While an intern at legendary Top 40 KRLA/Pasadena CA 1965-66, I noticed that every Friday, the music director would toss some 500 to 800 singles into the dumpster.  They had to do this to make room for the flood of new releases that came in each week.  These were brand new records that they never even sampled.  They were only playing the "hits", so artists unknown to them would be trash canned.

Well, I loaded my old '54 Chevy trunk up with them for the entire time I was at the station.  I would take them back to my Hollywood apartment and try to listen to the more interesting looking ones.  One day I took a "Bang Records" in of some then unknown artist named Neil Diamond and KRLA jumped on it. The rest is history.

It would take literally years just to sort through all this stuff.  But it took me all of my adult life to gather it together.  I don't even know what all I have.

A year or so ago I began sorting the 45's to weed out any duplicates. It took me 4 months just to do the "A" artists.  Looking ahead to finish the task became too daunting, to say the least, so I stopped.  I didn't want to spend the rest of my life sorting records!

I've already dedicated the last 15 years sorting the 45's and they are now all in alphabetical order by artists last name.  I went by both Jerry Osborne's record price guides and Joel Whitburn's Record Research books of the various genres.

I've known Mr. Osborne since the mid 60's and even purchased part of his personal record collection in the early 70's.  Also around that time, "Krup Record Distributors" in El Paso, Texas invited Jerry, myself and another disc jockey from KRUX radio to be the first to be allowed into their old warehouse.  It had been closed for 25 years.

We spent a week going through the dusty boxes of brand new 45's, 78's and albums.  We spent every cent we had and filled my entire 1964 Dodge Polara up with great stuff.  Of course I still have all of what I bought.

Don Daro

Huge Record Library

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