Q. Who are Rod McKuen, Anita Kerr and Joe Smith? And what do they have in common (besides you don’t know who they are)?
A. Rod McKuen was one of the best-selling poets in the United States during the late 60’s. Anita Kerr is an American singer, arranger, composer, conductor, pianist, and music producer. And Joe Smith is an illustrious long time record company executive. In 1967 their talents came together on a series of albums by the San Sebastian Strings including The Sea which was released in April of 1967, certified RIAA gold on 12/30/68, and reached a peak chart position of #52. Here you see it honored with an Authentic, First Presentation, First-State RIAA White Matte award – with condition issues…The biggest condition issue is easy to see, the presentation plate has fallen off. And if that weren’t enough, it’s somehow wedged itself under the bottom of the disc. The backing paper on the other hand, is in relatively good condition for an award of this age. The tears you see come from the normal handling of an award…So what to do? Repair or not to repair? There are different perspectives among collectors. I believe that awards, like antique furniture or coins, keep their value best in original “as found” condition, or carefully restored with original components. And then, unless they are going to be displayed, stored flat in poly bags for protection. In this case I decided it made sense to repair, not because it was going to be displayed, but to share the original construction of a White Matte, and offer a step by step process for repairing one, if needed. Here’s how it came out… [click to continue…]