British Decca Values

this page first published by John Wright, 3 Dec 1997
last update 14 Mar

Note: values quoted are typical prices paid at a record fair stall where the stall-holder knows the demand for music and records.

A commonly found record label in a 78rpm collection, Decca sold millions of records. Many favourite dance bands made their best records on Decca. The first British Decca records for popular music appeared in 1929. The expensive red label M- series, featuring Ambrose and his Orchestra, are very hard to find, the less expensive blue F- series featuring studio bands are more common, and the F- series soon included the top bands of Jack Hylton, Roy Fox and Lew Stone, and the voice of Al Bowlly.
A lot of jazz, American and British, is to be found on the 1930's Decca records.
For example:

(Slide the frame left in order to see the table better)

Cat. No.Band or
M-70Ambrose and
his orch
192910.00scarce hot
dance titles
F-1611Rhythm Maniacs19302.00medley of
hot dance music
F-2246Palm Beach Hawaiians19315.00not a real Hawaiian band!
but a Len Fillis group
with vocals by Al Bowlly
F-2323Spike Hughes and
his Orchestra
19316.00British jazz titles titles
F-2440Blue Lyres19313.00good dance titles,
actually the
Ambrose Orchestra
F-2834Roy Fox and his band
at the Monseigneur
19324.00very popular band with
collectors, these titles
feature Al Bowlly and
Nat Gonella
F-3030Jack Hylton and
his Orchestra
19321.00popular dance band
but these titles are
of little interest
F-3079George Formby19324.00one of the more interesting
Formby records has a jazz
accompaniment(Hylton band)
F-5158Lew Stone and his band
at the Monseigneur
19344.00very popular band with
collectors, these titles
feature Al Bowlly
F-5322Nat Gonella and
his Trumpet
19344.00good British jazz titles
F-5375Ambrose and his
19354.00excellent hot dance
titles on this record
F-5883Eddie Lang and
Joe Venuti
4.00excellent American
jazz duo
F-5922Ambrose and his
19361.00pleasant dance titles
F-7100Quintet of the
Hot Club of France
19394.00popular jazz group
with Django Reinhardt
and Stephane Grappelly
F-7267Ambrose and his
19392.00WW2 songs

These records are only examples of what kind of values are put on some of Decca's popular vocal and dance records. There will be some records by the same artistes worth more or less, depends on the quality of the music and on how many copies of the records were sold.

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