Melton record dealer brokers world best sale of rare vinyl disc

A Melton man has played a key role in achieving the world best price for the sale of a seven-inch vinyl record for the second time in 11 years.

John Manship was asked to sound out the owner of the iconic Northern Soul 45 ‘Do I Love You’, by Frank Wilson, to see if he was prepared to part with it.

Mr Manship, a veteran rare vinyl dealer, had auctioned the disc back in 2009 and the resulting sale for 25,742 made headlines around the world because it was the most ever paid for a seven-inch record.

Its value comes from it being rejected by legendary record label, Motown, in the 1960s, and because only a small number of copies of the disc were pressed it is incredibly rare.

Now, thanks to the intervention of Mr Manship, 38-year-old Lee Jeffries, of Market Harborough, a record label owner and drinks business entrepreneur, has now bought the 45 for an undisclosed sum, beating all previous worldwide records for a labelled record.

Mr Manship said: “I was approached by Lee Jeffries asking if it would be possible for me to get in touch with the owner of the record and persuade him to sell it. “After some negotiations, and an offer from Lee that couldn’t be refused, I’m delighted to announce that a deal has been struck.

“The seller was very satisfied with the return on his investment, and the price achieved underlines the fact that rare vinyl is not just an emotional or nostalgic purchase - it continues to be a solid commodity, even in these tumultuous times.

“Online record sales have surged around the world during lockdown.”

The Frank Wilson anthem was originally owned by Scottish DJ legend, Kenny Burrell, to whom the record was signed and dedicated by the artist himself.

It was bought at that 2009 auction, held by Mr Manship, by a businessman investor and soul enthusiast from the north east of England.

Mr Jeffries is delighted to be the new owner, commenting: “I was brought up on northern soul, and this inspirational record is its holy grail, something I had to have at any price.

“I shall enjoy owning it immensely.

“Sincere thanks to John Manship and the previous owner for enabling this dream to come true, I am over the moon.”