It’s a problem when your aunt dies and bequeaths her grumpy pet parrot to you.
When Gerald Sivyer saw what his brother Keith had left behind, keeping an unpleasant parrot alive for years and years might have sounded comparatively easy.
When Keith Sivyer died in February at 75 in London, Gerald saw just how expansive his brother’s record collection was. Every week beginning in 1952, Keith bought the latest songs in the top 40. Every week.
That makes for about 27,000 seven-inch vinyl singles and 8,000 12-inch singles neatly kept in floor-to-ceiling shelves that covered all of one room except the window and door.
Then in the 1980s, he switched to CD singles — some 10,000 of them and enough to fill a spare bedroom, according to the Telegraph newspaper. When he was divorced and moved back in with his mother, his collection came too. Gerald, 68, is a builder. He said he had to reinforce the floor of his house at one point because of the weight of the records.
And when Keith died, Gerald had to decide what to do with the collection. So he had them valued and divided into three lots for auction on May 21. They are expected to bring almost $1 million altogether.
It’s a good story to use for marketing those tiny digital devices that can store huge amounts of music.
And it might have come in quite handy in Keith Sivyer’s second job as ... a disc jockey, of course.