A copy of the 1963 Japanese Julie London compilation LP, All About Julie, complete with the original hankake obi
Offered for sale is a copy of the scarce 1963 Julie London LP, All About Julie, pressed on red vinyl, issued only in Japan, and including the ultra-rare hankake obi (also known as a “half obi”)
Julie London was quite popular in Japan, and while most, if not all, of her American LPs were issued there, most Japanese buyers were happy to purchase the frequent compilation LPs that Liberty Records released over there.
All About Julie, released in 1963, offers a nice selection of songs along with a gatefold cover that features a number of photos from her 1956 LP, Calendar Girl. All About Julie was released only in Japan and was pressed on static-resistant “Everclean” red vinyl. This album is fairly scarce, and seldom turns up for sale.
What makes this copy very unusual is that it is a first pressing that includes the ultra-rare “hankake obi”, also known as a “half obi” or a “three quarter obi.” Later pressings included the more common obi style that wrapped around the cover completely.
Most Japanese albums issued since the late 1950s have included an obi, or sash, a paper strip that ran vertically around the cover, offering information for the Japanese buyer that was not included on the LP cover itself.
Many buyers discarded the obi when they got home from the record store, and as a result, many albums from the 1950s through the 1970s are quite hard to find with the obi intact. For a brief time in 1963 and 1964, Toshiba Records, who pressed albums for Liberty, Capitol, Warner Brothers and a few other labels, used what is known as a “hankake obi”. Instead of wrapping around the cover, this obi was a single strip of paper about nine inches long that simply hooked over the top of the cover via a 1/4″ fold of paper.
Usually, these were glued to the cover at the factory, but most of the time, they were quickly lost. How rare is it to find an album from this period with a hankake obi intact? In 40 years of buying and selling records, we’ve seen a total of six albums, irrespective of artist, offered for sale that included an obi of this style. Most collectors simply don’t bother trying to find them; they know that they’re just not likely to turn up.
Songs on this LP are:
- I Left My Heart in San Francisco
- Love Letters
- Besame Mucho
- Fly Me to the Moon
- Wives and Lovers
- Come on a My House
- Cry Me a River
- Sway Quien Sera
- I’m Coming Back to You
- In the Still of the Night
- You and the Night and the Music
- The End of the World
- Vaya Con Dios
About this copy: The copy offered for sale is in beautiful condition, with a VG+ cover, showing just traces of wear at the edges, and a VG++ disc, with a few spindle marks and a few very slight scuffs from being removed from the original paper sleeve by the original owner. The original lyric sheet is included.
A nice copy of an extremely difficult record to find complete. We don’t expect to see a copy of this (or any other Julie London album) with this obi again.
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