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The Flipside with Robert R. Van Ryzin

And the Guitar Gently Weeps
October 25, 2007

OK. So the tune on one side of a 45 r.p.m. record I own may not rise to the level of George Harrison's "My Guitar Gently Weeps" as a musical composition. And, even though it does feature a guitar, I don't think it weeps.

Even so, if you are a coin collector, you have to love its title: "Our Love is Rarer Than a 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cent."

It's performed by the Rockway's, with Wayne Eberhart on piano and Rocky Nelson on guitar, and lasts 2.25 minutes. My version is a "Special 15th Anniversary Issue" by Whatever Wreck-Ard's, copyrighted 1990, which would put the original issue at 1975. The flip side has "Wayne's Mood," which is 5 minutes in length.

But that's about all I know. An Internet search turned up two listings of this record being for sale. One was priced at $75 and the other at $86. Though they were both autographed by Eberhart to the same person and may be the same copy.

It also appeared from my search that Eberhart owned Whatever Wreck-Ard's, based in Seattle. But nothing tells me if he wrote the all-musical piece or, if not, when it was originally composed.

More intriguing, were there ever any lyrics to it? What lyrics would come next, assuming the song started with "Our love is rarer than a 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cent"? Would the next line rhyme with "cent" or play off "V.D.B."? Obviously I'm no song writer, but I am a collector, and would (I think) love to hear it.

Anyone know more about its origin? Could it date to earlier? (The 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cent has been known as a key cent since its release.) And if there never were any lyrics, why this then seemingly unusual title?

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About the Author
Robert R. Van Ryzin has been a coin collector for 30 years. He has served as editor of Krause Publications Coins and Coin Prices magazines since 1994. He joined the firm in 1986 after obtaining a master of fine arts degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Prior to becoming a magazine editor, he worked on World Coin News as a staff member and later served as managing editor of Numismatic News. Van Ryzin, whose specialty is U.S. coinage history, is also the award-winning author of the book Crime of 1873: The Comstock Connection (Krause Publications, 2001), as well as two earlier titles, Twisted Tails: Sifted Fact, Fantasy and Fiction from U.S. Coin History (Krause Publications, 1995) and Striking Impressions: A Visual Guide to Collecting U.S. Coins (Krause Publications, 1992).

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