Five famous record collections and a look at their doomed (and almost doomed) fate


When Michigan record store owner Jeff Bubeck acquired several thousand records from an abandoned storage unit in Clinton Township, he didn't realize he might've taken possession of a piece of hip-hop history. Bubeck started sifting through the collection and found several items addressed to James Yancey (better known as legendary hip-hop producer J Dilla), which led him to believe he'd scored something more than just a great haul of wax. News spread quickly that part of the producer's collection was up for sale in Bubeck's shop, UHF in Royal Oaks, Michigan. But almost as soon as it was on sale, it was back off the market.

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Yancey's mother (aka "Ma Dukes") offered to help authenticate the collection before any more of it was sold, acknowledging that her son did store his collection at the same facility. According to the Detroit News, Bubeck returned a massive stack of beat tapes and other personal possessions to Ma Dukes, and will sell off the remaining vinyl at a later date as a benefit for the Dilla Foundation. Yancey's untimely death from lupus at the age of 32 shocked the hip-hop world and canonized his innovative, sample-based beatmaking skills among the all-time greats.

Considering the amount of attention his work received posthumously, it seems kind of surprising that the fate of his record collection went unnoticed for so long (he died in '06). It got us wondering what happened to the record collections of some other great artists. So, with fond memories of Record Store Day 2012 fading into the ether, here's a look at the fates of some famous stacks of wax.

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Another that should have made this list was the tremendous collection amassed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar over five decades that was lost in total in a very unfortunate fire several years ago that destroyed his home as well.  The collection included a vast number of rare jazz LPs that in a number of cases were the only known ones in existence at that time.

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