Friday, April 3, 2009

Even Or Odd?

One of the things Rite is known for is the consecutive matrix numbering system they used for virtually all of the 30 years they custom pressed records. Thirty years is a very long time to develop and maintain a consistant system of doing anything. Of course, Rite was not perfect in their numbering system. In a perfect consecutive numbering system the A-side of each release would alway be either even or odd and the B-side would be the opposite depending on whether the system started with the number 0 or 1.

From 1955 to 1959, Rite jumped back and forth between series of even and odd numbered A-sides over 20 times. Finally in the later part of 1959, at matrix number 2471, all A-sides became odd and all B-sides were even. This appears to be consistant from that point in 1959 until production ceased in 1985.

Many of us have documented Rite pressings sight unseen from reliable sources, ebay auctions, etc. and had to guess what's the probable matrix number for the flip side. If it's in the early years, guessing may lead to error.

Also, typically but not always, Rite pressings have the matrix number printed on the label as well as in the matrix. Once in a while the matrix numbers are not on the label and can only be found in the deadwax. Here's a couple of interesting examples:

Herman Griffin
HOB 112
CP-1920 ~ I Need You
CP-1921 ~ I'm So Glad I Learned To Do The Cha-Cha
House Of Beauty, Detroit, MI

Most listing have the matrix numbers incorrect on the above Rite pressing probably because it's an even number A-side and it's not printed on the label. This would be an easy one to get wrong if you're not holding it in your hand.

Ralph And Ruth
Rena 803/804
Rite 141-CP-5119 RENA 803-785 ~ Hard Hearted Girl
Rite 141-CP-5120 RENA 804-785 ~ A Though Crossed My Mind
Ripley, WV
Afilliated with John Bava - Cozy Records

The Rena label is very scarce with pressing quantities of 100 or less for all issues. Mostly bluegrass or country boppers, this one has no pressing info on the labels but tons of info in the matrix!

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