Rare northern soul record selling at $17,000 after astonishing find

One of the rarest records ever pressed in the UK is currently auctioning for over £11,000 ($17,259) following an astonishing find by a soul fan.

Darrell Banks London Records Open the Door to Your Heart
Just one copy of the single pressed by London Records has ever surfaced

There is thought to be just one copy of London Records' Darrell Banks' Open the Door to Your Heart in existence after EMI secured the rights to the track and had all copies from the competing label destroyed.

It was discovered by a collector digging through the crates of a deceased Decca employee. He told fellow enthusiasts on a forum:

"All of the records were unplayed with a large number of rare - not necessarily valuable - 60s psych rock/freak beat (as expected on blue Decca). It would suggest that the employee was not a collector as such, merely taking those he could have and then storing them in numbers untouched for decades, to be found on his death."

The mint condition record has been discussed by collectors for some time, though few believed it actually existed.

The auction, taking place on the Rare Soul Man website, ends on December 21.

Another soul record - Frank Wilson's Motown release Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - is also considered a holy grail record for collectors, with between two and five copies known to exist. One collector paid £25,000 ($39,218) to own a copy back in 2009.

Open the Door to Your Heart was released on the Revilot label in the US, and these copies are readily available. It reached number 2 on the US R&B chart.

Darrell Banks (1937-1970) signed to Revilot in the mid-1960s, releasing Open the Door to Your Heart in 1966. Touring with Jackie Wilson, he was set for stardom, yet was killed by an off-duty police officer who had been having an affair with Banks' girlfriend in Detroit.

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