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McCarty on the air at WTLS

The Record Man

By Michael Butler

A record has many different definitions. It can be an account of the past or a feat a that bests all others. There are multiple meanings.

Phillip McCarty might as well be known as the "Record Man."

McCarty is not listed in the Guiness Book of World 'Records' for this achievements. He owns an estimated 28,000 vinyl records. Many are plastered on the wall in his Tallassee home.

Yes, McCarty is a collector. That is his hobby. He earns a living working with the City of Tallassee Maintenance Department.

McCarty just turned 59. Of the 28,000 records in his collection, most would only have sentimental value. He does have some rare finds in his stacks of wax of mostly 45 rpm records.

Displaying "Sweet and Easy to Love" by Roy Orbison and the Roses

So, what is McCarty's most prized posession?

"Probably Elvis on Sun," he said. "It's "That's All Right Mama." I gave $100. It's worth about $20,000."

Would McCarty sell it?

"If somebody would come up with the right kind of money, I'd sell it. Write me a check," he quipped.

Another record off the Sun Label is owned by McCarty.

"I've got Roy Orbison and the Roses, "Sweet and Easy to Love." It's 1955. I found it a long time ago in a thrift store in Opelika for a quarter. That's hard to find too. Roy Orbison on Sun is hard to find, harder to find than Elvis. I've got a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis on Sun."

His favorite era in music was the early 1960s in Rock 'n' Roll.

"That's the golden age," McCarty said. "I'm fixated on one-hit wonders from the late '60s and early '70s."

And of the 28,000 - which is his favorite?

"It's "Little Green Bag" by George Baker Selection."

Go ahead. Google it.