EASTPOINTE — Dan and Denise Zieja, owners of Melodies & Memories at 23013 Gratiot Ave., have been in business for 30 years and recently sold an extremely rare copy of Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” to Third Man Records founder Jack White, of the White Stripes.
The record will be re-pressed in purple vinyl and sold in time for Record Store Day April 21.
According to a press release from Third Man Records, the single was never released.
“Never officially released by Motown Records at the time it was recorded, this single has long been the holy grail for both Motown and Northern Soul collectors,” the release stated.
Dan Zieja worked for the Detroit Free Press for more than 25 years and in his spare time decided to open the business.
When Melodies & Memories first opened, they sold records, books, and collectible items.
“We stopped selling books during the wave when the CDs were introduced, but we’ve always had a lot of records and CDs,” he said.
Over the years, Zieja says he’s seen a decline in customers buying CDs, and an influx of customers wanting records.
“The young people are all back into records. Whereas they were downloading songs and buying CDs, now they want the record in their hand and to play them on a record player themselves. It’s like a revolution,” he said.
While the store has multiple genres to choose from, Frank Wilson’s vinyl was a part of Zieja’s personal collection.
“I’ve been collecting records myself since 1969. I don’t know exactly when I got it, because I have over 100,000 records in my own collection,” he said.
Zieja said White has almost “spearheaded the vinyl movement.”
“He opened a vinyl record pressing plant a few years back, and he almost single-handedly started this,” he said.
According to Zieja, White will re-press the record on purple vinyl and sell it on Record Store Day as a collectors’ item.
Denise Zieja said the record came up in conversation last October during the Detroit A Go Go event celebrating Motown and Northern Soul. Dan told his wife that he, in fact, had the record, and they came to a conclusion to sell it.
As for the negotiations, Denise said she befriended someone over Facebook in the United Kingdom who helped her spread the word on the store selling the record.
“For three to four weeks, it was nonstop interest in the record. I had people calling me from all over the world who wanted to purchase the record,” she said.
“We found out that this Frank Wilson record is the record over there that everyone wants,” she said.
Ben Blackwell, of Third Man Records, with whom Melodies & Memories has done business prior to the Wilson record, was interested in purchasing the record instantly, according to Denise.
“I called Ben, and I told him we decided we wanted to keep the record in Detroit,” said Denise.
Melodies & Memories and Third Man Records came to an agreement in February. The record store did not want to disclose the amount the record was sold for. Denise believed the record was the “highest-priced” 45 rpm record sold in history.
According to a May 1, 2009, article on the BBC’s website, a rare copy of the Frank Wilson 45 sold for more than 25,000 pounds at an auction in the United Kingdom that year, which amounted to approximately $37,000.
Dan is happy about keeping the record in the area and said White has publically shared where he purchased the record.
“He’s been very generous in putting us on his Facebook and told everyone where he bought the record from,” he said.
Melodies & Memories celebrated its 30th anniversary April 1. The store will have copies of the re-pressed collectors’ item record on Record Store Day.