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Hot Wax

Golden oldie is hardly the word. According to the just-published Record Collector’s Price Guide, a near-mint copy of the Elvis Presley 45 Milkcow Blues Boogie, on the original Sun label, is worth $310. A more common attic relic like the Beatles’ She Loves You (with the White Swan label, first pressing) would fetch $100, or $50 slightly played. That’s peanuts, though, compared to the $500 price for an almost-virginal copy of the obscure My Bonnie by Tony Sheridan. Of course, Sheridan’s back-up was the Beat Brothers—Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and their pre-Ringo drummer, Pete Best.

Saturday Night Special

On his latest trip to New York, William Holden decided it was no longer even a nice place to visit. “I used to carry a gun here in the ’60s,” he confessed, “a snub-nosed .38 I used in Africa for dispatching sick and dying animals.” Holden, who owns a preserve in Kenya, says he never unholstered his piece in the Big Apple, but “because I carried it, I found it made all the difference. Maybe it was the way I looked at people, maybe the way I walked. But when I had that gun on me, even in the tougher sections of town, guys would back away.” Now Holden prefers his jungles not to be of asphalt. “I can walk from one end of Kenya to the other,” he finds, “and be safer than right here in Central Park.”

Another Country

While revisiting Atlanta to collect an honorary degree from Morehouse College, James Baldwin, 51, noted, “I know something has happened in this city…I watch black people walk down the street here as if they belonged on the street. That didn’t happen 20 years ago.” To be sure, the author of such fulminations as Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time still believes “the white man’s empire is violent, reduced to using force to make the system work.” But having spent a decade and a half in France, Baldwin is now convinced that Europe was not the answer. “As soon as I realized that the situation was the same everywhere, I began to be able to forgive my country and myself. I grew up.”

The Bleat Generation

For his fifth TV series, Robert Conrad’s switching from The Wild, Wild West to the wild blue yonder with NBC’s Baa, Baa Black Sheep, based on the exploits of World War II flying ace “Pappy” Boyington. Much of Conrad’s optimism for Sheep rides with his six young co-stars, who include his own daughter Nancy, 23, James Whitmore Jr. and Dirk Blocker, son of the late Dan Blocker of Bonanza. This sturdy half-dozen, Conrad predicts, will achieve “the sort of popularity that Henry Winkler and Anson Williams—former unknowns—have experienced on Happy Days.” But, alas, who’ll be playing opposite the show on ABC but The Fonz and Co. themselves, which most likely means bye, bye, Black Sheep.


•In his new autobiography, Josh, veteran director Josh (South Pacific) Logan, 67, deals rather affably with his early career. His projected Volume II may be meaner. Told that Jane Fonda is claiming he wanted her distinctive jaw broken and reset for her movie debut in Tall Story, Logan snapped, “What a lie, I’ve never wanted that done.” Then he amends, “Till now, and I wouldn’t mind doing it myself.”

•When the Polish ham industry recently honored another export, Tadewurz Wladyslaw Konopka, with its Ham of the Year award, Konopka, better known as Ted Knight of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, responded with a round of “American jokes.” An example: “How many Americans does it take to screw in a light bulb? One.” Which may explain why Knight is hotter at ethnic festivals than celebrity roasts.

•Stockard Channing’s second and third films (Dandy, the All American Girl and The Big Bus) are due soon, but she is still hung up about her debut (at 30) opposite Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson in The Fortune. “I had fantasies that I would have to fight these incredibly handsome men off,” she admits, before adding ruefully, “I have an active fantasy life—they rarely asked me for lunch, and even when they did, they called me ‘Good old Stock.’ ”