International Submarine Band / Gram Parsons – 1966 Mint Picture Sleeve Promo 45 “The Russians Are Coming!”

An impossibly rare, mint condition original picture sleeve copy of the International Submarine Band (with Gram Parsons) debut single, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming/Truck Driving Man” on Ascot Records.  This is the 1966 original, not the later bootleg, or Sundazed reissue.

As the Sundazed website notes, “The 7” paired two cover songs, the Johnny Mandel-composed “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming” [promoting the film of the same name] along with a rollicking take on the Buck Owens’ hit “Truck Driving Man.” Though it made little noise at the time, their version of the latter song is now widely regarded as THE first country rock recording. While Parsons would spread the country rock gospel through his later work with The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and his solo recordings, this 45 was the original pebble in the pond whose waves are still being felt today.”

The mint promotional single shows no sign of wear, while the fragile sleeve grades near mint and is just a hair away from a full mint grade.  This is by far the nicest example we’ve seen of this extremely rare and seminal 45.

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