About SMHB

Stephen M. H. Braitman, ASA has been involved with music memorabilia most of his life. His widely acknowledged expertise in the marketplace make his appraisal services an important component of estate planning, court and arbitration expert testimony, donations, and insurance coverage and claims.it

Stephen is a designated Accredited Senior Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers, and an Accredited Appraiser with the International Society of Appraisers. He is also a member of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) and the Music Library Association (MLA).

Testimonials About Stephen

  • Michael Jackson property at the Neverland Ranch
  • Elton John personal record collection
  • Third Man Records archive, Nashville
  • Belfer Audio Archive of Syracuse University, Syracuse
  • Grammy Museum, Los Angeles
  • Arnold Shaw Popular Music Research Center at the University of Las Vegas
  • Archive of Contemporary Music, New York
  • Music Department of Florida International University, Miami
  • Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis
  • Music Department of Gonzaga University, Spokane
  • Arthur Friedheim Library of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • Center for New Music & Audio Technologies, Berkeley
  • Henri Temianka Archive to Chapman University
  • Bobby Jones Archive, Tennessee State University
  • Southern Folklife Collection of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Stephen started writing about music as a young teenager in Los Angeles. He has reviewed and interviewed many recording artists, including Joni Mitchell, Electric Light Orchestra, Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Jean-Luc Ponty, Blood Sweat & Tears, Richard Pryor, The Who, Melanie, Ravi Shankar, Pere Ubu, B.B. King, Judy Collins, Dave Van Ronk, Pentangle, The Band, Giant Sand, Richie Havens and Tim Buckley.

Since his university days he has been publisher and editor of numerous publications based in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Musician’s News, City Arts Monthly, Key This Week San Francisco, Rolling Your Own, Entertainment News and SF Live.

Stephen was a Contributing Writer for Alternative Press for ten years, writing features and reviews on bands and musicians ranging from Apples in Stereo to Zuzu’s Petals. He has contributed on a free-lance basis to many other publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Marin Independent Journal, New Times, Antique Trader, Sunset, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, San Francisco Focus and Electronic Musician, among others.

His record company, Amorous Records, released records and promoted gigs throughout California for the new wave bands Silhouette, House of Pants and Times Beach.

In addition to his appraisal assignments, Stephen continues to be a major collector of records and music paraphernalia, owning tens of thousands of LPs, CDs, 45s, photographs, magazines, and other memorabilia. His collection has been used as an archival resource for many organizations, including Rhino Records, Sundazed, Ace (U.K.), and MCA Records.

He was a major contributor of posters and flyers for the publication of the popular book, The Art of Rock (Abbeville Press). Photographs from his archive are featured in the noted series of books by Paul Williams about Bob Dylan’s performing career.