Saturday, July 05, 2008

Syracuse University Scores 50 Tons of Vinyl

A vast collection of 78 rpm records is being donated to Syracuse University by the estate of a prominent New York City record shop owner.

The more than 200,000 records represented the entire inventory of "Records Revisited," a landmark Manhattan store owned by Morton Savada, who died in February of lung cancer at age 85.

The collection, valued at $1 million, weighs 50 tons and represents more than a half-century of American music history.

Included are recordings from 1895 to the 1950s, with big band, jazz, country, blues, gospel, polka, folk, Broadway, Hawaiian and Latin among the genres. The collection also contains spoken-word, comedy and broadcast recordings, and "V-disks," which were distributed as entertainment to the U.S. military during World War II.

"It's a treasure trove of that era," said Joe Lauro, founder of Historic Film Archive, whose holdings include more than 40,000 musical performance clips and which holds exclusive rights to such famous shows as "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert."

I love the fact that Savada often lent his 78s to movie and music producers rather than selling them, and never sold the last copy of a recording because he regarded his collection as an archive, not an inventory.

"He was more interested in making you a $5 copy on tape than selling you a record. He considered himself a keeper of history more than a collector," Lauro said.

Read the rest over at: CNN.


Thanks to Guy Mauve for the cool shot.

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