Open main menu

Savoy Records is an American record company and label established by Herman Lubinsky in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey.[1] Savoy specialized in jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel music.

Savoy Records
Savoy disc from the 1940s
Savoy disc from the 1940s
Parent companyConcord Music
Founded1942; 77 years ago (1942)
FounderHerman Lubinsky
Distributor(s)Universal Music Group
GenreJazz, R&B, gospel
Country of originU.S.
LocationNewark, New Jersey

In September 2017, Savoy was acquired by Concord Bicycle Music.[2]



In the 1940s Savoy recorded some of the biggest names in jazz: Miles Davis, Erroll Garner, Dexter Gordon, J. J. Johnson, Fats Navarro, and Charlie Parker. In 1948, it began buying other labels: Bop, Discovery, National, and Regent. It also reissued music from Jewel Records.[1]

In the early 1960s, Savoy recorded a number of avant-garde jazz artists, giving them important early exposure. They included Paul Bley, Ed Curran, Bill Dixon, Mark Levin, Charles Moffett, Perry Robinson, Joseph Scianni, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Marzette Watts, and Valdo Williams.

After Lubinsky's death in 1974, Clive Davis, then manager of Arista Records, acquired Savoy's catalogue. After that, Joe Fields of Muse Records purchased the catelogue from Arista. In 1986 Malaco Records acquired Savoy's black gospel titles and contracts.[3] In 2003, Savoy Jazz acquired the rights to the Muse and Landmark catalogues from 32 Jazz.[4] As of 2012, the Savoy library is primarily controlled by Nippon Columbia, a public company based in Tokyo, which purchased Savoy in 1991. Nippon Columbia's wholly owned subsidiary, Savoy Jazz, handled Savoy Records distribution in the United States until 2009, when it entered a distribution arrangement with Warner Music Group.[5] Savoy included the rock imprint 429 Records.

Many of the label's African-American artists begrudged the label's founder, Herman Lubinsky, feeling underpaid for their work[citation needed]. Tiny Price, a journalist for the African-American newspaper The Newark Herald News, said of Savoy and Lubinsky:

There's no doubt everybody hated Herman Lubinsky. If he messed with you, you were messed. At the same time, some of those people, many of them Newark's top singers and musicians, would never have been exposed on records if he didn't do what he did. Except for Lubinsky, all the hot little numbers, like Buddy Johnson's "Cherry", would have been lost. The man may have been hated, but he saved a lot of our history for us and for future generations.[6]

Savoy's artistic directors included Buck Ram, Teddy Reig, Ralph Bass (1948–1952), Fred Mendelsohn (1953), and Ozzie Cadena (1954–1962, the father of the punk rock musician Dez Cadena).


The following are 12" LPs and have the prefix MG.


  • Acorn Records (1949‒51)
  • Gospel Records (1958–early 1970s)
  • Regent Records (1947‒64)
  • Sharp Records (1960‒64)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Rye, Howard; Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 506. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  2. ^ "Concord acquires Savoy Label Group - and its 3,000+ recordings". Music Business Worldwide. September 21, 2017.
  3. ^ Bowman, Rob (2004). "The Malaco Story". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  4. ^ Porter, Christopher (16 January 2003). "Savoy Acquires Muse & Landmark Catalogs". JazzTimes. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  5. ^ "WEA Announces Exclusive Distribution Agreement with Legendary Savoy Label Group" (Press release). New York: Warner Music Group. 28 February 2005. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  6. ^ Kukla, Barbara J. (1991). Swing City: Newark Nightlife 1925 50. Temple University Press. p. 158. ISBN 0-87722-874-4. LCCN 91003176.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit