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
Founded1942; 82 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]

History edit

In the 1940s, Savoy recorded some of the biggest names in jazz, including Charlie Parker, Erroll Garner, Dexter Gordon, J. J. Johnson, Fats Navarro, and Miles Davis. 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 briefly recorded several avant-garde jazz artists. These included Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, Charles Moffett, Perry Robinson, 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 catalogue from Arista. In 1986, Malaco Records acquired Savoy's black gospel titles and contracts.[3]

In 1991, Nippon Columbia acquired Savoy and its library, and distributed Savoy releases through its wholly owned subsidiary, Savoy Jazz. In 2003, Savoy Jazz acquired the rights to the Muse and Landmark catalogues from 32 Jazz.[4] In 2009, the label 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. 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).

Discography edit

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

Subsidiaries edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Rye, Howard; Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Vol. 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. February 28, 2005. Retrieved October 13, 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 reading edit

External links edit