Kudos to you and your family for their generosity and to the
University of Syracuse for its future work in maintaining a reference
library of such important works of our lifetimes!
White Stone, VA
On Jul 2, 2008, at 11:46 AM, Elias Savada wrote:
> I am pleased to announce that my dad's record collection has found
> a new home. Dad and I had
> been working with Syracuse before he died in February, and the
> family is very pleased with the
> Belfer Sound Archive/Syracuse University association and their
> eagerness to maintain the integrity
> of the collection.
> FYI, dad's personal collection is being sold by Warren Hicks. You
> can download the catalog (with
> over 1,200 of dad's 78's) from http://www.recordsforcollectors.com/
> Eli Savada
> Bethesda MD
> From today's NY Times:
> Syracuse University Gets an Oldies Collection
> Compiled by BEN SISARIO
> Syracuse University has acquired a major collection of 78 r.p.m.
> records from the family of a
> Manhattan dealer, giving the university what it says is the second-
> largest collection of 78s in the
> United States, after the Library of Congressís. Doubling the
> holdings of 78s at the universityís
> Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, the collection of more than
> 200,000 records was donated by
> the family of Morton J. Savada, who ran the Records Revisited store
> on West 33rd Street in
> Manhattan for 29 years and died in February. Particularly strong in
> jazz and big bands, the Savada
> collection contains a wide swath of popular music from the first
> half of the 20th century, with
> country, blues, gospel, polka, folk, Broadway and Hawaiian music.
> It also has a strong selection of
> V-Disc records, which were produced for American military personnel
> overseas in the 1940s. Now
> in transit in 1,300 boxes, the collection will be cataloged once it
> reaches Syracuse, said Suzanne
> Thorin, the dean of libraries.
> From today's Syracuse Post Standard:
> SU receives records worth $1 million
> By Nancy Cole
> A collection of about 200,000 record albums has been donated to
> Syracuse University, boosting
> its collection of 78-rpm records to about 400,000 -- second in the
> United States only to the
> Library of Congress collection.
> The records are the entire inventory of "Records Revisited," a
> Manhattan record store owned by
> the late Morton J. "Morty" Savada.
> Savada wanted the records -- valued at about $1 million -- donated
> to SU Library's Belfer Audio
> Laboratory and Archive.
> "I was glad that someone was going to really appreciate it," said
> Savada's son, Elias.
> Morton Savada, 85, had been diagnosed with lung cancer and died Feb
> He was familiar with SU's audio laboratory and archive and its
> staff from meetings of the
> Association for Recorded Sound Collections.
> He also had a link to the university through his granddaughter,
> Shira Savada, Elias Savada's
> daughter, who graduated from SU in 2005.
> Savada's collection includes recordings from 1895 to the 1950s and
> has genres such as big band,
> jazz, country, blues, gospel, polka, folk, Broadway, Hawaiian and
> Latin. It also contains spoken-
> word, comedy, broadcast recordings, and V-disks, which were
> distributed as entertainment to the
> U.S. military during World War II.
> "We're very excited to learn more about the gems that are in
> there," said Melinda Dermody, head
> of arts and humanities services for the SU Library.
> The collection is packed into 1,300 boxes and will be transported
> to SU next week by six 20-foot-
> long FedEx trucks.
> The records are thicker and heavier than the 33-rpm albums many
> people stored in their
> basement or attic when cassette tapes and then compact discs came
> along. The 10-inch, 78-rpm
> albums have one song to a side, and the lightest albums weigh about
> one-half pound each.
> Savada's collection is estimated to weigh about 50 tons total.
> Savada took over his father's shirt business, Savada Bros., in the
> 1950s and ran it until opening
> the record store in 1977.
> But Savada's record collecting started well before he opened the
> store -- he began collecting 78-
> rpms in 1937.
> Savada loved music, especially big band, Elias Savada said. He
> remembers his father tinkering with
> the piano, playing songs by ear. When the family watched "Name That
> Tune," Morton Savada
> would get the jump on everyone, as long as it wasn't rock music,
> Elias Savada said.
> "We always marveled if it was two tones, he could figure it out. It
> was all up in his head," Savada
> SU officials don't know exactly what they have waiting in the tons
> of boxes down in New York, but
> they do know of Savada's reputation as a collector and the
> reputation of the collection itself.
> Savada would often bring collectors together at his shop, where the
> narrow aisles were flanked
> floor to ceiling with shelving holding his records. The shop also
> had a desk, a turntable
> and the complete index of the collection written on cards, Savada
> The shop was a frequent stop not only for collectors but for people
> in the film and music
> Elias Savada said actor/director Woody Allen used his father's
> recordings in his movies, and
> actor/director Matt Dillon also frequented the shop. Dillon sent
> Elias Savada an e-mail after he
> heard of Morton Savada's death.
> Savada's connections even landed him a part in the 1999 Woody Allen
> movie "Sweet and
> Lowdown," which starred Sean Penn and Uma Thurman. The movie was
> about a jazz musician and
> Savada had a role as a jazz expert, Elias Savada said. His
> appearance ended up on the cutting-
> room floor, but Morton Savada continued to receive annual checks
> from the Screen Actors Guild
> for his part, Elias Savada said. Last year, he received a check for
> five cents, Savada said.
> Dermody said SU is excited about the donation and the ways it will
> be used by SU students and
> faculty. Those researching musicology, history, filmmaking,
> journalism and political science will
> all benefit by being able to hear the recordings.
> "To have these recordings is a huge, wonderful addition," Dermody
> Nancy Cole can be reached at [log in to unmask] or 470-2173.
> pictures can be seen at http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/