The most spectacular case of wholesale vault trashing is the decision by RCA in the early '60s to demolish its warehouse in Camden, N.J. The warehouse, according to collectors and industry veterans, held four floors of catalogue product, pre-tape-era material ranging from metal parts, acetates, shellac disc masters and alternate takes to test pressings, master matrix books and session rehearsal recordings.
Several days before the demolition, officials from French RCA gained permission to go through the building and withdraw whatever material they could carry for their vinyl "Black and White" jazz reissue series. A few American collectors were also allowed in the building to salvage any items they could carry out.
A few days later. as dozens of RCA officials and collectors stood on a nearby Delaware Bridge, demolition experts ignited the dynamite charges. Eyewitnesses said they saw "clouds of debris, black and metal chunks flying out the windows" of the collapsing building.
The building wreckage was then bulldozed into the Delaware River. A pier was built on top of the detritus.
"Was it a case of literally dynamiting away our cultural heritage, or was it nobody's business but a private property of a company that had made a business decision that made sense to them at the time?" asked a young archivist, one of several who have confirmed the story with older collectors who were present at the demolition. "The problem is, it was both. There's always that tug.”
> On Jun 11, 2019, at 8:53 AM, David Katznelson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Is there an article about the Victor bulldozing?
> On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 8:50 AM Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Thank you for bringing up this article. I haven’t read the entire report
>> yet, but skimming it brought back the memory of Victor bulldozing all their
>> 78 RPM metal mothers in Camden with collectors running around trying to
>> save the most important performances in a 40+ year recording history.
>>> On Jun 11, 2019, at 6:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
>>> The Day the Music Burned