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Many years ago (40 years or so) I visited his shop. I asked if he had a
particular 78 with Titta Ruffo. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the name
of the song or the composer. He asked if could sing it. I hummed a rough
approximation of it. His eyes lit up. He went directly over to a shelf,
reached out and grabbed a copy. I was most impressed. Thereafter I visited
his shop many times. He had a wonderful memory.

--Kevin Mostyn

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Art Shifrin
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2010 11:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] My new book: The Jazz Man Record Shop

Cary, this is a great concept (at least for those of us in this flock).

 Do you or anyone else on the list remember the Merit Music Shop on West 46
street in Manhattan?  I think that the proprietor's name was Jack Meltzer.
He had two hunched over elderly chaps working there: they might have been
around as adults for the dedication of NYC's subway system in 1904.
I was there one day when people from the NYS dept of labor came in & NAILED
him for paying the guys less than minimum wage since the Spanish American
War (slight exaggeration).  Analogous to a 'perp walk'  they made it very
clear to the patrons there what was going on.

Jack (if I have the name correct) had a database memory for 78 catalog #s,
but only for Victors.  You could browse to any page in any of their catalogs
(up to some year), give him the title & artist & he'd correctly tell you the
catalog #!   I don't know or remember if he knew which side, nor do I know
if he had the same 'talent' for set #s.

Best,
Art (Shiffy) Shifrin