SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) A vast collection of 78 rpm records valued at $1 million, weighing 50 tons and representing more than a half-century of American music history is being donated to Syracuse University by the estate of a prominent New York City record shop owner.
The more than 200,000 records represented the entire inventory of 'Records Revisited, a landmark Manhattan store owned by Morton Savada, who died in February from lung cancer at age 85.
Savada's collection included recordings from 1895 to the 1950s, with big band, jazz, country, blues, gospel, polka, folk, Broadway, Hawaiian and Latin among the genres. It also contains spoken-word, comedy and broadcast recordings, and "V-disks," which were distributed as entertainment to the U.S. military during World War II.
"It's a treasure trove of that era," said Joe Lauro, founder of Historic Film Archive, whose holdings include over 40,000 musical performance clips and holds exclusive rights to such famous shows as The Ed Sullivan Show and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.
Even though they don't yet know what gems await them in Savada's collection, university officials were ecstatic about the donation, which boosts the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive's collection of 78 rpm records to about 400,000 second in the United States only to the Library of Congress collection.