Savoy Records  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Savoy Records is the name of a US jazz record label. Starting in the mid 1940s, Savoy played an important part in popularizing bebop.

A separate (now defunct) label with the same name was once based in Manchester, UK. The UK label primarily released rock recordings.



Savoy Records is a United States record label founded in 1942 by Herman Lubinsky and Ozzie Cadena (father of punk rock musician Dez Cadena). The Newark, New Jersey label issued many of the important early bebop jazz albums. With the rise of Rock and Roll, Lubinsky shifted to focus more on Gospel music, recording many of the finest groups of the 1950s and cementing Savoy's preeminence in this field through its association with James Cleveland and his Gospel Music Workshop of America. Artistic directors were Ralph Bass (from Black and White, 1948-1952), Fred Mendohlson (in 1953).

Malaco Records acquired Savoy's gospel titles and contracts in 1986. [1] After Lubinsky's death in 1974, Clive Davis (then manager of Arista Records) acquired the label's bebop catalogue. The catalog's current owner is Columbia Music Entertainment of Japan and operates in the USA as Savoy Label Group (SLG).

African American artists never liked Herman Lubinsky, who they believed grossly underpaid them for their work. Tiny Price, a journalist for the black 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 to 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.

In the early 1960s Savoy recorded a number of avant-garde jazz artists giving them important early exposure. These included Paul Bley, Ed Curran, Bill Dixon, Marc Levin, Charles Moffett, Perry Robinson, Joseph Scianni, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Marzette Watts, and Valdo Williams.

Savoy Artists

Further reading

  • "Swing City:Newark Nightlife, 1925-1950," by Barbara K. Kukla.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Savoy Records" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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