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Friday, March 06, 2009

Walk Quickly

This is not a story of vanishing New York, fading New York, forgotten New York, lost New York or End of an Era. This is the survival of tradition. Olde New York. It does exist. And you can find it at Colony Records. See photos inside here.
Colony Records was founded by Harold S. Grossbardt and partner, Sidney Turk, in 1948. Born in Brooklyn, Harold started work after the seventh grade. He was a salesman at Melody Music Shop in Brooklyn and Colony Sporting Goods located at 52nd Street and Broadway in Manhattan.
When Colony closed for business, Grosshardt took it over and renamed it Colony Records. In 1970, they moved to the current location in the Brill Building at 1619 Broadway at 49th Street. The Brill Building is its own story. Built in 1931, the building became a center for music publishing - by the 1960s there were an estimated 165 music-related businesses in the building. Colony records became a central fixture of Tin Pan Alley. Located here in the heart of the music and theater districts with nightclubs like the Copacabana and Birdland, it was convenient to concertgoers and musical artists. Colony has seen a parade of legendary artists throught its shop, including names like John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra.
I was impressed by Colony's enormous selection of sheet music - reportedly the city's largest. They also sell vintage vinyl records, CDs, karaoke and have an interesting memorabilia selection. They also have posters and photos for sale.
Of course the survival of these emporiums is never guaranteed. So if you want to see them, I would not say you have to run, but perhaps you should walk quickly ...

Note: Obituary from the New York Times: "Harold S. Grossbardt, a founder of Colony Records, the famed collector's store now on Broadway at 49th Street in Manhattan, died on June 10 at his home in Aventura, Fla. He was 85. He is survived by his wife, Estelle; two sons, Michael J., of Roslyn, N.Y., and Alan R., of Great Neck, N.Y., who is an owner of Colony Records; a brother, Jerome, of Manhattan; a sister, Dorothy Capobianco, of Delray Beach, Fla.; and a grandson."

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like your photos and stories.

Thank you!

Brian Dubé said...

Anon - Thanks

Fernando said...

I swear, last year, when I was in NYC, I was looking for a store like this... Damm, I have to go back now... hahahah... Cheers Brian

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

good post for today and you are right, we all should walk quickly to these places before they disappear.

Anil P said...

The second picture is very striking. I quite like the way the perspective narrows. It's great to see the survival of tradition.

Anupam said...

Thats a very interesting post. I have been inspired. Thanks.