This year the Recorded Sound Archives has put together a wonderful collection called Songs of Chanukah that will entertain and delight the entire family with over 50 albums to choose from such as the Children’s Village Choir singing Hanukkah is Here to Kenny Ellis with Hanukkah Swings. The songs in this collection express the essence of the holiday with children’s songs that teach about the holiday, traditional songs and a new twist on old favorites.
Please accept this gift of music for you and your family from the Recorded Sound Archives along with our best wishes for a Happy Chanukah!
Click here to view this collection.
Click here to view past blog posts on Chanukah.
Looking for something to do on campus? Check out these music events taking place at FAU’s University Theatre in October. For other FAU Events, click here.
FAU Faculty & Friends
Saturday, Oct. 17, 7pm, University Theatre
Enjoy the romantic spirit of chamber music, including the Dvořák Piano Quintet (“Dumky”) and the Vaughn Williams Piano Quintet. Don’t miss the all-time favorite Lehar “God and Silver” waltz arranged for piano quintet, performed by Irena Kofman, Benjamin Joella and the Delray String Quartet.
Tickets are $15. To purchase your tickets, click here.
“Old Wine in New Bottles”
Saturday, Oct. 18, 3pm, University Theatre
Tickets are $15. To purchase your tickets, click here.
FAU Classical Guitar Society
Saturday, Oct. 24th, 7pm, University Theatre
FAU Jazz Band
Sunday, Oct. 25th, 3pm, University Theatre
Tickets are $10. To purchase your tickets, click here.
Did you know the Recorded Sound Archives has over 49,000 albums along with over 150,000 songs in it’s databases which is growing everyday with the help of volunteers? With so many recordings to choose from at FAU Libraries Recorded Sound Archives, we’ve given Research Station users the ability to request items be digitized. See a recording that hasn’t been digitized as a research station user you can request it using the Music on Demand forms on the RSA website.
Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day.
Below you’ll find a list of recordings that were recently added in September by Collection.Judaic Collection
Oriental Song Festival 1973 by Various Artists
Tanchumim by Various Artists
Lamenatseach Shir Mizmor – Oriental Song Festival 1974 – Volume 2 by Various Artists
Achva by Various Artists
Erev Shel Shoshanim by Various Artists
If you are an FAU student, faculty or staff member, all you need is your FAU ID to login and listen.
Not a part of the FAU? If you are a student, professor or researcher from an outside institution needing unrestricted access to the recordings please consider applying for research station usage by clicking here.
In years past, the Recorded Sound Archives Judaic collection or the Judaica Sound Archives as most know it has highlighted the music of Leibele Waldman, Gershon Sirota and Moishe Oysher for the High Holy Days along with some of today’s finest cantors.
This year the Recorded Sound Archives has created a High Holy Days collection for you to share and enjoy with your family. Included in this collection is a mixture of cantors, and other musicians such as Shimon and Ilana Gewirtz, Ramon Tasat and Cindy Paley.
Click here to view this collection.
Click here to view past blog posts on the High Holy Days.
Theodore Bikel, actor, activist and folk singer, passed away at the age of 91 last month on July 21, 2015 in Los Angeles. He played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof onstage in thousands of performances, created the role of Baron von Trapp in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, recorded as a singer and guitarist for many albums in different languages, and was involved in civil rights causes.
Bikel was born into a Jewish family in Vienna, and named after Zionist Theodore Herzl. They fled to Palestine in 1938. and according to his mother in his autobiography, he sang before he could talk. Theodore started acting at a young age and performed in the Habimah Theatre in Tel Aviv in 1943. Bikel moved to London in 1945 and next to the United States in 1954, where he started his acting career on Broadway.
Bikel released thirteen albums between 1955 to 1965. The most popular recordings were: Theodore Bikel Sings Jewish Folk Songs (1958), Songs of a Russian Gypsy (1958), Theodore Bikel Sings More Jewish Folk Songs (1959), A Harvest of Israel Folk Songs (1961), and Theodore Bikel Sings Yiddish Theatre and Folk Songs (1965). With this repertoire, he paved the way for a renewed interest in Yiddish folk songs, and ultimately for the klezmer revival in the late seventies.
Along with folk singer Pete Seeger, Bikel became one of the founders of the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. This festival is known for the performances of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in 1963 and played a crucial role in the American folk music revival of the sixties.
Just recently, a documentary film was released about the intertwining of Theodore Bikel’s life with writer Sholom Aleichem, the great storyteller of Jewish life in Eastern Europe: Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem. In March this year, Record Sound Archives’ Alethea Perez wrote a blog about this portrait. click here to read more.
Listed below are some of his popular tunes.
Click here for more Theodore Bikel recordings.
Due to copyright concerns only snippets can be heard on the RSA public website. Full versions are available to users of the RSA Research Station.
If you enjoyed this guest blog post you may enjoy Gone but not forgotten – the Barry Sisters.
RSA Guest Blogger, Niels Falch, is a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and is currently writing a dissertation on the influence of Jewish music in American popular songs.
Maxine was nominated for the prestigious Jeffrey Gabor Exemplary Employee Award by Rita Pellen, Interim Dean of FAU Libraries. In her nomination letter Pellen praised Schackman for her hard work building up the Judaica Sound Archives since the early 2000’s.
In 2009, when she stepped in as director, Schackman expanded the scope of the online archives by including rare historic vintage and jazz recordings.
In 2013 the Recorded Sound Archives made the news when, with the help of Peter Muldavin, the “Kiddie Rekord King,” they rescued over 800 vintage children’s recordings from a flooded storage facility after SuperStorm Sandy hit Long Island. Schackman and her crew worked tirelessly for a year to digitize the sound and images that had been damaged. Now this wonderful collection of recordings are available online. For more about this story see video here.
Pellen also praised Schackman for being a leader in the development and expansion of the Judaica Sound Archives, making it the largest online collection of Jewish recordings in the world. “Under her leadership the RSA at FAU Libraries has become known as the ‘go to’ place for rare and difficult to find recordings of Jewish and other vintage music.”
According to Schackman, “When I became director in 2009 my first goal was to totally revamp our very popular website. It was a great website and had an amazing number of digitized sound tracks but it was old technology and I knew we just couldn’t survive in the 21st century without going mobile. Now the JSA and other RSA recordings are available on mobile devices using streaming audio technology. Now people can take the music with them wherever they go.”
“This award means a lot to me. I have dedicated the past 13 years of my life to the Judaica Sound Archives and more recently, the Recorded Sound Archives. I worked very hard but I loved every minute of it. I loved talking to groups and introducing them to the wonderful music we have rescued and preserved. I am very proud of the contribution that I have made to FAU Libraries. I am very grateful to my dedicated staff and to the many students who have worked for us over the years. I am especially grateful to the volunteers without whom none of this would have been possible. This award is a wonderful capstone for my career since I will be retiring on June 30, 2015.”
Friday, March 20 – Thursday, April 30
Florida Atlantic University will host “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition from the National Constitution Center, from Friday, March 20 through Thursday, April 30 at the Wimberly Library, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. The exhibition features photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of President Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. “American Civil War Highlights from Special Collections (March 20 – April 30)
Abraham Lincoln and the Crisis of Federalism Discussion (March 20 @ 3pm)
Florida Atlantic University professor Stephen Engle, Ph.D., and Kate Dahlstrand, an FAU alumna and U.S. Army veteran, will host a discussion titled “Abraham Lincoln and the Crisis of Federalism,” on Friday, March 20 at 3 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Wimberly Library. The lecture is free and open to the public. Metered parking is available at the Wimberly Library. For more information, contact Jackie Simpson at 561-297-3921 or visit http://www.library.fau.edu/news/flyers/lincoln_ala2015.pdf.
Prisoners of War and the Loyalty Oath Lecture (March 23 @ 10am
Kate Dahlstrand, a Florida Atlantic University alumna and U.S. Army veteran, will present “Prisoners of War and the Loyalty Oath: The Rhetoric of Unionism and Reflections on Reconciliation,” on Monday, March 23 at 10 a.m. on the fifth floor of the Wimberly Library. The lecture focuses on unionism, reconciliation and citizenship. The lecture is free and open to the public.
While recording devices were not in existence during the Civil War, this didn’t stop people from re-enacting famous speeches by President Lincoln at the beginning of 20th century. Here at the Recorded Sound Archives we’ve digitized a collection of speeches by President Lincoln along with some military related recordings in conjunction with a traveling exhibit about Lincoln: The Constitution and Civil War highlights from Special Collections.
Passover is all about retelling the story. And what better way to celebrate than to enjoy this modern day interpretation of an old story.
Our Passover gift to you! This Passover-themed parody of Uptown Funk by Six13. It is so catchy, it just might get stuck in your head all through Passover, which begins the evening of April 3 and ends the evening of April 11.
The Recorded Sound Archives has compiled a mix of Passover songs that the whole family can enjoy. From Cantorial splendor to children’s play-songs, music expresses the heart of the Jewish people. Give Jewish music a special place in your home for the holidays.
In the past we’ve highlighted each album, individually, this year we’ve created a special collection featuring all of our passover music: https://rsa.fau.edu/passover-collection All the songs in this compilation can be heard all year long on the RSA website.
Producers began looking for better options and started experimenting with materials that were lighter, flexible and less fragile.
One of these experiments, Hit of the Week records, were actually made of resin coated brown paper! This lightweight, flexible, “unbreakable” composition was unique and provided a 78 rpm recording with sound equal to or better than ordinary shellac.
Beginning in February 1930 a new recording featuring a current “hit” song was released each week. They were sold at newsstands, likemagazines, with past issues being available by mail order. They were recorded on one side only and sold for 15 to 20 cents per recording. The unrecorded side was often printed with advertising or the performer’s portrait. They had a tendency to curl up over time and came in flimsy rice paper sleeves.
These recordings were a big hit with the public in the early days of the Great Depression and provided easy, cheap entertainment to the masses. However, as the depression wore on sales slumped. the last Hit of the Week issue was released in June 1932.
The Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries is pleased to share 39 of these original recordings with our website users. Due to US Copyright laws only 45-second snippets are available on our public website. Full recordings are available to RSA Research Station users.
Click here to see and hear the Hit of the Week collection.
Portraits of two beloved icons–Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel–are woven together in this enchanting new documentary. The two men have much in common: wit, wisdom and talent, all shot through with deep humanity and Yiddishkeit.
Theodore Bikel, the unstoppable performer whose career spans more than 150 screen roles (including an Oscar-nominated turn in “The Defiant Ones”) and countless stage and musical productions, is also the foremost interpreter of Sholom Aleichem’s work. Now 90, Bikel has played Tevye the Milkman on stage more than 2,000 times, and he has animated Aleichem’s work through his creation of two celebrated musical plays about the great Russian author.
The new film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem combines Bikel’s charismatic storytelling and masterful performances with a broader exploration of Aleichem’s remarkable life and work.
A pioneer of modern Jewish literature who championed and luxuriated in the Yiddish language, Sholom Aleichem created dozens of indelible characters. His Tevye the Milkman, Motl the Cantor’s Son, and Menachem Mendl–“shtetl Jews” for whom humor and pathos were two sides of the same Yiddish coin–remain invaluable windows into pre-war Eastern European Jewish life, real and imagined.
Watch the Trailer!
The National Center for Jewish Film is a unique, independent nonprofit motion picture archive and distributor. This month several screenings of Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem will be presented across Florida.
Below you will find information on these screenings and where tickets can be purchased.Sarasota, FL - March 8 & 10 2015
Leonard Nimoy passed away February 27, 2015 in Los Angeles at the age of 83.
The son of Yiddish speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Soviet Union, Nimoy began acting at the age of 8.
He starred in minor movie roles through the 1950s, but he is probably best remembered for his role as Spock. Nimoy captivated audiences in his role as the half Vulcan, half human Spock in the original Star Trek TV series (1966-1969), and earned himself three Emmy nominations. He later appeared in numerous Star Trek and other films and directed Nimoy directed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in 1984 and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986.
The Vulcan salute, which became identified with him was created by Nimoy from his childhood memories of the way kohanim (Jewish priests) hold their hand when giving blessings.
In the clip below Leonard Nimoy explains the origin of the Vulcan hand signal.
Video by Yiddish Book Center on Publish Date February 27, 2015.
Beyond acting and directing Nimoy was a recording artist and released five albums.
Florida Atlantic University LibrariesFestival Highlights Klezmer Company Orchestra
FAU – Carole & Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, Boca Raton, FL
Sun, Mar 1, 2015 03:00 PM
Aaron Kula leads KCO in vintage Klezmer melodies re-mixed …moreGreat Jewish Composers of the 20th Century
FAU – Wimberly Library, Boca Raton, FL
Tue, Mar 3, 2015 02:00 PMDiscover musical treasures featuring iconic Jewish composers …more Moroccan Soul with Aaron Bensoussan
Thu, Mar 5, 2015 07:30 PM
Listen to a unique soulful mix of genres including Judao Moro …moreJewish Melodies in Jazztime – Brian Potts Vibraphone Quartet
Sat, Mar 7, 2015 07:30 PM
Vibraphonist Brian Potts brings his accomplished jazz quartet …more
The impact of WWII on the daily lives of Americans and Europeans cannot be overstated. As the atrocities of the Nazis raged in Europe, American men were drafted and called to war. American music of the WWII era spoke to the soldiers far from home and also to those they left behind.
The Second World War changed the course of history in many ways. One of the things that changed was music…what it sounded like, how we listened to it and how intimately it touched our lives.
During WWII music became personal as well as entertaining. Major technological advances such as radio and phonograph recordings took music out of the theater and into middle-class homes. Big Bands, Jazz and Swing created a new vibe that defined a generation.
The Recorded Sound Archives has digitized two very special collections from the Second World War era. V-discs were produced between October 1943 and May 1949 by the US Armed Forces for military personnel overseas. Vogue Picture Records were produced between May 1946 and April 1947 by Sav-Way Industries using a special process engineered by Tom Saffady.
Enjoy the music that defined a generation – the best loved songs from the World War II era. Many thanks to all those who sent in the titles of their favorite songs from the 1940s and 1950s.
Click here to listen to Songs of the Second World War. Due to copyright concerns, some recordings may be limited to 45-second snippets. Full versions are available to users of the RSA Research Station.
Click here for Youtube videos.FAU events that may interest you.
2/17/15 (Tuesday) @ 5pm – FAU Wimberly Library: The Most Controversial Decision - Lecture by Wilson Miscamble. Mr. Miscamble is a prize-winning author and historian.
2/18/15 (Wednesday) @ 3:30pm – FAU Barry Kaye Auditorium: Truman’s Presidency and WWII - Lecture by David McCullough. David McCullough is is an American author, narrator, and historian. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
3/18/15 (Wednesday) @ 3:30 pm – FAU Wimberly Library: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence and the Cold War – Lecture by Dr. Norman Goda. Norman Goda received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studies modern European history and specializes in the history of the Holocaust, war crimes trials, and twentieth century diplomacy.
RSA’s sound technician, Ben Roth, set up a table and tried to entice passersby to sign up at Boca Pointe’s Volunteer Fair on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Not much luck.
People are often amazed at the number of recordings that the RSA has been able to digitize and put online. “How do you do it?” That’s a question we often hear.
The answer? VOLUNTEERS!!!!
But why should you volunteer when you have so many other things to do? What’s in it for you? So here is my top ten reasons to volunteer at the Recorded Sound Archives in FAU Libraries, Boca Raton.
10. You can reminisce about some of the world’s greatest Jazz musicians as you enter information from LPs into the database.
9. You can learn more about Jazz history, songs and musicians by reading the backs of album covers.
8. You can improve your mind and improve your memory by exercising your brain muscles.
7. You can improve your manual dexterity and keyboard skills.
6. You can feel good about spending your time doing something useful and worthwhile.
5. You can volunteer whenever you have time to kill as long as it is on Mon through Thurs between 9am and 4pm.
4. You can enjoy the ambiance of FAU’s beautiful Boca Raton campus and the Wimberly Library.
3. You might make new friends.
2. You can see and hear demonstrations of the RSA’s antique equipment, including an original Edison cylinder player and two console Victrolas from the 1920s.
And the number 1 reason to volunteer at the RSA…..
We need you!
Contact Alethea Perez at 561-297-0080 for more information.
For over 40 years the Bagelman Sisters, later known as the Barry Sisters, were the darlings of Jewish entertainment. Their recordings could be found in almost every Jewish household in the 1950s and 60s. The younger of the two sisters, Merna, passed away in 1976. The older sister, Claire Barry, died on November 22, 2014 in Hollywood, FL at 94. Click here for full NY Times obituary.Who were the Barry Sisters?
Two beautiful girls, dressed in the latest fashion, hair perfectly coiffed, singing with sultry voices that could make your heart leap.
New Yorkers. Clara and Minnie Bagelman. started as the Bagelman Sisters. Many saw them as the Yiddish answer to the popular Andrews Sisters in the 1940s. They combined old Jewish folk songs and Yiddish Theater ditties with swing arrangements and perfect harmony. When Clara and Minnie changed their names to Claire and Merna The Bagelman Sisters became The Barry Sisters. They have often been credited with creating Yiddish Swing, a music genre which did not exist previously.
The glamorous Barry Sisters were regular guests at Yiddish radio programs like Yiddish Melodies in Swing. They toured with the Ed Sullivan Show to the Soviet Union and performed in Israel in October 1962.
The popularity of their catchy and jazzy tunes may have paved the way for the Broadway hit, Fiddler on the Roof, and the klezmer revival of the late 70s.
Listed below are some of their most popular tunes. The Judaica Sound Archives has 41 recordings by this dynamic duo of Yiddish music.
Abi Gezunt (Stay healthy)
In Meine Oigen Bistie Shain (To me you are beautiful)
Channah from Havannah (A Gala Concert with Moishe Oysher album, no. 3).
Bublitchki (About the last bagel)
Dem Neyem Sher (At Home With album, no. 2).
Click here for more Barry Sisters recordings. Due to copyright concerns only snippets can be heard on our public website. Full versions are available to users of the RSA Research Station.
RSA guest blogger, Niels Falch, is a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and is currently writing a dissertation on the influence of Jewish music in American popular songs.
Today we highlight an album that encourages us to experience Hanukkah as an adult. Embracing the mood and sounds of Swing and Jazz era music, Kenny Ellis has created a truly one-of-a-kind album.
The album includes many old favorites and two wonderful medleys that evoke an upbeat Post WW2 vibe. This is Hanukkah music as you have never heard it before.
Hanu-calypso is so funny that it just might replace Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song as my go-to Hanukkah ditty.
For more information about Kenny Ellis or to purchase this CD, click here.
RSA director, Maxine Schackman, told the audience at the International Association of Yiddish Clubs conference in Boca Raton that FAU Libraries has been collecting Judaic recordings since 2002.
“We take these antique recordings and digitize them so that a new generation can learn and enjoy what came before them,” she said.
The Recorded Sound Archives website has the largest searchable online collection of Jewish music in the world with recordings by 7,344 Jewish performers, 13,776 albums and 72, 577 song titles.
Among the musical pieces Schackman presented that had the audience laughing and singing along were “Roumania, Roumania,” written and performed by Yiddish theater star Aaron Lebedeff; “Good Night ‘Oy Vey’ Irene”, a Yiddish parody of “Good Night Irene” sung by Seymour Rechtzeit and written by his wife, Miraim Kressyn; and “Bei Mir Bistu Shein,” a Yiddish swing song that became a number-one single in America in 1938 as recorded by the Andrews Sisters.
CLICK HERE to listen to a selection of Yiddish recordings.
CLICK HERE for full story written by Randall Lieberman and published in Jewish Journal.
After locating a box full of tapes belonging to her great-grandfather, Cheryl Silver reached out to the JSA. With her son Noah’s Bar Mitzvah only a few months away she wanted to preserve the music on the tapes as part of Noah’s Mitzvah Project.
Although most of the tapes seemed to be in fairly good condition they were in total disarray. The home-made tapes were not clearly identified. We had no idea who was singing what on which tape.
A bit of good luck: As it happened, Cantor Joseph Gross, friend of the JSA, remembered Cantor Greenberg and could identify his voice. Hour after hour after hour, Cantor Gross sat with ear phones listening to tapes and making notes. JSA sound technician, Ben Roth-Aroni meticulously digitized the tapes, created separate tracks and organized the songs on CDs for the family.
Well-known among Cantors for his talents as an educator and composer, Cantor Greenberg’s 40 year collaboration with Cantor Sholom Kalib resulted in the critically acclaimed book, Heichal Han’gina V’hatfila. Vol.1, published in 1961 by the Cantor’s Assembly.
His compositions have been included in the Milken Archive’s CD: The First S’lihot by Benzion Miller and in The Milken Archive’s 50 CD boxed set. They were also featured as part of the 8-program WFMT (Chicago) radio series, The Art of the Cantor, hosted by Cantor Alberto Mizrahi. But, recordings of this great Cantor’s voice have been rare …..until now.
The Judaica Sound Archives is proud of its role in preserving the recorded music legacy of Cantor Todros Greenberg.The digitized music in this collection was lovingly and painstakingly created from Cantor Greenberg’s personal reel-to-reel tapes which were donated to the Judaica Sound Archives by Cantor Greenberg’s family in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of his great-great-grandson, Noah Johnson.
Click here to read more about Cantor Greenberg and to hear his recordings.
Leo Fuld was one of the premier Yiddish performers in America during the 1950′s and 1960′s. Audiences loved to hear him sing Yiddish favorites in a combination of Yiddish and English. They loved his music which evoked the emotions and hardships of the Jewish people. Simply put, audiences loved the truth in his music.
One of his most famous compositions “Vi Ahin Zol lch Geyn? (Where Can I Go?)”, can still wrench the heart. It sold over one and a half million copies worldwide. Leo Fuld not only composed Yiddish songs, he also performed them with great success. His list of recorded hits include: Ich Hab Dich Zu Viel Lieb (I Love You Much Too Much), Wus Geween Ist Geween, My Yiddishe Mama, Zigany Melody. The lyrics to his song, Mazzel, tells us something that we all know….a little luck can make a big difference!
You gotta have a little mazzel,
Mazzel means good luck,
‘Cause with a little mazzel,
You always make a buck.
And if you have no mazzel,
Although you’re on the ball,
You try and try and can’t get by,
You beat your head against the wall.
Don’t ever try to figure, why you seem to be to blame,
That some folks have a million, and can’t even write their name!
Fuld was born into a large family (the third of ten) in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He served as a cantor in the synagogue when only 16 years old. Like other young men of the time, however, he was also attracted to popular music. Just before the outbreak of World War II, he left for America, established himself as a singer of Yiddish songs and became a well-known and successful performer.
Returning home after the war, Fuld was devastated to find his beloved Rotterdam bombed beyond recognition and his entire family murdered. With his red-hair and European accent he became a very recognizable Jewish performer when he returned to the USA. Combining Yiddish songs with swing music, and using both Yiddish and English lyrics he achieved stardom among Jewish audiences in the 1950s and 1960s. Performing with super-stars like Frank Sinatra and Edith Piaf his admirers ran the gamut and included such luminaries as Frankie Laine, Billie Holiday, Al Jolson, Danny Kaye and even Albert Einstein.
Click here for more songs by Leo Fuld.This blog was written by RSA guest blogger, Niels Falch. An independent researcher, Mr. Falch is especially interested in the influence of Jewish music on American popular songs. He lives near Amsterdam in Holland. Additional material supplied by Maxine Schackman, Director of the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries in Boca Raton, FL.
Over 300 FAU students and invited guests participated in the Recorded Sound Archives Vinyl Record Give-away event on October 20 and 21, 2014 at the Wimberly Library’s fifth floor on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.
More than 1,500 vinyl LP records were distributed as well as cassette tapes, and 45 rpm records (singles).
Established in 2002 to collect, organize and protect vintage audio recordings, the RSA houses more than 250,000 classical, jazz, Judaic and other vintage recordings, making FAU Libraries one of the top academic libraries in the nation for sound recordings.
All the recordings in the archives were donated to the university by collectors and institutions. Recent efforts to organize and inventory the back-log of thousands of donated recordings resulted in the identification of duplicate and excess records that were not needed for the RSA collection. The RSA regularly receives about 10,000 donated recordings each year.
Some students expressed disappointment when they learned that classic rock icons such as the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Alice Cooper were not among the recordings being offered. One student commented, “Man, these are really, really old records.”
Yet, they were scooping up albums by Frank Sinatra, Petula Clark, Jack Benny and Robert Goulet. “Why did you choose this record I asked?” Very often the answer was something like, “I’m not sure but I think I remember my grandmother mentioning that she liked this singer.” For many adults of my age these recordings represented a “walk down memory lane”, but for these students it was a treasure trove of discovery. They asked for historical information about shows like “My Fair Lady” and “Oklahoma.” They showed me recordings of operas and wanted to know if Leontyne Price or Robert Merrill were good singers.
A group of young men scooped up a bunch of 45 rpm records and were surprised when I mentioned to them that they would need a special insert to fit in the large hole in order to play them on a standard phonograph. Many students said they had phonograph players and some said that they would go out and buy one just so they could listen to the music they had collected. A few lucky students were able to find used turntables at the give-away which also included several pieces of used equipment.