The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103288   Message #2102095
Posted By: johnross
13-Jul-07 - 09:26 PM
Thread Name: Jac Holzman and Elektra Records
Subject: RE: Jac Holzman and Elektra Records
Seconding Don's recommendtion of Follow the Music .

Regarding the St. John's College connection, I can offer a couple of stories:

Until very recently, the only copy of the first Elektra release I had ever seen was in the St. John's College record library. It's an extremely rare LP. It was gone the last time I looked for it at St. John's -- I suspect they sold it with the rest of their LPs for fifty cents. After about 40 years of searching, I finally found a copy of the record this year in a catalog at a bargain price. When it arrived, it turned out that it had been Cynthia Gooding's copy.

Bob Sacks, the St. John's classmate who first introduced Holzman to folk music later taught at St. John's. When I was a student there, he was my Sophomore mathematics tutor. This was the height of the Folk Scare, but we had no idea that Mr. Sacks had that connection.

When St. John's built their second campus in Santa Fe, Jac donated the money for the music and art building, and also gave the college his papers from the early days of Elektra. I once discovered a program from a Carniege Hall Hootenanny with a page introducing Phil Ochs as a promising young singer-songwriter. There was a handwritten note across the page that says,"Paul: Sign him to an exclusive contract. --j" This was sitting on an open shelf in the library!. I showed it to the music librarian, who was visibly shocked to discover that they had such a thing and locked it away in the rare books room.

The Record Collectors Guild squib is wrong about Joni Mitchell -- her first LP was on Reprise, not Elektra.