Posts Tagged ‘ Sam Gesser ’

This Week in JPL History: “Ladies and Gentleman: Leonard Cohen”

This Week in JPL History: “Ladies and Gentleman: Leonard Cohen”

On May 7th, the JPL hosted a live radio interview with Sam Gesser and Stanley Asher. The interview followed a screening of Gesser`s documentary Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Leonard Cohen. Gesser was a well-known figure in Montreal who played an integral role in the development and distribution of Canadian folk music and culture. Growing up in Montreal, Gesser claimed to have learnt much about the entertainment industry by working at His Majesty`s Theatre. In the 1940’s Gesser became the Canadian representative of the Folksways record [...]



Harry Belafonte and Nana Mouskouri, 1965

Harry Belafonte and Nana Mouskouri, 1965

By Janice This handbill is for a concert by singer of Caribbean-inflected folk styles and social activist Harry Belafonte, “introducing” the young Greek folk singer Nana Mouskouri as his opening act at Place des Arts in Montreal, May 10-23, 1965. The fonds contains contracts, photos, correspondence and other documents reflecting the long-standing business relationships Sam Gesser had with both of these performers.



Makeba & Masakela, Nat King Cole, and more!

Makeba & Masakela, Nat King Cole, and more!

By Janice This is one of my favourites. It’s a handbill for a concert by two South African musicians: Miriam Makeba, a singer and activist for human rights in Africa and the USA, appearing with Hugh Masakela, a master of the trumpet and other brass horns. The concert took place at Comedie-Canadienne, on Nov. 29-Dec.5, 1964. Makeba also performed at Place des Arts on Feb. 22 of the same year.  Another favourite of mine, this one is for a concert by crooner Nat King Cole, [...]



Joan Baez, 1962

Joan Baez, 1962

This is the front side of a striking two-tone handbill for a concert by folk singer Joan Baez at Her Majesty’s Theatre. I noticed an ad in a newspaper recently indicating that a now silver-haired Baez is scheduled to play a concert in Montreal later this year. When she gave this concert on Nov. 11, 1962, she would have been just around 21 years old.



An Evening of Canadian Folklore

An Evening of Canadian Folklore

By Janice Four files into the first container, I find something fun to work on: a whole album of candid photographs documenting one great event: “FOLKWAYS presents: AN EVENING OF CANADIAN FOLKLORE”, held on Thursday October 25, 1956 at the Salle du Gesu on Bleury. There was singing, fiddling, plucking, harmonica blowing, clapping, dancing, and the finest seats in the house went for $2 apiece. This event exemplifies Gesser’s role in expanding Folkways Records into Canada. It is also notable as an early appearance of [...]



What’s Happening with the Sam Gesser Fonds?

By Janice The JPL-A catalogue is set to go online later this summer, marking a significant increase in accessibility to its holdings. In preparation, a handful of folks here, myself included, have been engaging in marathon database maintenance sessions in order to get the contents of text-based finding aids into the system. None of the files listed on the 2006 finding aid been previously entered. Actually, there are a few containers that still need to be opened and inventoried. This should be remedied in the [...]



A Bit of Biography

By Janice Sam Gesser started, finished, and lived out most of his life in Montreal. He was born in 1930 and died of cancer at the age of 78 a little over two years ago, on April 2, 2008. Though his professional roles were many, they are bound by a consistent dedication to arts and culture, and he can thus be said to have had a 50-year-long career in this field. The JPL archivists, librarians, and volunteers who worked on the finding aid did a [...]



Warm Welcome to the Sam Gesser Blog!

Warm Welcome to the Sam Gesser Blog!

By Janice Beginning in the late 1950s, the man behind hundreds of the most spectacular, memorable, often groundbreaking and sometimes controversial performances of music, dance, theatre and comedy held on Montreal’s best known stages was Samuel Gesser. The man who expanded the famous and influential Folkways record label into Canada, adding to dozens of well-loved or barely known performers of distinctly Canadian forms of folk music to their roster, was Samuel Gesser. Later in life, the same man continued to express his love of live [...]