George Goldner’s Tico Records Office Was In a Button Factory: “Little Buttons, Big Records!”

rizen and goldner

Big radio man Steve Rizen presented with gold plaque by George Goldner. Photo via Jeff Roteman’s KQV Page

“I was really really tight with George Goldner. In fact, George came in before Morris Levy; before End Records. Back when I first started in the distributing business here in Florida circa 1948, George came in to see me from Cuba one day.

He was looking for distribution.

He used to go to Cuba a lot. He did a lot of Cuban music. A lot of Latino music, really. Bg influence, but at the time it didn’t really sell much. He had a label I distributed here in Florida called  Tico Records.

I used to go to New York quite a bit to get these labels too. They didn’t all just come to me at first. I had to go get em’. I used to get in my little Chevy to the levy yaknow, get in the car and drive up to New York, and I was lookin for George to find him in his office one day. So I get to New York, I find his address. I went up to his office and I found out all of a sudden his office was in a button factory, where they made buttons, and that’s where George had his office.

 

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Tito Puente was a young Puerto Rican kid from Spanish Harlem when George Goldner found him

 

I said, “What the hellaya doin?”

He says, “That’s my office there. Little buttons, big records!”

He was a real slick guy. Real good lookin guy. Very slick. Had a nice way about him. I can picture him like he’s sittin right here man. Bout 5′ 11″, thin, always dressed with a tie. Real sharp. He and Hymie Weiss (Old Town Records) were very close. Course Hymie used to play with Mona., she used to come and cry to Hymie all the time. “Hymie. That son of a bitch George is with another girl I know it..” and Hymie used to try to keep them together. Hymie Weiss he was quite a guy. You hadda be around him.”

 

  • From a 2013 interview with Henry Stone

©Jake Katel and Henry Stone. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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