Henry Stone Talks Herman Lubinsky’s Savoy Records: “I Hadda Hock My Furniture To Get The Records”
“Savoy Records was owned by a guy named Herman Lubinsky. He was one of the first independent record companies in the early 1940s; out of Newark, New Jersey. A real character, man, Herman Lubinsky. I distributed his records. He was a tough guy, tough little guy.
In fact, his grandson, his grandson T.J. Lubinsky is the guy that does the show on PBS, with all the oldie acts and everything.
Lubinsky was always chewing the big cigar. Real typical. Big glasses. He used to sue everybody. Just to sue em’. Him and Syd Nathan. They were both like that. Ooh these characters are all in my head . In those days if I could just videocamera this whole thing it’d be worth billions of dollars.
Here’s the kinda guy Herman Lubinsky was. I distributed his records right? So he came up with a pretty big hit record. Little Esther was it? Little Esther? Something blues…It was pretty big blues record on Savoy. Double Crossing Blues? Johnny Otis produced that. He was a terrific guy. I did some recordings in his studio in California.
“So Herman Lubinsky right? He comes up with a hit. And I needed about 3,000 records right away. And he was sorta like on a cash basis. You gotta pay him cash. But I didn’t have enough to cop the records. I needed a thousand bucks. So I’ll never forget goin’ down and hockin’ my furniture to go down and get the records. I hocked my furniture, man. Straight to the pawn shop. And I got enough money to get the records. That’s the kind of character Herman Lubinsky was. He wouldn’t front anybody. I had to hock my furniture. I hadda get the records, man. I hadda get the hit records. It was 78s too. Big boxes, man.”
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