How Record Conventions Were Created, The Birth of Armada

“Well, they used to have conventions in Chicago. I used to go to those conventions in Chicago and some of the record people from all over the country would come. From New York, from California, and cities wherever around they were and we used to meet up there with the juke box operators cause we sold them their records. We used to have to go to jukebox conventions, the record manufacturers and distributors, to meet and do business in the beginning. What happened is that we started to play cards together and hang out together and drink together, maybe 20 or 30 of us in the beginning.Then one day while we were doing this in Chicago, a friend of mine Ewart Abner from Veejay Records in Chicago, and Leonard Chess, and Don Robey from Houston, and a couple other guys and myself, Hy Weiss from New York, George Goldner, we got together while we were playing poker and we said, “Why don’t we start our own organization. A record organization.” We were growing from year to year, and we got to know each other and became real tight y’know. I remember it was at a card game, and the talk around the table went to starting our own thing. And that’s what we did. I remember we called it ARMADA, American Record Merchants, and we invited all the independents to come together and have our own Chicago convention, which we did. And it built into quite a thing and later on it became a big convention that still goes on today, but they changed the name to NARM. That was a real important part of the record industry that I remember, starting that convention.”

  • From a 2013 interview with Henry Stone

©Jacob Katel and Henry Stone Music USA Inc. All RIghts Reserved

 

 

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