Last Updated: December 20, 2017
Addresses from the covers
All the various Blue Note addresses captured exactly as they appear on the back covers of Blue Note Records up to 1966
Note the incorporation of Blue Note Records in the second half of 1959, adding INC. to the company name while the 47 West 63rd address was still active (found only on 4013 – 4021) , before the move to 43 West 61st St. in 1960. (Graphic updated December 20, 2017, thanks to Bart vO for spotting the missing address.)
One final address – the seismic shift of geographical focus from East to West, California welcomes Blue Note. From this point, in its characteristic spirit of generosity, the invitation to write to Blue Note Records Inc. for a complete catalogue disappears.
One thing you notice about Sixties America is the meticulous attention given to punctuation. Abbreviations are always terminated with their required full stop, suceeded by a parsing comma or blank space. Note also the change in cover address from 47 WEST 63rd to 43 WEST 61st around 1959, parting company with the address on the label.
And in real life, as they appear in Google Map:
767 Lexington Avenue, New York.
The original home of Blue Note Records, 767 Lexington Avenue, the address that makes collectors foam at the mouth, mortgage the farm, or raid their retirement savings. Not quite the romantic location of my imagination. The entrance to the building boasts “767” in large numerals, but there is no heritage plaque “Home of the best in Jazz since 1939”.
You would think Blue Note Music Group might have commemorated their roots.The only roots seen here now are in the nearby hair salon (dyed) and the dentist next door (canal). You want to see a giant statue of Alfred Lion here, three stories high. Or may be a tryptch of Lion, Van Gelder and Frances Wolff, painted trompe l’oeil on the face of the building, here executed only in Photoshop:
47 WEST 63rd St
That’s more like it! Fire escapes, fire hydrants, secretaries with back-combed hair, Don Draper-style men in coats, suits and hats, my idea of Blue Note’s New York. The house number address is only approximate according to Google Earth, but this fine building is in the right place and preserved as it would have looked then.
As it appeared in NY archives:
Both buildings pictured are five storys high. The first (modern day picture from Google Maps) I assume is the rear of the building by virtue of the fire escape ladders. The vintage photograph from NYC archives must be the front, retail store at street level, and the same four rooms wide, the buildings either side long since demolished.
(Vintage photo source here)
47 West 61st St NY
Final long-running cover address, now anonymous apartments or offices, and tree-lined.
Nothing very romantic about that one.
.Update (December 27, 2013)
Capitol Records – Blue Note Records, 1996 1290 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10104
RUDY VAN GELDER RECORDING STUDIOS
Hackensack home studio, Van Gelder parents house, 25 Prospect Avenue, on the corner of, Thompson Street:
Among the unusual features of the house, a one-storystory ranch style that would soon become fashionable throughout the country, were its cinder block construction and central air conditioning. In planning their new home, Van Gelder’s parents were mindful of Rudy’s keen interest in recording. In the space that might otheivvise have been an additional bedroom or study, they had architect Sidney Schenker design a control room instead. This room was separated from the living room bv a large glass window set into the concrete block wall. The window was double-paned for greater sound insulation, with one pane angled slightly off the vertical to eliminate reflective glare. Under this window, a hole through the wall served as a conduit for microphone cables
To July 1st, 1959, last Blue Note recorded at Hackensack, July 20, 1959 all recordings made at Englewood Cliffs.
Situated in New Jersey, the best record pressing plant in the US, which pressed all original Blue Note records up to 1966, its cursive “P” stamped in the runout groove is the definitive hallmark of a Blue Note original pressing.
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