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234 West 56th Street

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Early home of recorded music powerhouse Atlantic Records

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Midtown
Institution, Arts and Entertainment, Performance

Place Matters Profile

In 1947, Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson founded the independent record company Atlantic Records with a focus on jazz and rhythm and blues in mind. Ertegun is said to have imagined Atlantic like this - "Theres a black man living in the outskirts of Opelousas, Louisiana. He works hard for his money; he has to be tight with a dollar. One morning he hears a song on the radio. It’s urgent, bluesy, authentic and irresistible. He can’t live without this record. He drops everything, jumps in his pickup and drives twenty-five miles to the first record store he finds. If we can make that kind of music, we can make it in the business."

According to Rolling Stone journalist Robert Greenfield, "the reason for this was simple." In the 1940s, "America was still a racially divided nation." Even in Manhattan, blacks were discouraged from attending performances of the most prominent...

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Greenfield, Robert. "The Greatest Record Man of All Time." Rolling Stone. Issue 1018, Jan 25, 2007.

"Industry Icon Ahmet Ertegun Dies At 83." December 17, 2006.


Anonymous Nominator

Former home of Atlantic Studios and Atlantic Records. According to Atlantic Records administrative office and studio was on the fifth floor. Bobby Darins "Splish Splash" and the Coasters "Yakety Yak" were recorded there on the top floor. (June, 2012)

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