George H. Buck Jr.
|George Herman Buck Jr.|
Buck in 2006
December 22, 1928|
December 11, 2013 (aged 84)|
|Occupation||Music business executive|
American Music Records
Solo Art Records
Langlois & Wentworth
George Herman Buck Jr. (December 22, 1928 – December 11, 2013) was an American entrepreneur who devoted much of his life to recording jazz by producing albums and acquiring the rights to those produced by companies established by others. Buck had acquired record company labels and radio broadcast companies that held historic transcription discs. He also was a major record collector. Until his death at age 84, he ran his businesses and philanthropy. He began his radio career as a partner in radio station WJNO in West Palm Beach.
Born December 22, 1928, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Buck rose to prominence as the leading figure in the preservation and advancement of authentic traditional jazz. He started out selling newspapers during World War II and converting the profits into war bonds. He took this money and recorded his first session with his favorite musicians, Wild Bill Davison and Tony Parenti on Jazzology Records. Soon after, he began recording New Orleans style jazz on GHB Records. He began yearly pilgrimages to New Orleans in 1961, cementing his relationship with the city by immersing himself in the culture and recording the important artists that lived here. George developed a passion for radio after hosting a radio show in college, which he dubbed, Jazzology. This early involvement in radio led him to buy many small, under performing radio stations beginning with WCOS in Columbia, South Carolina, and turn them around with new formats and improved management. All of his profits from this went to support his growing list of record labels. He started and bought many labels in order to make sure this music would survive and thrive. The nine labels he issued a wide range of jazz music on are Jazzology, GHB, Circle, Southland, American Music, Black Swan, Audiophile, Progressive, and Solo Art.
The largest collection of jazz music in the world is under this umbrella. According to his son, Buck's passion, love, and enthusiasm for jazz never diminished. He and his wife, Nina moved the operation to New Orleans in 1987 and in 1989 expanded yet again by opening the Palm Court Jazz Café, which became an important part of New Orleans jazz culture under the management of his wife. The GHB Jazz Foundation houses the record business and is located on the second floor of the same building in the French Quarter. With the transfer of all of his recordings to the foundation he assured that the music would continue to survive and his legacy will continue to influence the city and the world.
|“||"My greatest pleasure is doing jazz." "I loved it from the first time I heard it. It spoke my language."||”|
|— George H. Buck|
Companies founded by Buck
- Jazzology Records (founded 1949) — traditional Chicago style jazz
- G.H.B. Records — traditional New Orleans style jazz
Companies acquired by Buck
- American Music Records (founded 1944) — authentic New Orleans style jazz, acquired from founder and composer Bill Russell in 1990
- Black Swan Records (founded 1921) — re-issues of Paramount Records, acquired in the 1990s
- Solo Art Records — piano jazz
- Audiophile Records — classic American popular songs
- Circle Records (founded 1946) — big bands, acquired in the 1960s
- Southland Records (founded 1948) — authentic blues, acquired from its founder, Joseph P. Mares (1908–1991), in the 1960s
- Progressive Records (founded 1950) — modern music
- World Broadcasting System, Inc. (founded 1929) — entire library of radio transcription discs, acquired in 1971
- Langlois & Wentworth, Inc. (founded 1933) — entire library of radio transcription discs, acquired in 1982
Philanthropy founded by Buck
- The George H. Buck, Jr., Jazz Foundation, Inc. (founded 1987), a Louisiana non-profit entity.
- "George H. Buck Dead". Offbeat.com. 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- Obituary: George H. Buck, by George ("Bo") Buck, Times-Picayune, December 16, 2013
- Visions of Jazz: The First Century, by Gary Giddins, Oxford University Press (1998) OCLC 38270883
- Music: George Buck’s Legacy; Spreading the Message of Jazz, Jason Berry, New Orleans Magazine, Renaissance Publishing LLC, January 2012 OCLC 60620348