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Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordings

An inventory of their collection at Syracuse University


Finding aid created by: PJM
Date: 24 Jul 2017



Biographical History

Joseph and Max Bell established the Bell Music Box record shop in Manhattan, New York City following World War II. The brothers were Russian immigrants, who spent time in Cuba before coming to America. While in Cuba, they took an interest in Spanish language recordings as well as the music of the Caribbean. Their store was known to record aficionados and collectors nationwide and was comprehensive in its breadth -- if they did not have a copy of a particular recording, they would make their own. As a result, their inventory contained both commercially produced and sold recordings, and personal copies made for their own reference and use.

In 1963, Syracuse University purchased the entire inventory of the Bell Brothers' store. Commercial recordings were integrated into the Belfer Commercial Phonograph Disc Recordings. Latin American and Caribbean recordings were separated into the Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordings. Noncommercial recordings were retained as the Bell Brothers Collection.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordingscontains over 15,000 recordings from Latin American artists from North, Central, and South America as well as Cuba and other Caribbean islands. This (primarily) 45-rpm collection of Caribbean and Caribbean-derived musics covers the historical development of the whole gamut of Caribbean musics, and contains examples of many musical genres including: rancheras, meringues, boleros, porros, guarachas, valses, pasillos, chachachás, pachangas, merecumbés, aguinaldos, seises fajardeños, plenas, tango-boleros, pasodobles, mambos, guaguancós, sones montunos, charangas, guajira sones, plechangas, calypsos, bossa novas, bombas, bembés, seises jíbaros, tangos, paseos, danzones, seises milongas, huapangos, canciones, polkas, and salves.

Recordings issued after 1963 were acquired separately through a combination of gifts and purchases but were added to this collection based on content and format similarity.


Arrangement of the Collection

Lacquer disc copies of commercial recordings remain in original order. Commercial items are in label name and catalog number order.


Other Related Finding Aids

See also the Bell Brothers Collection.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Researcher access to the recordings requires advance notice in order to produce a working copy.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.


Related Material

Commercial recordings in this collection have been sent to cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

The discs in this collection are part of an ongoing digitization project. For access to digitized items please see The Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordingsin SCRC Online, our digital portal.


Subject Headings

Persons

Bell, Joseph.
Bell, Max.

Corporate Bodies

Bell Music Box.

Subjects

Aguinaldos.
Boleros.(Music)
Bossa nova (Music)
Calypso (Music)
Charango music.
Cumbia (Music)
Cumbia (Music)
Danzones (Music)
Guaguancos (Music)
Guajira.
Guarachas (Music)
Huapangos (Music)
Mambos (Music)
Merengue (Dance)
Milongas (Music)
Pachangas (Music)
Pasillos (Music)
Paso dobles (Music)
Plenas.
Polkas.
Popular music -- 1971-1980.
Popular music -- Cuba -- 1961-1970.
Popular music -- Mexico -- 1961-1970.
Porros.
Protest songs -- Puerto Rico.
Rancheras.

Genres and Forms

45 rpm records.
78 rpm records.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordings,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

The majority of this collection was acquired by purchase from the Bell Brothers in 1963.

Recordings issued after 1963 were acquired separately through a combination of gifts and purchases but were added to this collection based on content and format similarity.


Table of Contents

Lacquer copies, 45 rpm


Inventory

Note on alternate formats:

The discs in this collection are part of an ongoing digitization project. For access to digitized items please see The Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordingsin SCRC Online, our digital portal.