This website is intended to give the visitor a sense of the materials that I, John Snyder, have collected over the past 46 years in the music business. I began my career in 1973 with CTI Records in NYC as a freshly minted law school graduate from the University of NC at Chapel Hill. I was 25 years old.
My collection is unique because of the extensive number of artists whose music I had some role in making public and because of the vertical alignment of materials related to the production of hundreds of recordings by some of the most important artists, musicians, singers, and songwriters of the last half of the 20th century. It’s a multilayered slice of recorded history, and, like the rings of a tree, these layers suggest the conditions and characteristics of the larger ecology of recorded music.
I had wide range of unique experiences in the music business, mostly in the jazz and blues worlds, but also some R&B and Gospel. As you will see as you peruse the site, I have many types of media and I have quantified the various components of the collection.
I have large amounts of material relating to certain artists, like Etta James, Chet Baker, Jim Hall, Paul Desmond, Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Derek Trucks, Bobby Short, George Shearing, and Junior Wells. I have various amounts of materials for hundreds of other artists.
I have project notebooks for hundreds of recordings released on major labels as well as boxes of tapes and songs and other related materials to the recording, including photos of the session and associated memorabilia. It’s an unusual vertical alignment of materials, with a continuity of over 30 – 40 years. It involves decades of work by multiple artists.
I was also deeply involved in the CD revolution of the 1980’s and produced hundreds of reissues and compilations for some of the greatest names in recorded music, from Elvis Presley to Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong to Glenn Miller, Billie Holiday to Aretha Franklin, among others. I have project notebooks for many of these with copies of record company documents relating to the province and cataloguing of these recordings.
As a young man I was fortunate to meet and know many of the older producers who came before me, from my first boss, one of the greatest jazz producers, Creed Taylor, to John Hammond, Lester Koenig, Teo Macero, Orrin Keepnews, Ed Michel, George Avakian, Ahmet Ertegun, Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, Jerry Wexler, and George Wein. These people were among those who led the way in the second generation of recorded music in the last half of the twentieth century, which will forever be culturally, economically, and historically significant.
I hope you will find the site useful in evaluating the importance of the materials for your purposes. Thank you very much for your consideration and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
March 4, 2019