Boris Rose, King of the Bootleggers

Sucker for buried treasure that I am, the story of Boris Rose, jazz bootlegger supreme caught my attention as I perused Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays [preview] Around 1940, Boris began dubbing 78RPM records to 10-inch red vinyl disks with hand-written white labels.  He would sell these dubs of Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and other great early jazz musicians to anyone interested in buying them…. Over the years Boris captured thousands of hours of recordings that likely did not exist anywhere else — his was easily the largest private collection of its kind anywhere in the world.  Eventually Boris began recording every sort of broadcast imaginable — he even recorded the soundtracks of entire movies as they were broadcast over television. What Rose became known for is the bootleg LPs of these recordings from old 78s and live jazz radio broadcasts.  He sold these records commercially, […]