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929 records – page 1 of 93.

Sam Gesser Fonds

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn18199
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
5.4m textual records ; 800 photographs ; 42 items, audiovisual material
Fonds No.
1055
Scope and Content
Series 1 includes textual records and photographs, which are arranged chronologically by the event or concert. Series 2 includes textual records, photographs and audiovisual material of associated professional and personal material that reflects Mr. Gesser’s long-standing involvement in the …
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
5.4m textual records ; 800 photographs ; 42 items, audiovisual material
Scope and Content
Series 1 includes textual records and photographs, which are arranged chronologically by the event or concert. Series 2 includes textual records, photographs and audiovisual material of associated professional and personal material that reflects Mr. Gesser’s long-standing involvement in the Montreal and Canadian entertainment field. These records are arranged by topic. Files also include newspaper clippings for information and reference purposes. SERIES 1 – Containers 001-017, 021 (Over-sized) SERIES 2 – Containers 018-022, 021 (Over-sized) 022, 023
Date
1950-2007
Fonds No.
1055
Storage Location
Bay 3
Creator
Sam Gesser
History Biographical
Samuel Gesser was born in Montreal on January 7, 1930 and spent his childhood in the Plateau-Mont-Royal area, the colourful neighbourhood that inspired some of Canada’s greatest Jewish personalities such as Mordecai Richler, A.M. Klein, Irving Layton and William Shatner. From an early age, Mr. Gesser was captivated with music and the world of entertainment; first displaying this interest by recording school ground play songs. He continued this early education by sneaking into His Majesty’s Theatre to watch the shows and to study the intricacies of scriptwriting. By age fifteen, Mr. Gesser was active in the theatre and cultural committee of the YMHA and in his chapter of B’nai Brith. Shortly after this he left Baron Byng high school to begin his professional career, not yet in the entertainment field but in the commercial art business. His true vocation in the impresario field would soon develop almost by chance. While in Chicago in the late 1940s, Mr. Gesser happened to purchase a Folkways recording of celebrated blues guitarist Leadbelly. On the back of the album was a listing of other records available from Folkways; records not available in Canada as the now-legendary record company had no distributor north of the border at that point. After a meeting in New York with Folkways founder Moses Asch, he signed on as the Canadian representative and also took on the challenge of tracking down and producing Canadian folk music for the label. From 1950-1964, Mr. Gesser produced more than 100 original records for Folkways from songs of First Nations to the music of notable musicians such as Alan Mills, Jean Carignan and Hélène Baillargeon. In addition to this work, Mr. Gesser also produced records for the Pye, Vox and Premier record labels as well as wrote countless radio and television scripts for CFCF and CBC. While producing records, Mr. Gesser had the idea that presenting the artists to live audiences was an excellent way to promote the music. In 1950, Mr. Gesser arranged a concert date for Folkways artist Pete Seeger in Montreal at the L’Érmitage Hall located on Côte-des-Neiges Road and impresario history was born. Over the ensuing years, Mr. Gesser presented over 3000 performances to local, national and international audiences. He believed in not just presenting the obvious but that audiences would be interested in seeing new, or previously unknown, artists, music and dance. His productions brought to Montreal an immense range of artistry; from folk to popular, classical to jazz, international music and dance to Broadway musicals and plays. The success of the Seeger show launched Mr. Gesser on an over fifty-year odyssey of showcasing Canadian and international talent to audiences. In addition to his shows in Montreal, Mr. Gesser also took on touring challenges for artists such as Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett and Nana Mouskouri, bringing the live experience to western Canada, regions of the United States, the Maritimes and small-town Quebec. This work was expanded on a large scale when after his success as booking officer for Expo ’67 in Montreal, Mr. Gesser was appointed to Canada’s pavilion for Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan. Mr. Gesser also helped to found Les Feux-Follets, a music and dance troupe that put Canadian heritage and artistry centre stage. When Mr. Gesser directed this internationally-acclaimed troupe, the operating budget was based entirely on profit from shows as well as a small amount of donations from business. The early days of the troupe did not receive government funding nor did they partner with many private institutions, yet they managed to be successful based on the quality of performances, Mr. Gesser’s skilful leadership and the impression left on both Canadian and international audiences. His work is not yet over, however. Mr. Gesser continues to contribute to arts and entertainment through writing. His play “Fineman’s Dictionary”, starring Fyvish Finkel, was presented in 2000 at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in addition to a staged reading at the Jewish Public Library. “Dancing to Beethoven”, a play written for and acted by blind actors, was presented in 2003 at Place des Arts. In 2006, the cast and the play itself were also the subject of a National Film Board documentary. Mr. Gesser continues to work on scripts for both stage and screen. Over his lengthy and impressive career, Mr. Gesser has focused the spotlight on many outstanding entertainers and artists. His professionalism and accomplishments have not gone unnoticed and Mr. Gesser has deservedly been honoured for his untiring work. In 1993, Mr. Gesser received the Order of Canada for major contributions to the field of arts and entertainment. The Smithsonian has also recently recognized Mr. Gesser for his work in producing music for the Folkways label. His dedication to his craft continues through his donation of his substantial album collection to the Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill University and, in 2005, his donation to the Jewish Public Library Archives of his professional archives. These archives not only document Mr. Gesser’s long career and his achievements but also the history of Canadian culture and entertainment industry.
Language
English
French
Custodial History
Donated directly by Sam Gesser.
Arrangement
The original order of the creator was maintained for Series 1. Series 2 was imposed as there was no order to the records.
Notes
Fonds was certified by the Canadian Cultural Export Review Board in November 2006.
Finding Aid
Detailed finding aid available.
Accession No.
05-008
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-
Subjects
Gesser Enterprises, Inc.
Folk music
Leyrac, Monique
Leonard, Cohen, 1934-
Mouskouri, Nana
Popular music
Folkways Records
Belafonte, Harry, 1927-
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Less detail

Interior snapshot of Sam Gesser speaking with Nat King Cole.

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn73707
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
Item
Material Format
graphic material
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 25.0 x 20.0cm
Fonds No.
1055; 1055_0004
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
Item
Material Format
graphic material
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 25.0 x 20.0cm
Fonds No.
1055
Item No.
1055_0004
Storage Location
JPL
Creator
Adanac Photo Studio
Notes
Stamped verso with photographer's stamp and Enterprises Gesser Inc.
Subjects
Gesser Enterprises, Inc.
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Cole, Nat King, 1917-1965
Performance
Music.
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Less detail

Production Files

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn16736
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
Series
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
5.1m (textual); 800 Photographs (Series 1&2)
Fonds No.
1055; 1
Scope and Content
This series consists of production files, arranged chronologically, for the various concerts, performances, tours, and events produced by Sam Gesser under Samuel Gesser Productions and, later, Gesser Enterprises.
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
Series
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
5.1m (textual); 800 Photographs (Series 1&2)
Scope and Content
This series consists of production files, arranged chronologically, for the various concerts, performances, tours, and events produced by Sam Gesser under Samuel Gesser Productions and, later, Gesser Enterprises.
Date
1950-2000
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
Storage Location
Bay 3
Creator
Sam Gesser
Language
English, French
Custodial History
Donated by Sam Gesser
Arrangement
Original order of creator
Finding Aid
Detailed finding aid available
Accession No.
05-008
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-
Subjects
Folk music
Popular music
Gesser Enterprises, Inc.
Belafonte, Harry, 1927-
Mouskouri, Nana
Leyrac, Monique
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Less detail

Information file, Allan Sherman

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn31384
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055; 1; 00001
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Date
1955
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
File No.
00001
Storage Location
3-3B
CTN 001
Creator
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Language
English
Notes
Consists of photocopied material
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Subjects
Sherman, Allan, 1924-1973
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Less detail

Information File, Montreal Season, Programme Booklets

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn31385
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055; 1; 00002
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
File No.
00002
Storage Location
3-3B
CTN 001
Creator
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Language
English
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Less detail

Production file, Pete Seeger and Sonny Terry

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn33246
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055; 1; 00003
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
  1 image  
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
File No.
00003
Storage Location
3-3B
CTN 001
Creator
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Language
English
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Subjects
Seeger, Pete, 1919-
Terry, Sonny
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Images
Less detail

Production File -- Jean Ritchie and Paul Clayton

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn31386
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055; 1; 00004
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
  1 image  
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Date
1955
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
File No.
00004
Storage Location
3-3B
CTN 001
Creator
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Language
English
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Subjects
Ritchie, Jean
Clayton, Paul, 1931-1967
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Images
Less detail

Production File - An Evening of Canadian Folklore

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn31387
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055; 1; 00005
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
  1 image     1 document  
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Parallel Title
Une Soirée de Folklore Canadien
Date
[ca. 1956-1957]
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
File No.
00005
Storage Location
3-3B
CTN 001
Creator
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Language
English
French
Notes
This file contains production information for “An Evening of Canadian Folklore” and its performers but also contains general brochures for Sam Gesser’s 1956-1957 Season.
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Subjects
Folklore - Canada
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Images
Documents
Less detail

Production File, Earl Robinson and Brownie McGhee

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn31388
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055; 1; 00006
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
  1 image  
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Date
04/11/1957
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
File No.
00006
Storage Location
3-3B
CTN 001
Creator
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Language
English
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Subjects
Robinson, Earl, 1910-1991
McGhee, Brownie, 1915-1996
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Images
Less detail

Information File, Alfred Deller

https://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn31389
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Fonds No.
1055; 1; 00007
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Collection
Sam Gesser Fonds
Description Level
File
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 file of textual records
Date
[195?]
Fonds No.
1055
Series No.
1
File No.
00007
Storage Location
3-3B
CTN 001
Creator
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Language
English
Notes
No date indicated.
Name Access
Gesser, Sam, 1930-2008
Subjects
Deller, Alfred, 1912-1979
Archival / Genealogical
Archival Descriptions
Repository
Jewish Public Library Archives
Less detail

929 records – page 1 of 93.

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