( b. Jan 07, 1930 Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - d. Apr 01, 2008 Montreal, Quebec, CANADA ) Male
Sam Gesser, the son of Polish immigrant parents, was born in Montreal on Jan 7, 1930. He spent the first ten years of his professional life (1949-59) working as a commercial artist. During those years he also wrote more than 200 scripts of various kinds for CBC radio and TV.
In the 1950s, as the Canadian representative of the US Folkways label, Gesser produced about 100 LPs, recording such artists as Hélène Baillargeon, Hyman Bress, Jean Carignan, Jacques Labrecque, Monique Leyrac, Alan Mills, and John Newmark. He founded The Record Centre of Montreal, the first record lending library in the metropolis.
In the early 1960s Gesser left the recording field and began to present artists and groups under his own name and, for one season, in association with Alan Mills. Later he founded Samuel Gesser Productions. Among the artists and groups presented, in Montreal or on tour in Canada, were Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Van Cliburn, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Maureen Forrester, Glenn Gould, Janis Joplin, Danny Kaye, Monique Leyrac, Liberace, Nana Mouskouri, the trio Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Isaac Stern, the American Ballet Theatre, Les Feux-Follets which he founded, the Salzburg Marionnettes, the New York Philharmonic, the orchestras of Houston and The Hague, Japan's Noh Theatre, and the Peking Opera Theatre.
He later founded Gesser Enterprises, and in 1989, along with Mario Labbé, he founded the Société de gestion des arts de Montréal (SOGAM) of which he is executive director.
By 1951 he had compiled a large enough collection to start his own record label, “Allied Records,” in order to market his collection of folk songs commercially. He also had his own radio program about folk music on CFCF and on the CBC.