[78-L] Massissimo

Inigo Cubillo ice261263 at gmail.com.invalid
Mon May 23 13:54:01 PDT 2016

Antonio Massissimo, an old Spanish collector from Catalonia, dead some
years ago. He was a very interesting man who spent his life collecting
papers, records and stories about Spanish 78s' artists and record
companies. In Spain this information is very scarce, and companies and
public institutions did but anything yo preserve this cultural heritage.
Only since 1938 the law obliged companies to deposit a copy of every record
issued in the National Library. This man eventually salvaged a part of the
Gramophone co. branch papers, acquiring them from a junkman who was sold
the company archives for the paper bulk only! Antonio patiently collected
along a lifetime every story and bit of information, papers, catalogs,
stores adverts, booklets, etc. and showed them (although with certain
resistance) to every collector visiting him in his Mataró home. I never
knew him nor had the chance to visit him, but I've known about him through
other colleagues.
Recently i was told by the woman in charge of the Catalonia Library Sound
Archives that Antonio didn't want his legacy to "rest in Spain" so he sold
everything to an unknown French collector... I don't known the reasons for
this proceedings, but I can imagine everything from resentment... to
political reasons. Maybe he approached some institutions and never arrived
to an arrangement, who knows... but a reason must exist behind. Naturally,
one cannot trust on the maybe skewed information given by directors of
these institutions, who may have taken part in the issue, and tell the
story from their only point of view. Besides this, Massissimo pursued an
economic compensation for his lifetime works, and he valued this very
high... so I can imagine the endless discussions with the institutions
directors, always so large in ideas but so short in budget. Probably all
this, together with the strong character of the man, led to this unhappy
Has any colleague in this list heard something about this? It would be very
interesting to know the truth of it all, and even know who was that
mysterious "French collector" and where that Legacy has ended.
In the other hand, years ago I had the chance to contact the lates Alan
Kelly and Peter Copeland, who --very kind of them-- sent me copies of their
files and docs about the Spanish recordings which they had collected from
EMI and the British Sound Archives. Kelly was in deals with me, for I also
send him my own record database, which --he told-- was of some help for him
to fill some gaps on his record lists. In the meantime, someone (probably
Massissimo) phoned Kelly and required him to hand over all his papers and
works about Spanish recordings, as he believed he had the only rights to
produce a Spanish discography, telling the reason of this work being His,
exclusively..!!! Massissimo told Kelly he was first (and soon) to produce
such a book. Kelly told me the strange story and the bad manners with which
he was required.
Something to be added? Any clues...?
Thanks all.
Inigo, from Madrid.

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