Exhibitions

02.09.2014

SG-Records 50 years (closed)

Svavar Gests (1926-1996) founded the publishing company SG-Records in 1964. In its 20 years (1964-1984) the company published 80 small 45 RPM records and 180 big 33 RPM(LP) records, but during those years great changes took place in the pop music scene and the music publishing industry.  The role of Svavar Gests and SG-Records is very important in the history of Icelandic music. Because of his publishing activity many works by Icelandic artists, which otherwise would have been lost, were preserved. Various bands, singers, choirs, comedians, folk music, christmas entertainment, plays, childrens´ songs,  reading of poetry and rhymes are to be found in the SG-Records collection. The initiation of SG-Records can be tracked to  the entertainment programs that Svavar hosted for The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service Radio in 1963-64 where he got 14 members of the male choir Fóstbræður to sing a few songs. When the broadcasting of the entertainment programs stopped in the spring of 1964 Svavar decided to offer Tage Ammendrup, who at that time ran the publishing company Íslenzkir Tónar, the publishing rights of the male choir songs. Tage, however, was quitting his publishing activity at that time and advised Svavar to publish it himself. The record with the fourteen members of the choir was published in 1964 by SG-Records and was a great hit. Herewith the record company was on its feet and it soon became one of the nation´s biggest publishing businesses, working for many of the country´s greatest artists such as Ellý Vilhjálms, Ragnar Bjarnason, Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, Ómar Ragnarsson, the Savanna Trio and Hljómar. This year 50 years have passed since Svavar Gests founded SG-Records and on that occasion a small exhibition has been set up in the National and University Library of Iceland. All material  of SG-Records owned by the library can be listened to in the Music Department, vinyl records as well as newer digital editions.

Brochure (PDF)

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