Robert Altshuler
ALTSHULER--Robert. With great sadness we mourn the passing of Robert (Bob) Altshuler. Adored husband of Barbara; beloved father of Michael and Jonathan; cherished grandfather of Brian, Andrew, Anni and Alice; and admired father-in-law of Amelia and Carol, Bob died on September 17th at his home in Southbury, CT. Bob was a man of boundless passion-for his work, family, friends, and music. A legendary collector and dealer in rare recordings of American jazz and blues, he parlayed his love of music into an exhilarating career in the record industry. Born April 17th, 1923 in Patterson, NJ to parents Samuel and Helen, he grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts. His calling was established early. At age 16, carrying a handful of records bought with lunch money, Bob convinced a local radio station to allow him (and his twin brother, Bill) to host a jazz record program called "Le Jazz Hot". This early experience culminated in the acquisition/donation of one of the largest private collections of recorded jazz and blues from the 78 rpm and LP eras to the Library of Congress. And it led to a heady 37 years in the music business. Starting in the mid-50s, working for small record labels like Prestige, Riverside and Atlantic, Bob was eventually plucked from the world of independent record companies by CBS Records. Beginning as Director of Publicity in 1965, and then ultimately as Senior Corporate Vice-President, Bob worked closely with every major artist (pop, rock, jazz and classical) on both the Columbia and Epic labels. A natural raconteur on the subject of jazz, Bob made a seamless transition to retirement in 1991 as both music consultant and lecturer. His tales of the musicians he had known and the music he loved were imbued with a profound appreciation for the ability to improvise-for spontaneous "stories told in sound." To those who knew him, the music of Bob's life was itself a wondrous story, a sound we still hear and will always celebrate.
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Published by New York Times on Sep. 19, 2007.
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17 Entries
My name is Bob Altshuler son of David Altshuler who was the son of Herman Altshuler. I belive my grandfather Herman was Roberts Uncle. I had spoken with Robert a few times in the past over the telephone. I wish I could have met him in person. I moved from the State of Washington last summer to take a Head Football Postition and Dean of Students position at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. We won the State Championship my first year at Bishop Gorman this past football season. If any Altshulers get to Las Vegas please give me a call 509-307-7117 or 702-348-2727. It would be great to get to know some more family. My Aunt Madlyne McDonald (Altshuler) died two summers ago. It was really sad. She was close to Robert and Barbara. She worked for Robert in the music business in the 60's and told me all about the great experience she had working for and knowing Robert. Her son Daniel and Jennifer visited us for this past Thanksgiving in Las Vegas and attended one of our playoff football games. I have two sons named Rocklyn and Dustin. Rocklyn is married and is an actuary and Dustin is married and is in Management. I retired from teaching in Washington State as a teacher and coach after 30 years last spring (53 years old). I plan on coaching another 30 years. Check out my website www.20gapdefense.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Bob Altshuler
Bob Altshuler
March 31, 2008
Dear Barbara,
This evening Marta and I watched "A Great Day in Harlam". We couldn't help but to be struck by the fullness of Bob's life. The people that he knew, the things that he did and the stories he could tell were remarkable unto themselves. However, I recall a day this past November that the four of us spent together at your lovely home. I was even more taken with Bob's graciousness, humility and sense of family. I am saddened that I only had the opportunity to meet him but once and yet ever so honored that I met him at all. He was truly a gentle man and a gentleman.
Tim McNamara
October 1, 2007
Dear Barbara,
The one and only time I met Bob was at the Turner's house in Heritage Village. I immediatly liked him as we conversed about music. I had always hoped to get to know him better. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.
Leanne DelGrosso
September 30, 2007
Dearest Barbara, Michael, Johnny, Brian, Andrew, Anni, Alice, Amelia and Carol,

I know the music world loved Bob for his knowledge, charm and devotion to the business. But I loved him as an adoring younger cousin who appreciated his extraordinary commitment to our small, and not very cohesive, family. I'll never forget how he spoke at my mother's graveside funeral on a blustery day in February some years ago, even though he was not feeling well at the time. I'll also be eternally grateful that he made it to our unique family reunion this past summer despite the fact that he'd just started exhausting chemo treatments. Our family has lost a leader, but hopefully Bob's spirit will keep us united. I truly believe it will.
Marta Leipzig
September 29, 2007
To Barbara and family.Bob was a great friend and his knowledge a jazz was second to none.He was always there to share his knowledge whenever i called him.I miss him already.A great great man has passed on.
Norman Saks
September 25, 2007

I was very sad to hear about Bob's passing. My first job at Columbia was working for him in the publicity department. We always had a great relationship and I admired him very much.
I really enjoyed the times I came out to your house for lunches. I have fond memories of sitting around the pool with you and Bob and your two kids. He will be missed.
ron oberman
September 24, 2007
Dear Barbara:
I was very sad to hear about Bob's passing. His obit certainly paid tribute to the wonderful man he was. I loved his stories from the day I met him. Keep and cherish the great memories. Much Love Patty Nocella
Patty Nocella
September 24, 2007
Barbra and family,

I was so sad to hear of Bob's passing today. I am sitting here in shock. You know I always looked forward to seeing him...whether at your house or at the store.
I missed him when you moved to Conn...I will miss him even more now.
Cliff sends his respects also.
Bob Stanford
September 24, 2007
Barbara and Family,
I still remember with great warmth, spending a Saturday afternoon spending every penny I had in my pocket buying records from Bob. I used to take breaks for a few moments from looking at such an overwhelming mass of record and stop to talk to Bob and chat with him about the records he liked and people he had met. Every record I bought from him occipies a special place in my collection, not only because of the record itself, but also because I remember buying it from Bob. I think we will all miss this truly larger than life personality.
Roy Lee Evans, Esq.
September 24, 2007
Bob's legacy is unique. There is no way I could ever repay the debt to Bob he gave me as a young man starting in the media business. His passions, his insights, his generosity, and most of all, his son, all added up to an unparalleled experience.
Fred Seibert
September 22, 2007
My father, Leonard Burkat, worked with Bob for many years. Whenever I visited my father at 51 W. 52, I would always talk at length with Bob about the entertainment business and my prospects in it. What was so great about Bob was he always treated me not as a kid starting out and interrupting his day, but rather as a professional colleague sharing tips of our strange trade. My sisters and I remember him fondly and send our heartfelt condolences.
Howard Burkat
September 21, 2007
Bob was a polymath and I could not let a day pass without visiting him in his office. I will mourn his passing.Janet & I send our sympathy to Barbara & the boys. Joseph Dash
Joseph Dash
September 20, 2007
My condolences to Bob's family. He was finishing up his career at CBS Records when I was starting mine. He was one of the handful of senior music business executives about whom no one ever said a bad word. He was a true mensch among moguls.
Steve Sussmann
September 19, 2007
I met Bob several times and visited him and his wife when lived on Long Island. He was a warm, kind man and always generous with his time.

He even introduced me to the legendary A&R man John Hammond once. I last spoke to him a couple of years ago over the transatlantic 'phone and it was as if we'd met the day before.

Never proud, despite his wide and deep knowledge of all sorts of things to do with music, never hard to talk to, he was the man that many of us would like to be. I shall miss just knowing he's THERE...
Earl Okin
September 19, 2007
Sorry to hear about Bob. I have fond and vivid memories of going though the shelves in Huntington and getting the lay of the land in music trends from Bob. When I appeared woozy from looking at record labels, Bob and you were always ready with a lunch break to fortfy me before heading back to the runs of King Olivers.
My sympathies to you and your familly.
Sherwin Dunner
September 19, 2007
September 19, 2007
Although I never met Bob personally, we had many mutual friends in the record collecting fraternity.
Michael Biel
September 19, 2007
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