Gusman Records (Store)
Savannah, GA (Chatham County) Copyright 2008 D. Nelson
Gospel music had a huge influence on the soul music coming from the South. This record store was once run by Waymon Jones who also owned the Pitch label.
Waymon "Gusman" Jones was born in Bulloch County, GA in 1932. He moved to Savannah, GA to study accounting at Savannah State University but in 1967 he dropped out and opened this record shop at 1210 East Broad Street. The store became a meeting place for local gospel singers, and Jones added a recording studio and bought the Pitch label. Jones revived the gospel label and later founded Gusman Records. It is assumed that there may have been seventy-eight 45’s released on Pitch, as well as fifteen on Gusman, and five albums, with the last record being released in 1978. After several moves, a flood and a burglary, Jones closed his store in 2002. He passed away in Statesboro, GA in 2004. The White Family Singers, the first group he recorded, sang at his funeral.
I didn't know any of this when I took these photos. They were just one of a few that I took in the poor sections of Savannah, but I like to think that the pull I felt towards this storefront had to do with its history.