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Obituaries: Borchardt and Finley

Herbert Borchardt, founder of Recoton Corporation, died last Monday at age 93.
Borchardt, who was the father of current chairman and president Bob Borchardt, was a native of Berlin but began his career in London, at Brunswick Records, a subsidiary of Deutsche Grammophon. In 1929, Deutsche Grammophon sent him to Paris to start Polydor Records. Borchardt oversaw the construction of the first Parisian record manufacturing plant as president and helped discover and record such artists as Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf and Stephane Grappelli.

When Paris was invaded by Germany in 1940, Borchardt sent his wife Mutz, son Bob, and in-laws into hiding in Marseilles. Borchardt remained in Paris to continue running Polydor until he was taken into a concentration camp for Germans residing in France. In 1941, he escaped and eventually joined his family in Marseilles.

Borchardt’s family was among 2,000 Jewish refugees who constituted the last group permitted to enter the U.S. during World War II. In New York, Borchardt joined Rudolf Steiner and started Bost Records.

In 1943, Borchardt became president of Recoton, which had been founded in 1936 to market a preamplifier for use with electronic recordings as well as to market European phonograph styli. In 1945, Borchardt became a Recoton director, and in 1952 he purchased that company as well as Eldeen Manufacturing, a maker of phonograph styli. He retired as chairman emeritus in 1997.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in his memory to: Division of Cardiology of Mt. Sinai Hospital, 1 Gustave Levy Place, New York, N.Y. 10029, Attn. Dr. Meller.

Borchardt is survived by his son Bob, daughter Susan, four grandchildren, including Recoton executive Greg, and a great granddaughter. His wife Mutz died in 1998.

Larry Finley, tape industry pioneer, died early this month of natural causes. He was 86.
Finley founded the International Tape Association (ITA), now the International Recording Media Association (IRMA), at a time when early audio tape products were still finding their market.

His diverse background in broadcasting, music, entertainment and journalism gave him the necessary contacts to bring together the companies that formed the original ITA in 1970. His leadership played a pivotal role in the growth and acceptance of video tape as a major entertainment format.

Finley received The City of Hope’s Annual Torch Bearer Award. In 1984 he was inducted into the Video Hall of Fame, and in 1998 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Vision Fund of America.

Condolences can be sent to his wife Betty Finley at 10 West 66 Street, New York, NY 10023. Donations can be sent to: The Larry Finley Memorial Fund, c/o The Vision Fund of America, 111 East 59 Street, New York, NY 10022.