Records: The Turkish Tycoons of Soul

It was a crisis in domestic diplomacy for Turkey's Ambassador to the U.S., Mehmet Munir Ertegun. His sons Nesuhi and Ahmet had conceived a most un-Turkish enthusiasm for caz and yaniturku — Turkish for the jazz and blues music of the American Negro.

Their rooms overflowed with a collection of 25,000 records. They invited touring musicians to the embassy near Sheridan Circle for noisy Sunday after noon jam sessions. They flouted the racial mores of the day in Washington by staging jazz concerts before mixed audiences. Their mother nervously told friends that...

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