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HomeLoop Legends: Larchmont's Symphonette Society

Loop Legends: Larchmont’s Symphonette Society


Originally published in 2017

A friend returned recently from a yard sale with a stack of old LPs, phonograph records from the 1960’s and 1970’s. On the back of each of them is an interesting inscription:

“The Longines Symphonette Society, Symphonette Square, Larchmont, N.Y.”

A quick visit to google finds a long list of this company’s recordings, including 8 Track tapes, and this: “The Longines Symphonette Society was a direct marketing company working out of Larchmont and, later, New Rochelle, New York..” from the late 1960s to 1974.

“Their main specialization was in mail-order LP box sets of classical and easy listening music as well as releasing LPs of old time radio (OTR) programs (it was a subsidiary of the Longines watch company.)”

But Symphonette Square? Have a look at the logo, above, and the building below.

Lynne Crowley at the Larchmont Historical Society says the Longines Symphonette Society operated out of the rounded building on Myrtle Avenue, not far from entrance to I-95, and it also served as a temporary barracks during WWII.

Courtesy: Larchmont Historical Society


“I don’t believe the address of Symphonette Square in Larchmont was an official address,” Lynne says, “but presumably the Post Office knew where to deliver.”

But it seems it all came to an inauspicious end.

In 1969, The Longines Symphonette Society was included in a Congressional investigation of lotteries, sweepstakes, and deceptive marketing practices, and consumers complained that the Larchmont based record company, like other mail order companies, sent unsolicited merchandise to people’s homes. The local record company at the address not found on any map, came to an end in 1974.

Polly Kreisman
Polly Kreisman
Polly Kreisman is the Founder and Publisher of the Larchmont Loop, an actor, and a 15-time Emmy Award winning former television reporter. In New York she worked at WPIX TV, WWOR TV, WNBC TV and NY1. She lives in Larchmont, has twins in college, and two badly behaved dogs.


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6 months ago

Love your pieces Polly!

Ye olde days
Ye olde days
6 months ago

That’s for that interesting but of history!
I remember this company from my early days of record collecting, and something told my young brain to stay away from them!

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