Ain't Broadway Grand
with Bruce Yeko
Born in Milwaukee, Bruce Yeko was fascinated by theatre from an early age. Later, he traveled to theaters in Chicago to see shows before moving to New York. Yeko made his first pilgrimage to the city in 1962, when, after asking a policeman directions to theatres on Broadway, he saw a matinee of I Can Get It for You Wholesale and then an evening performance of Subways Are For Sleeping.
After their marriage, Bruce and his wife Doris would travel from their home in Connecticut to New York to see four or five new musicals each week.
Bruce Yeko not only acquired Broadway cast albums but was, from the age of eight years, a keen collector of trading cards. He began selling them at age 16 and then, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and working as an accountant, he commenced full-time business as a trading card dealer at the age of 22 years.
By the mid-1970s, Bruce claimed to have the largest collection of trading cards in the world, with twenty million items. The mail-order service, based in his home in Georgetown, also dealt in out-of-print recordings of stage musicals and film scores.
In 1975, the Yekos turned their attention to producing their own theatre recordings, concentrating on little-known or short-lived Broadway and off-Broadway productions that had little hope of gaining a mainstream record contract to produce an original cast album. Within only five years, it could be said of the couple that "their dedication to preserving musicals is so complete that Ben Bagley aptly calls them 'the musical theatre experts'.