This Day in History: Universal Studios fire in California destroys musicians’ master recordings

  • Source: KCRA-TV NBC 3 Sacramento
  • Published: 06/01/2023 12:00 AM

VIDEO: On June 1, 2008, an enormous fire at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in California destroyed a massive collection of irreplaceable recordings by some of the greatest musicians in American history. Nobody was seriously injured in the fire, but The New York Times referred to the disaster as "The Day the Music Burned." The Times estimated that between 120,000 and 175,000 master recordings were lost in the fire, which included songs by Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Judy Garland. Universal claimed the story exaggerated the number of recordings that were destroyed. The fire also destroyed a number of archived film copies, a set from "Back to the Future" and a popular King Kong-theme attraction.


We welcome comments from registered users. Comments are solely the responsibility of those who post them; their viewpoints are not endorsed by the Daily Dispatch and (read more)
ship name
no comments have been added

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe