Recorded Music in American Life: The Phonograph and Popular Memory, 1890-1945

By William Howland Kenney | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

In the lengthening interim between this project's opening hypotheses and its final chapter drafts, my curiosity grew steadily as I met and began learning from recorded sound archivists about the stunning number and range of phonograph records. It increasingly appeared to me that we historians had overlooked archival sources of unrivaled richness, diversity, and complexity. I started at the Library of Congress, where Sam Brylawski, director of the Division of Recorded Sound, became my invaluable guide. He and his colleagues Gene Deanna and Wynn Mathias then formed what seemed to me to be an exceptionally well-informed and professional archival team.

So, too, Dan Morgenstern, Ed Berger, Vincent Pelote, and Donald Luck of the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, offered me their insightful commentary and friendly encouragement on this project, as they have on earlier ones. Calvin Elliker, director of the music library at the University of Michigan, ably assisted my research on the Edison surveys. Betty Obadashian of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture guided my work on Harry H. Pace. Robin Van Fleet, senior manuscript librarian of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, kindly supplied copies of the correspondence between Harry H. Pace and Robert Vann. Amy Brown and Richard Shrader of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill guided my research into the origins of country music records, white Donald McCormick, curator of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, helped me locate important documentation on early phonograph culture.

A 1993-1994 National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to University Teachers provided the necessary time to map out a research plan and begin to understand the primary sources in the several archives mentioned above. Dean Eugene Wenninger and his successor Dean M. Thomas Jones of Kent State University's Office of Research and Spon-

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