Our vast, complicated musical heritage

The Music Memory Project is working to extend and build upon efforts to preserve the vast array of artifacts from American music’s twentieth-century golden age:

Music Memory is continuing the work started by the collectors and researchers in the 1950s and ’60s. We share their passion to keep the history of our musical heritage from being forgotten and are committed to preventing that from happening. As of October 2012, we have digitized more than 10,000 records on location at the homes of several prominent record collectors. Our goal is to build a database complete with audio, discographical information, artist and composer biographies, song lyrics and notation. Our hope for this database is that it will serve as a musical Rosetta Stone for future generations by showing the links and cross-influences of the many musical styles captured on phonograph records in the first half of the 20th century.

Follow the project’s progress here.

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  1. carl wrote:

    The release of Dust-to-Digital’s “Goodbye Babylon” collection was just about the most exciting event of the decade for anyone studying the history of American gospel music. It’s good to know that the DtoD folks are the ones who are leading this initiative. This kind of thing takes huge money and huge-er commitment. Collections like the ones they’re preserving in this project provide good evidence that southern gospel music is neither as parochial nor as manipulable as the people who think they control the industry pretend that it is.

  2. Tom wrote:

    I know Jonathan Sawrie stops by here once in a while. I just wanted to say- Jonathan, I saw and heard your Melody Boys rendition of “The Robe” (on YouTube). I was absolutely astounded by the arrangement, the quartet and your singing. Great, great job. And we miss you.

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