Last Kind Word Blues: On Collecting and the Vanishing History of American Music

OCT 01, 2014 | 7:00 PM TO 8:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1201: Elebash Recital Hall


October 01, 2014: 7:00 PM-8:30 PM


Free, Registration Required


Public Programs


212-817-8215 or


If music by influential backwoods blues artists only exists on archaic media, what’s to stop it from disappearing? Are 78rpm-record collectors just obsessed eccentrics, or are they cultural conservators, keeping strains of American music alive? How do the desire to find and own antique objects and the need to archive our musical heritage intersect? This event will focus on the difficulty of obtaining and preserving the nation’s rural music traditions, particularly jazz and country blues of the 1920s and '30s. Participants include Michael Fremer, editor of; Amanda Petrusich, author of Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records; Nathan Salsburg, curator at the Alan Lomax Archive; and Sam Stephenson, author of numerous books, including The Jazz Loft Project. Moderated by Gary Giddins, director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the Graduate Center.