I'm copying this thread to 78-L to join the discussion...
----- Original Message -----
From: Aaron Z Snyder
To: [log in to unmask]
Original post by Starr-Gennett archives:
>Starr-Gennett Foundation Awarded $43,700 to Save Recordings
>For Immediate Release: MARCH 24, 2003, RICHMOND, IN: The Starr-Gennett
>Foundation is pleased to announce the impending launch of a grant-funded
>project to digitize 400 Gennett and related subsidiary label 78 rpm
>phonograph records in the Foundation s collection. Upon the project s
>completion in the summer of 2006, the recordings will be available through
>a searchable online archive. The bulk of the project will be funded by a
>generous $38,000 grant from the Recording Academy. The Wayne County,
>Indiana Foundation also awarded a $5,500 grant to fund the remainder of
>This is absolutely fantastic! exclaims the Foundation s Project
>Coordinator Elizabeth Surles. The project will greatly aid our efforts to
>save Richmond, Indiana s rich musical heritage in a very direct and
>accessible way. Our collection of recordings contains a good sampling of
>the wide musical variety on Gennett and related labels like Champion and
>Starr, and now we ll be better able to share this historic music with the
>public. The support of the Recording Academy and the Wayne County
>Foundation really points to the importance of saving this history.
>The project involves several steps. The records must first be carefully
>cleaned. Once cleaned, the 78 rpm shellac phonograph recordings are
>placed in archival-quality sleeves and carefully transferred to a digital
>format. Many of the recordings to be transferred were originally made
>without electricity, and the transfer process necessitates special audio
>equipment designed for archival sound transfer. CD copies of the
>recordings will be made and added to the Foundation s permanent
>collection. These CD copies will be accessible through the Foundation s
>office in Richmond and through the Foundation s website via streamed sound
>files, which will be searchable and offered free of charge.
>The bulk of the funding will come from the National Academy of Recording
>Arts and Sciences National Professional Education Committee, which is part
>of the GRAMMY Foundation. The Recording Academy offers grants for efforts
>that advance the archiving and preservation of the music and recorded
>sound heritage of the Americas. The Wayne County, Indiana Foundation
>granted funds from the Jeffers Family Fund, the Lilly Fund, and the
>Kleinknecht Endowment. When asked about the project, President and CEO of
>the Wayne County, Indiana Foundation, Charles Ball said, The Wayne County
>Foundation is happy to be able to help the Starr-Gennett Foundation
>preserve and make this material available to people around the world.
>Richmond, Indiana s historic Starr Piano Company recorded, pressed, and
>distributed some of the best early jazz, blues, old-time country, and
>gospel records in the 1920s and 30s on Gennett and other labels. More
>information is available at
><http://www.starrgennett.org>www.starrgennett.org. Contact Elizabeth
>Surles for pictures and sound clips.
Dick Spottswood wrote:
>>>Is this as big a boondoggle as it appears?
>I'll chime in, too! The only trepidation this announcement stirs in me is
the possibility that the
>digitized results will be absurdly overprocessed, as are IMO the three CDs
already released by Starr-
>Gennett. I sincerely hope that some restraint is shown this time in
cleaning up the sound on these
>recordings. I'm sure that most people who would have any interest at all in
material such as this would not
>be put off by the grit on the originals (although it does may one wish that
more metal parts were
The only question that I might have is whether $43,500 might be more than
would need to be paid!
Note that the StG group didn't list or identify the 400 discs in
question...which could be 800
sides of notable Americana, or 800 sides of Henry Burr et al!