ATM Director Alan Burdette will discuss the Gennett recordings at ATM and Todd Gould, WTIU, will talk about an upcoming documentary project, including a sneak peek of the work they are doing.
In December 2018, a WTIU produced documentary, “The Music Makers of Gennett Records” will appear on PBS. The documentary tells the unlikely story of this tiny Indiana recording studio, from its beginnings in the late 1910s through the Great Depression. During that time, Gennett producers recorded and distributed some of the most important early records documenting the growth in popularity of jazz, blues, country, and gospel music, as well as other groundbreaking initiatives in audio production.
During the 1920s, the list of musical talents that visited the Gennett Studios reads like a “Who’s Who” of 20th century musical entertainment, including the first recordings of Louis Armstrong, Joe “King” Oliver, “Jelly Roll” Morton, Bix Biederbecke, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, “Fats” Waller, country artists Gene Autry and Bradley Kincaid and bluesmen Charley Patton and “Blind Lemon” Jefferson.
The Archives of Traditional Music is very pleased to be one of the units assisting Todd Gould of WTIU with this documentary about Gennett Records. Well-known for its ethnographic collections, the ATM also houses more than 50,000 commercial recordings from all over the world. The ATM has over 2,000 Gennett produced discs that represent a broad range of American popular and vernacular music from the early 20th century. Through a partnership with the Starr Gennett Foundation, the Archives of Traditional Music has increased its holdings of rare Gennett recordings. The Hoagy Carmichael Collection is also held by the Archives of Traditional Music, furthering strengthening its historic connection with Gennett Records. In this presentation,