The Music Makers of Gennett Records (IU Libraries Special Collections Speakers Series)

October 5th 2017 @ 3:30pm
Hoagy Carmichael Room, Morrison Hall 
Bloomington, IN
Photo of Gennett Harmonists

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, 

Whether you know about the rich archival and special collections found on the Indiana University Bloomington campus or not, you may not truly know all they have to offer and all the various ways to utilize the collections.

The IU Libraries is pleased to announce a new endeavor this fall, the Special Collections Speakers Series. Join us as we highlight and explore the wide-ranging uses of the amazing materials found in Bloomington campus archives, libraries, and special collections! 

Contact Info

Herman B Wells Library
1320 E. 10th St., Room 232
Bloomington, IN 47405
(812) 855-3403
(812) 855-2576 (Fax)