Moses Asch and His Encyclopedia of Sound
By Tony Olmsted
Routledge – 2003 – 264 pages
In 1949, immigrant recording engineer Moses Asch embarked on a lifelong project: documenting the world of sound produced by mankind, via a small record label called Folkways Records. By the time of his death in 1986, he had amassed an archive of over 2,200 LPs and thousands of hours of tapes; so valuable was this collection that it was purchased by the Smithsonian Institute. Folkways Records is an account of how he built this business, working against all odds, to create a landmark in the history of American music.
Tony Olmstead is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, Canada. He has presented several papers on the music business, and is the recipient of several academic awards and fellowships.