44th Annual ARSC Conference – May 19-22, 2010

The preliminary schedule for the 44th Annual ARSC Conference, which will be held at the Chateau Bourbon, 800 Iberville Street in New Orleans, can be downloaded here. I’ll be presenting The Recordings of Pioneering Jazz Guitarist Eddie “Snoozer” Quinn on Thursday, May 20 around 1:45 p.m.

Many of the panels and presentations  are open to the public, for a small fee (mention this 2010 Conference Flyer to receive a special $25 discounted rate for Saturday, May 22). Registration is required.

Join sound recording archivists, discographers, and record collectors, including many of the world’s foremost experts in recorded sound history and technology, for four days of lectures, exhibits, tours and other special events. Highlights include a pre-conference workshop on Disaster Planning and Recovery for Audio Materials, and presentations on local music topics including:

  • Cajun & Creole Music Collection, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Buddy Bolden Cylinder Meltdown: Presaging the Jazz Band on Record
  • New Orleans’ First Record Label: the Louisiana Phonograph Company
  • Recordings of Pioneering Jazz Guitarist Eddie “Snoozer” Quinn
  • New Orleans Influence on the Performance Style of Mahalia Jackson
  • First Commercial Recording of a Cajun Folksong
  • Circulation of Mardi Gras Indian Music in New Orleans
  • Record Makers and Breakers: New Orleans & South Louisiana, 1940s-1960s
  • New Orleans Veteran Record Makers Panel, with Ira “Dr. Ike” Padnos
  • Fifty Years of Catching the Sounds of Southwest Louisiana
  • Louis Armstrong and the Fleischmann Radio Recordings
  • Phantoms of the Opera: The New Orleans Opera Tapes
  • Louisiana Rocks: The True Genesis of Rock & Roll
  • Audio Odyssey of New Orleans Jazz Revivalist William Russell


Great Night at the Mint!

Thanks to everyone who came out the Louisiana State Museum at the U.S. Mint on March 18, 2010 to watch the debut of the film footage of Snoozer Quinn. John Rankin performed beautifully, and really helped explain why Snoozer’s music is so special. A BIG thanks to all the volunteers who came out, too, as well as the Friends of the Cabildo. I hope you all had a great time!

Enjoy these photos by the lovely Sally Asher.

This slides shows Eddie Quinn in 1924, as a senior at Bogalusa High School.

This slide shows Eddie Quinn in 1924, as a senior at Bogalusa High School.

John Rankin demonstrates some of Snoozer Quinn's techniques.

John Rankin demonstrates some of Snoozer Quinn's amazing techniques on guitar.

Some of Snoozer's decendants attended the presentation. L-R, back: Casey Quinn, Foots Quinn, and Kelly Quinn. Lucia Quinn sits in front, holding Snoozer's L0 (or L00).

Some of Snoozer's descendants attended the presentation. L-R, back: Casey Quinn, Foots Quinn, and Kelly Quinn. Lucia Quinn holds Snoozer's Gibson L-0 or L-00.

This guitar belonged to Snoozer Quinn in his later years.

This guitar belonged to Snoozer Quinn in his later years.

John Rankin to Demo Snoozer Style on March 18

I’m excited that New Orleans guitarist John Rankin will be joining me on March 18 at the Louisiana State Museum for my presentation on Snoozer Quinn. John will be there to demonstrate some of the techniques that made Snoozer Quinn such a special, innovative guitar player for his time — such as palm harmonics, detuning, and right hand patterns. John is a longtime Snoozer fan — his mom introduced him to the Wiggs recordings in 1964.

Thanks to Allen Boudreaux for designing the lovely poster art for the March 18 presentation. A small poster-sized PDF can be downloaded here.

Snoozer Web Poster for March 18

Is Snoozer the guitarist on these Mart Britt recordings?

In Brian Rust’s The Victor Master Book Vol. 2 [1969] he lists Mart Britt accompanying himself on guitar in a session from Feb. 9, 1928.

MART BRITT Vocal, Acc. by own guitar
Recorded in Memphis, TN, Feb. 9, 1928 in the Auditorium
41866-3 Tell Me, Sweet Rose – 21261
41867-2 Joe’s Barroom
41868-2 You Will Be Gone – 21261

Bogalusa Daily News p. 3 Feb. 26, 1928

I found an article in the Bogalusa Daily News, from Feb. 26, 1928, saying that:
“Eddie has made several records accompanied with Mart Britt, a vocalist, but has now been solicited by the Victor Company to make a series of records with his trusty banjo.”

I recently tracked down the 78 featuring these two songs. Any chance that we have more Snoozer on record, even as simple accompaniment, is worth investigation! And thanks to fellow New Orleanian and music lover Rob Hudak for digitizing these songs, I can now post them here for your listening pleasure. Any feedback is much appreciated!!!!

I have written off to the great Brian Rust for his opinion on the matter. I do not know what his original sources were. Hope I hear back!!!

Tell Me, Sweet Rose:

You Will Be Gone:

March 18, 2010 – Film Debut

Snoozer Quinn film stills

Snoozer Quinn film stills

March 18, 2010 – “The Search for Snoozer Quinn,” a cocktail reception, exhibition and short film presentation, sponsored by the Louisiana State Museum and the Tulane University Department of Music. 6-8 p.m., New Orleans U.S. Mint at 400 Esplanade Avenue.

It’s official! We are finally debuting never-before-released silent film footage of Snoozer Quinn that is housed in the archives at the Louisiana State Museum. The film was recorded by Charles Peterson,  a guitarist/banjoist with Rudy Vallee’s Connecticut Yankees who later became a well-respected jazz photographer. Charles’s son Don Peterson helped me definitively date the film to 1932. Says Don:

“This was a 50 or 100 foot roll of 16mm film and was shot as a home movie, rather than as a professional piece. The location was our rural home in Laurelton, NJ – about 4 or 5 miles from Point Pleasant, an ocean-front community. My parents had just purchased the farm (it was 50 acres, mostly of pine woods) as a retreat from their permanent home in Manhattan.”

Working with the La. State Museum,  we received a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to have the film digitized. The accompanying photographs are stills taken from the film footage. For those of you who’ve seen the Fat Cat LP “The Legendary Snoozer Quinn,” these image will be familiar.

Although the film is brief (about 2 and a half minutes) and silent, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to observe the playing technique of Snoozer Quinn. In 1932 Snoozer would have been 24 years old and in his prime — and already a vet of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. It’s so exciting to watch him play!

Foots Quinn, Snoozer’s nephew, will be in attendance. There will also be on display some photographs, instruments, and other mementos associated with Snoozer. The event is free and open to the public. A cash bar reception will help raise funds for the ongoing preservation of films and sound recordings in the museum’s jazz collection.