ARHOOLIE FOUNDATION COLLECTIONS:Chris Strachwitz Interviews
In 2015 The Arhoolie Foundation received a grant from the Grammy Foundation to digitize and put online the interviews that Chris Strachwitz recorded with musicians and friends over the past 50 years. He recorded these to capture the personal history of many of the musicians he recorded for his Arhoolie Records label and also for his long running radio show on on KPFA-FM (Berkeley, CA) during the 1970’s and 1980’s. You can listen to the following interviews and many have transcripts as well.
Chris Strachwitz has been many things – songcatcher, music publisher, author, filmmaker, but he is first and foremost a Record Man. Take a listen to a newly unearthed interview with Chris in 1964 as he describes capturing the indelible songs on those early Arhoolie records, upcoming releases, and what it takes to start a record company.Read More
“Once you can see somebody play, I’ve always found this to be true, it illuminates the whole situation, how they hold the instrument, how they physically go about doing these things. Copying notes off a record is pointless. You got to know how they get themselves in a physical state and then things happen, they just seem to happen…Read More
“‘I just reach up and pull them out of the sky – call them sky songs- they just come to me.’ That’s how Bukka White described his music making. His performances were not polished, finished, slick tin pan alley songs but marvelous, on the spot creations – images and recollections as they come to the artist’s mind.”Read More
That’s his name, is Mance Lipscomb. That’s the first time we ever heard his name. And he told him exactly where he lived on the Washington road and gave us the address. And we went there and of course he wasn’t home. It was kind of in the middle of the afternoon or late afternoon by then.Read More
“So we went over there and there he was just ferociously playing on his electric guitar and singing really powerful stuff, it was just really, really amazing. And shortly after we had come in, he just segued during his singing by pointing his hand at me and singing ‘Whoa, this man come all the way from California just to hear poor Lightning sing…'”Read More
Zimmerle recalls his early experiences with music, “we used to have a console Victrola that I used to wind it all the time. And it must’ve been around the age of six, when I started to sing and play the guitar.” … “And when I reached the age of four… At that time, I became a leader of a band at that school.”Read More