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.
Born in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi in 1903, Joe Lee “Big Joe” Williams is a renowned blues musician known for his use of a nine-string guitar. He talks to Chris about making his living traveling with medicine shows, playing with a young Muddy Waters, and making records.Read More
“I always make up songs about the way people live and how people act amongst themselves. Ups and downs they have. Some people have ups and downs, and what caused these things. A lot of people come out and sing but they don’t never put their sweetening into it. You’ve got to tell the peoples why you’re singing this, and what causing this, and showing them what you’re singing.”Read More
In 1965 Chris Strachwitz produced the Berkeley Blues Festival bringing Chuck Berry to Berkeley California and then to Los Angeles. Here’s a 7 minute interview conducted a few days after Chuck Berry passed away with Chris remembering those days and the two concerts.Read More
“Since I was four, five years old I liked music. I’d rather play music than eat.”….“George Jones, I’m the one who put him where he’s at…That man was poor. He begged me to play. I didn’t need him, I had a 7 piece band. I hired him anyway…five dollars a night…After the dance he would just sleep on the table ‘til daybreak and get a ride back to Beaumont.” – Chuck GuilloryRead More