In the late 1950s and ’60s, Americans intrigued by their country’s music began taking tape recorders to places where music was usually made. Some were purely personal quests, while others secured small budgets from folk music record companies to chronicle their discoveries at length. From this field of his recording boom, artists such as bluesman Fred McDowell and Robert his Pete Williams, old-time singer, banjo and guitarist Roscoe Holcomb, and his 1920s records, including Doc his catalog. From came the “rediscovered” person. Boggs, Clarence Ashley, Farley Lewis.
Among the rambling recorders that have brought these musicians back from obscurity and allowed them to reach new audiences are John Cohen, Mike Seeger, Sam Charters, Chris Strakwitz, George Mitchell and David Evans. , and perhaps the most varied talents of them all. Art Rosenbaum, collector, musician, writer, painter and teacher.
Art, who died at the age of 83, had an endless and inexhaustible curiosity. During his teenage years working a holiday job in Michigan, he heard migrant workers sing and recorded it, which made him realize that this was more than just a hobby. “
A few years later, while living in Indianapolis, he met Scrapper Blackwell, who had once been nationally known as the guitar partner of singer-pianist Leroy Carr on a best-selling blues record. Blackwell introduced him to other musicians, and in 1961 the folklorist Kenneth Goldstein, who was in charge of his label at Prestige Records Bluesville, noted that the Indianapolis Blues by his musicians were his five albums. I asked art to record the LP of.
Blues was just one of my art interests. While in Indianapolis, he also recorded with the great old fiddler John W. Summers. Later, like much of his generation, inspired by Harry Smith’s his 1952 LP collection, Anthology of American Folk Music, he played old Southern banjos such as Buell Kazi and Bascom Lamar Lunsford. I sought out players of the style and translated their music into the instruction book. Old-Time Mountain Banjo (1968) and his solo album Five String Banjo (1973).
Art was born in Ogdensburg, New York, the eldest son of Della (née Spark) and David Rosenbaum and was raised in Indianapolis. In Indianapolis, his father worked as a doctor at a veterans hospital. He studied at Columbia University in New York, where he earned a degree in art history and a master’s degree in painting. In 1973 he took a post teaching arts at the University of Iowa, where he met another prominent field recorder, Harry Oster. Harry Oster found amazing blues and gospel singers in the Louisiana outback and prisons.
In 1976, Art moved to the University of Georgia, Athens, where he taught for 30 years at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, becoming the university’s first professor of fine arts. He and his wife Margo (née Newmark) married in 1966 and lived in his dilapidated ranch house full of art and banjos. She was also a painter, a musician, an eminent photographer, and a collaborator in all of their work.
Wherever he went in Georgia, he found music to record. An old string band led by fiddler Gordon Tanner, son of 1920s record maker Guido Tanner, a banjo song by ‘outsider artist’ Howard Finster, or an African-American ‘Ring Shout’ by the McIntosh County Shouters.
His work was celebrated in 2007 by Dust-to-Digital’s box set Art of Field Recording, Volume I. This is a collection of over half a century of material, accompanied by his sketches, paintings and photographs of Margo. In 2008, the set won a Grammy Award for Best His Historical His Album, followed by volume two. A range of over 200 recordings reveals a broad fascination with traditional music in the arts: old-world ballads, religious music of several Southern denominations, dance music, blues – professional and amateur, public and private. both music.
“Art was on a mission to go out and meet the people who made the music,” said Lance Ledbetter of Dust-to Digital Records. “He recorded their songs, learned them on the banjo, befriended them, painted them on murals, invited them to art galleries, museums, concert halls and folk festivals. His mind contained a database of indigenous music. But unlike algorithms, when Art recalls certain songs and tunes, he draws them from the memories of those who taught them and recalls them with warmth and kindness.”
Art books include Folk Visions and Voices: Traditional Music and Song in North Georgia (1983). Scream Because You’re Free: The African-American Ring Shout Tradition of North Georgia (1998). Other instructional books on playing the banjo. In 2006, a retrospective of his paintings and drawings, Weaving His Art on a Gold Loom, was held at the Georgian Museum of Art.
He is survived by Margo and his son Neil, as well as his brother Victor and sister Jenny.