Home » Uncategorized » Today in WMH: What Starts Out as a Way to Keep Things Organized, Becomes a Catalog for the Age

Today in WMH: What Starts Out as a Way to Keep Things Organized, Becomes a Catalog for the Age

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5/13 Today in Weird Music History: 1913.  American organist, musicologist, and record dealer, William Schwann is born in in Salem Ill..  In 1949 he began publication of the Schwann Record Catalog, a guide to phonograph records in print.  The first edition was hand-typed and 26 pages long, listing 674 long-playing records.  Started as merely a way to keep track of recordings for his record store, it would become the go-to guide for classical recordings, eventually listing hundreds of thousands of titles. Schwann sold his catalog in in 1976 beginning several changes of ownership. In 2002, the company was purchased at a bankruptcy auction.  In 1998, the following was written in his obituary:

“Mr. Schwann’s name has become as synonymous with record collecting as the name of Baedeker is to travel and Bartlett is to quotations.”—Anthony Tommasini, New York Times.

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