Bear Family‘s The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp, by Ted Olson and Tony Russell, is a finalist in the 2017 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.  Winners will be announced in September 2017, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in May 2018, during ARSC’s annual conference.  Additional information about the conference and the ARSC Awards for Excellence can be found at

Begun in 1991, the ARSC Awards for Excellence are given to authors of books, articles or extensive recording liner notes to recognize those publishing the very best work today in recorded sound research. In giving these awards, ARSC recognizes the contributions of these individuals and aims to encourage others to emulate their high standards and to promote readership of their work. Two awards are presented annually in each category, for Best History and Best Discography, and several others are acknowledged with Certificates of Merit. Awards are presented to both the authors and publishers of winning publications.

Finalists and winners are chosen by a committee consisting of three elected judges representing specific fields of study, two judges-at-large, the review editor of the ARSC Journal and the President of ARSC. The 2017 ARSC Awards Committee consists of the following:

Dan Morgenstern (Jazz Music Judge); Jon Samuels (Classical Music Judge); Matthew Barton (Popular Music Judge); Cary Ginnell (Judge-At-Large); Richard Spottswood (Judge-at-Large); James Farrington (Book Review Editor, ARSC Journal); Patrick Feaster (ARSC President); David N. “Uncle Dave” Lewis (Awards Committee Co-Chair), and Roberta Freund Schwartz (Awards Committee Co-Chair).

The following works, published in 2016, have been selected as finalists:

Best Research in Recorded Rock and Popular Music

Mark Blake, Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic (Backbeat)

Glenn Berger, Never Say No to A Rock Star: In the Studio with Dylan, Sinatra, Jagger and More… (Schaffner Press)

Mark Jones, The Immediate Discography: the First 20 Years (The Record Press/

Steve Jones with Ben Thompson, Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol (Da Capo)

Mike Love and James S. Hirsch, Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy (Blue Rider Press)

Best Research in Recorded Popular Music

Douglas E. Friedman, Four Boys and a Guitar: The Story and Music of the Mills Brothers (self-published)

Marc Meyers, Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop (Grove Press)

Don M. Randel, Matthew Shaftel, and Susan Forscher Weiss, A Cole Porter Companion (University of Illinois Press)

John W. Troutman, Kika Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music (University of North Carolina Press)

Best Historical Research in Jazz

Philip V. Bohlman and Goffredo Plastino, Jazz Worlds/World Jazz (University of Chicago Press)

Benny Golson and Jim Merod, Whisper Not: The Autobiography of Benny Golson (Temple University Press)

Coco Schumann, Max Christian Graeff, Michaela Haas, John Howard, and Michael H. Kater, The Ghetto Swinger: a Berlin Jazz Legend Remembers (DoppelHouse Press)

Martin Torgoff, Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs (Da Capo)

John Wriggle, Blue Rhythm Fantasy: Big Band Jazz Arranging in the Swing Era (University of Illinois Press)

Best Historical Research in Record Labels

Peter Adamson, “The 1898 Gramophone Co. Studio: New Perspectives” in For the Record: The Journal of The City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society 56: 448-456; 59: 147-156; 60: 206-213

Richard Carlin, Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy (University Press of Mississippi)

Charlie B. Dahan and Linda Gennett Irmscher, Images of America: Gennett Records and Starr Piano (Arcadia Press)

Michael Kinnear, The Gramophone Company’s first Indian recordings 1899 – 1907 (Bajakhana)

Henry Sapoznik and Richard Martin, Attractive Hebrews: The Lambert Yiddish Cylinders, 1901-1905 (Archeophone)

Adam White, Barney Ales, and Andrew Loog Oldham, Motown: The Sound of Young America (Thames & Hudson)

Michael E. Veal and E. Tammy Kim, Punk Ethnography: Artists & Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies (Wesleyan University Press)

Best Historical Research in Recorded Country Music

Bill Anderson and Peter Michael Cooper, Whisperin’ Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life in Country Music (University of Georgia Press)

Bill C. Malone, Bill Clifton:  America’s Bluegrass Ambassador to the World (University of Illinois Press)

Ted Olson, Blind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary (Dust-to-Digital)

Ted Olson and Tony Russell, The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp (Bear Family Records)

Penny Parsons, Foggy Mountain Troubadour: The Life and Music of Curly Seckler (University of Illinois Press)

Best Historical Research in Recorded Folk, Roots, or World Music

Ian Brennan, Marilena Delli and Corin Tucker, How Music Dies (or Lives): Field Recording and the Battle for Democracy in the Arts (Allworth Press)

Bernard McMahon, Allison McGourty and Elijah Wald, American Epic: When Music Gave America Her Voice (Touchstone)

Lloyd Sachs, T Bone Burnett: A Life in Pursuit (University of Texas Press)

Dick Weissman, The Music Never Stops: A Journey Into the Music of the Unknown, The Forgotten (CenterStream)

Best Historical Research in Blues/Gospel/Soul/R&B

Michael Corcoran, Washington Phillips and his Manzarene Dreams (Dust-to-Digital)

Bill Dahl, The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music’s Golden Age (University of Chicago Press)

Martin Hawkins, Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge (LSU Press)

Alan Harper, Waiting for Buddy Guy: Chicago Blues at the Crossroads (University of Illinois Press)

Richard Martin, Waxing the Gospel: Mass Evangelism & the Phonograph, 1890-1900 (Archeophone)

Todd Mayfield and Travis Atria, Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield (Chicago Review Press)

Allan Sutton, Race Records and the American Recording Industry, 1919-1945: An Illustrated History (Mainspring Press)

Ed Ward, Michael Bloomfield: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero (Chicago Review Press)

Best Historical Research in Classical Music

Diana Lewis Burgin, Performing Life: The Story of Ruth Posselt, American Violinist (University of Massachusetts Press)

Raymond Holden, Barbirolli: A Chronicle of a Career (Barbirolli Society, in association with the Royal Academy of Music)

Stephan Siek, A Dictionary for the Modern Pianist (Rowman & Littlefield)


Best Historical Research on General Recording Topics

Eliot Bates, Digital Tradition: Arrangement and Labor in Istanbul’s Recording Studio Culture (Oxford University Press)

Thomas Balacco, Australia’s Most Comprehensive Vinyl Record Guide: A Definitive Catalogue Of Music Released By Artists And Bands Who Shaped The Music Industry Around The World For 70 Years (Thomas Balacco; Hardshell Publishing)

Jayson Beaster-Jones, Music Commodities, Markets, and Values: Music as Merchandise (Routledge Taylor and Francis)

Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen and Anne Danielsen, Digital Signatures: The Impact of Digitization on Popular Music Sound (MIT Press)

Jace Clayton (aka DJ Rupture), Uproot: Travels in 21st Century Music and Digital Culture (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Gabriel Gössel and Filip Šír, Recorded sound in Czech Lands, 1900-1946 (The Moravian Library)

Adrian Kerridge, “Tape’s Rolling, Take One”: The Recording life of Adrian Kerridge: Six Decades of Recording and Producing, from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Years to TV Scores & Blockbuster Movies! (M-Y Books)

Sylvia Massy and Chris Johnson, Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques (Hal Leonard)

Chris Mustazza, “James Weldon Johnson and the Speech Lab Recordings,” Oral Tradition 30/1 (2016): 95-110

Matthew Rubery, The Untold Story of the Talking Book (Harvard University Press)

Patrik Wikström and Bob DeFillippi, Business Innovation and Disruption In The Music Industry (Edward Elgar Publishing)