Joe Bussard & Fonotone Records

NOTE: This blog entry originally appeared in August of 2008

Today’s Bob Edwards Show features a trip to Frederick, Maryland to visit the basement of Joe Bussard

Joe is utterly dedicated to the preservation of early 20th century music.  He is a musician, a radio host, founder & owner of Fonotone Records, and he’s probably best known as a voracious record hunter and collector.  

Joe is certainly a lover of music, but when you bring up Rock n Roll, you quickly discover that the term “music” doesn’t necessarily have a universal definition.  Joe is quick to dismiss modern music as “bangin’ and thumpin’” filled with “moanin’ and groanin’”…and by modern music, he means post-depression.  String bands, jug bands, family groups of singers and players… real blues, real jazz…to Joe, that’s the definition of music.

In the age of the random playlist and the mix CD, listening to Joe speak so lovingly about his records and the music carved into them makes me think about the overlooked power of music and how we take the listening experience for granted.

-Dan Bloom


The Fonotone box set is released by Dust to Digital 

Fonotone Records homepage 

Joe Bussard on Myspace