Welcome to our website, the online home of our Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project, Popular Music and Cultural Memory: localised popular music histories and their significance for national music industries. Visit our site regularly for updates on our research's progress, as well as links to our project's outcomes as they appear. Find out more about our project and its aims here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nashville: 'Music City'

Sarah is currently soaking up all things country in Nashville, Tennessee. Given her visit to Tamworth, Australia's 'country music capital', at the start of the year, it was fitting to include 'Music City' into the US leg of the international fieldwork. The popular music heritage industry in embedded in the fabric of Nashville, with its 'Honky Tonk Heroes' guitar artwork:

 and its 'Walk of Fame Park'

But the key focus of this trip was the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which is perhaps the most impressive of America's music museums.

One of the great things about this museum is that it makes overt the connection between the display material and the archive, with visitors able to see into the Frist Library and Archive as they view the other exhibits. Interactive consoles also give visitors the opportunity to access selected images from the archive's photo portfolio as well as an opportunity to explore some of the "rare record spins" to be found in the collection.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The project visits New York, Cleveland and Atlanta

For the last month or so, Sarah has been in the USA chasing interview leads and visiting popular music archives and museums. She began in New York City where she interviewed the folks who collect, catalogue and preserve the massive vinyl collection that is ARChive.

This was followed by a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, for a tour of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and it's special exhibit 'Women who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power'. This visit coincided with the 16th American Music Masters week, meaning Sarah also had an opportunity to attend a series of events honouring the work of Aretha Franklin.

Next stop was Atlanta, where Sarah met with another of the project's partner investigators, Professor Tim Dowd. Unfortunately, some months earlier had seen the closure of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, Georgia, a place Sarah had originally planned to visit. The closure of the GMHF is indicative of the serious funding issues faced by many small popular music museums in the US and elsewhere.

While in Atlanta, Sarah caught the Smithsonian's traveling exhibition 'Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment' at the Atlanta History Center, and also visited the  Georgia State University Library where she was given a detailed tour of the Popular Music and Culture Collection which houses many important artefacts relating to the lyricist/composer/performer Johnny Mercer.