Released in 2006 this film is a documentary about Joe Bussard Jr., a man that has devoted his life to the pursuit of rare 78s from the golden era (1924 – 1933) of American folk music. I was immediately charmed by this old codger, dancing around with his lanky frame and smiling with a cigar hanging out of his mouth in pure glee while listening to these lost gems of American music. He is the archetypal record collector that is truly passionate about the music and the hunt for the next rare find. Not an extremely exciting story but a wonderfully interesting portrait of a man that is devoted to and obsessed with searching out these forgotten treasures. Being personally interested in the music of this era it was a great pleasure to hear his favorite picks and some of the background behind them. This DVD not only features Desperate Man Blues but also a shorter more recent documentary called “King of All Record Collectors” which I would say was a little better than the feature.
Among Bussard’s accomplishments include his long running radio show “Country Classics”, being the go-to guy for transfers of these extremely rare 78s for countless collections and organizations, and running the last American 78 record company called Fonotone Records which he operated from 1956 -1969 and released tons of almost true to the original old timey music. In 2005 the Dust To Digital record label released a 5 CD box set of all the material ever pressed by his company, learn more about it here.
Also available is the soundtrack for the film which features a bunch of great tracks that are heard in the movie.
Just as an added bonus, I’ll post up some music that is similar to what you’ll experience in the Documentary below (if you don’t see the embedded playlist, follow this link.)
Posted originally: 2009-06-16 00:02:13